The Royal Navy Discussions and Updates

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
I think the cricket was an "error 404, team not found" by the sounds of it :)

As to the jet, if they shake it off and put it in a bag of rice, I'm sure it'll be fine.
Might need to scrub the seat too. Or perhaps it can be saved and used to give a couple of specific Aussies a 'check ride' to confirm their statements regarding viability vs. baby seals...
 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
Might need to scrub the seat too. Or perhaps it can be saved and used to give a couple of specific Aussies a 'check ride' to confirm their statements regarding viability vs. baby seals...

Yeah, best hang one of those little pine tree air fresheners up in the pit, give it that "new jet" smell again, as opposed to some thing all the more funky.

Joking aside, CSG 21 has been an absolute blast to follow and I'm hoping it's sent a clear message to allies and potential foes alike about intent and capability.
 

Systems Adict

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
I caught a glimpse of this earlier today on Linked-IN

I'm actually gonna read the report (seeing as I'm off work till Jan 2022), but here's a link where you can download it...

UK Parliamentary Defence Committee Report


For them that aren't interested it's titled :

"We're going to need a Bigger Navy"

I've directly copied (verbatim), the summary below from another open source / UK Govt web page (Link below)

UK Parliamentary Defence Committee Report - Summary

"Summary
The next decade is one of significant risk. Everyone from the National Security Adviser to the Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service agrees that the international security environment is becoming more unstable. This instability is clear in the maritime domain, particularly with the rise of more assertive state adversaries, grey zone warfare and technological risk. At the same time the Royal Navy is being asked to take on increasing responsibilities, including taking the lead for Defence on the Government’s persistent engagement policy and Indo-Pacific tilt. What is needed is a realist assessment of capability against government ambition.

However, despite these threats, spending on the Navy and rest of Defence has been capped. Increased defence spending is required to address the numerous issues identified with the Navy’s current and future capabilities in this report. Funding is urgently needed to plug the delays and gaps the Navy faces in key capabilities in the next decade.

Government’s failure to fund the ha’porth of tar the Royal Navy needs has literally spoiled the ships. The fleet suffers from well documented problems with several key assets:

  • Budget cuts have delayed crucial procurement programmes. The Type 23 frigates and Trafalgar class submarines should have been replaced years ago, and it is becoming increasingly challenging and expensive to maintain aging vessels. The Navy has also taken too long to rectify major problems with vessels. One notable example is the issue with the Type 45 destroyers’ propulsion system: the six vessels are not scheduled to be fixed until 2028, and there are already signs that this target may be slipping. As a result of these failures too many of our high-end warships spend too much of their time unavailable for operations.
  • The latest Spending Review has tightened the Navy’s budget for operations and maintenance still further. Once inflation is accounted for the funding available actually falls. This is likely to lead to a reduction on operations and maintenance and the spectacle of yet more ships sitting in port, failing to deter our increasingly emboldened adversaries.
  • When ships do get to sea they act like porcupines - well defended herbivores with limited offensive capabilities. This is a result of decisions by successive Governments to limit budgets and prioritise defensive capabilities. What offensive capabilities these ships do have will be reduced even further in three years’ time when the Government retires the Harpoon anti-ship missile without a planned replacement. More money must be found to upgrade the Navy’s lethality and allow our ships to take the fight to the enemy.
  • Harpoon is only one example of the Government prioritising the budget over the strategic situation by cutting key capabilities in the next few years without proper replacements. The Navy will lose medical facilities when RFA Argus retires in 2024. Under current plans the fleet is also likely to spend several years unable to deliver support shipping and logistics or to monitor critical national infrastructure against interference by hostile states.
  • The fleet is increasingly reliant on allies for many capabilities, with a limited scope for sovereign action. The Government needs to be honest about the extent of its sovereign capability and must do more at the political level to ensure the Navy can rely on support from allies.
These significant challenges have not prevented the Navy delivering significant successes, most notably the commissioning of the two aircraft carriers and the 2021 carrier strike group deployment to the Indo-Pacific. However, they do raise concerns about the Navy’s ability to deliver the crucial transformations it has planned. To retain a leading edge over adversaries, the Navy must introduce the Naval Strike Network, which is intended to allow information to be shared across the fleet, but which is still ill defined, despite related systems being supposed to enter service in the middle of this decade. This is a crucial omission.

Towards the end of the decade in 2027–28 the Navy will begin transitioning multiple classes of vessel simultaneously. Crucially these plans must be delivered on schedule in order for the Navy to exit the period of risk that budgetary restrictions have placed it in. However, they face many structural and project-specific risks, and the Ministry of Defence’s track record on delivery is far from good.

Whenever we have investigated a failure, we have heard the customary mantra that “lessons have been learned”. Not only do we seriously doubt that this is the case, these projects are too important to the Navy’s credibility and the UK’s security to be treated as a learning opportunity. These projects therefore need greater scrutiny from Parliament and external stakeholders, and this requires the Government to be honest about its intentions and publish shipbuilding delivery plans.

In short, over the next five years or so, at least until the new classes of surface escorts come on stream, the Royal Navy will be asked to do even more with even less. This is a clear risk, which those beyond these shores can calculate just as readily as we can.

As we look to the future, the Navy’s fleet is too small and too specialised to meet the demands that will be placed on it over the next two decades. The escort fleet needs to double in size by acquiring more low-end capability to carry out low end tasks, alongside ships capable of carrying out the Navy’s high-end warfighting commitments. Attack submarine numbers should also grow to reflect the growing importance of the subsurface domain. Funding, personnel and support shipping must grow commensurately.

To deliver these new ships, the UK requires a strong domestic shipbuilding capability. Many current issues are the result of previous Governments refusing to accept the consistent recommendations that have been given by a variety of experts for the last fifteen years: provide a steady pipeline of work for British shipyards, prioritise building vessels in the UK, work collaboratively with industry, and promote exports. So far, the Government has not fully committed to following this advice: the refresh of the National Shipbuilding Strategy must change this. Properly supported, the UK’s shipbuilding industry must be able to deliver the new technologies that future vessels will need: modularity that can immediately add new capabilities to vessels and keep them upgraded with the latest equipment, autonomous vehicles that will expand the range and opportunity for a vessel to see or strike an adversary, and distributed operations that allow the whole fleet to share information and coordinate action. This will require significant investment in yard modernisation.
. "


SA
 

KiwiRob

Well-Known Member
To deliver these new ships, the UK requires a strong domestic shipbuilding capability. Many current issues are the result of previous Governments refusing to accept the consistent recommendations that have been given by a variety of experts for the last fifteen years: provide a steady pipeline of work for British shipyards, prioritise building vessels in the UK, work collaboratively with industry, and promote exports. So far, the Government has not fully committed to following this advice: the refresh of the National Shipbuilding Strategy must change this. Properly supported, the UK’s shipbuilding industry must be able to deliver the new technologies that future vessels will need: modularity that can immediately add new capabilities to vessels and keep them upgraded with the latest equipment, autonomous vehicles that will expand the range and opportunity for a vessel to see or strike an adversary, and distributed operations that allow the whole fleet to share information and coordinate action. This will require significant investment in yard modernisation.. "


SA
What domestic shipbuilding capability?

Cammell Laird - one large new build vessel in over a decade, and a couple of small car ferries
Fergusson Marine - two small ropax vessels in 10 years, the first still hasn't been handed over, the second is about 60% complete
Harland & Wolff - last newbuild vessel launched nearly 20 years ago
Appledore - closed, might reopen under new owners
Babcocks Rosyth - Building Type 31
BAe Glasgow - Building Type 26
BAe Barrow-in-Furness - Only builds submarines

Along 3 repair yards owned by A&P, and some small workboat builders dotted around the country, shipbuilding in the UK is a shadow of it's former self. Unless the govt is going to provide a steady stream of business, both military and commercial, along with pumping significant funding into apprenticeships, and relaunching the marine supply chain industry this is all just talk, the talk that been happening since I started working in the marine supply industry in 2007.
 

Musashi_kenshin

Well-Known Member
Unless the govt is going to provide a steady stream of business...
That's exactly what the report says. The government should ensure a steady order of ships that can sustain UK-based military shipbuilding rather than the feast or famine approach we've seen in recent decades.

There is a pie in the sky demand for the surface fleet to be doubled in size, but even a timely order of the Type 32s and Type 83s could help set up a more sustainable industry.
 

KiwiRob

Well-Known Member
That's exactly what the report says. The government should ensure a steady order of ships that can sustain UK-based military shipbuilding rather than the feast or famine approach we've seen in recent decades.

There is a pie in the sky demand for the surface fleet to be doubled in size, but even a timely order of the Type 32s and Type 83s could help set up a more sustainable industry.
As I also said they have been talking about this for for as long as I've been in the industry.

The industry isn't going to become self sustaining by just building military vessels. The supply chain needs for than 2/3 RN/RFA vessels per year. The UK supply chain is almost non existent, in my industry which is lighting, there are no companies building lights for commercial vessels in the UK, one UK company makes lighting for naval vessels, but their production is in India, there is one company making navigation lanterns (navy only), no UK company makes the panels to control them, there used to be several searchlight manufacturers, now there is only one. This is just lighting which isn't complex.

The UK fishing fleet needs more tonnage in post brexit Britain, yards could be building 4-5 trawlers per year, the offshore wind industry is gearing up, but yards aren't bidding for the support or instillation vessels, the oil industry still exists, there are dozens of support vessels based around the UK, none on them have been built by UK yards. P&O recently ordered two new cross channel ferries for the Dover Calais route, CalMac are looking for two new ships, after the disaster with Fergusson they aren't looking to build in the UK, ironic when Fergusson was nationalised and CalMac is also govt owned.

For the industry to thrive it needs to be a lot more than just naval vessels.
 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
That's exactly what the report says. The government should ensure a steady order of ships that can sustain UK-based military shipbuilding rather than the feast or famine approach we've seen in recent decades.

There is a pie in the sky demand for the surface fleet to be doubled in size, but even a timely order of the Type 32s and Type 83s could help set up a more sustainable industry.

Well, if say, the Type 31 and 32's were churned more frequently than frigates would have been in the past and a service life of 20 or so years followed by disposal, ideally on hot transfer to allied powers, then you might easily see enough numbers running to keep a construction industry running. It'd also be cheaper -with a fleet of relatively young ships, you can skip the expensive refits and repair bills at the end of their expected lives for instance.

We've seen how hard keeping ships on for 30 plus years can bite - the oldest in the fleet are always the most expensive, year on year.

I do think if someone presented a solid economic case on the benefits of serial production, yards constantly running, which reduces costs, the lack of need for as much complex refit work, higher availability - something that an accountant can get behind, then it would be possible.
 

Systems Adict

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
On TV at the beginning of the year in the UK, Channel 5 broadcast the 1st episode of their series "WARSHIP - Life at Sea". This season they're following the antics of HMS Northumberland, a Type 23 Frigate. The article below surfaced yesterday, before the 2nd episode airs...

Russian Submarine hit by Royal Navy warship Sonar

I think this 'series' is the 4th to follow the RN & hopefully, it's been syndicated so that it can be shown elsewhere...
 

KiwiRob

Well-Known Member
Well, if say, the Type 31 and 32's were churned more frequently than frigates would have been in the past and a service life of 20 or so years followed by disposal, ideally on hot transfer to allied powers, then you might easily see enough numbers running to keep a construction industry running. It'd also be cheaper -with a fleet of relatively young ships, you can skip the expensive refits and repair bills at the end of their expected lives for instance.

We've seen how hard keeping ships on for 30 plus years can bite - the oldest in the fleet are always the most expensive, year on year.

I do think if someone presented a solid economic case on the benefits of serial production, yards constantly running, which reduces costs, the lack of need for as much complex refit work, higher availability - something that an accountant can get behind, then it would be possible.
I was at the supplier conferences for Type 31 held by Babcocks and Cammel Laird, this is precisely what both consortiums were working to. The first batch of 5 was to be followed by a second batch of 5, which is IMO the Type 32.
 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
I was at the supplier conferences for Type 31 held by Babcocks and Cammel Laird, this is precisely what both consortiums were working to. The first batch of 5 was to be followed by a second batch of 5, which is IMO the Type 32.

Sounds logical and sensible to me. They do seem to have worked hard to create a decent assembly line which would be a bad move commercially if they built five and then wound the business up :)
 

Ananda

The Bunker Group

From this article seems more confirm that Type 32 will be more on Litoral duties and become mothership for UAS platforms. I don't know of this is right, for me it shown it will done a job that USN envision for those LCS.

In sense it is more of vessels for uncontested waters with not for potential peer to peer confrontation.
 
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Musashi_kenshin

Well-Known Member
From this article seems more confirm that Type 32 will be more on Litoral duties and become mothership for UAS platforms. I don't know of this is right, for me it shown it will done a job that USN envision for those LCS.
I think you've misread what isn't a very well written article.

The frigate has entered the concept design stage, so it's not possible to say what it will focus on. However, the last time a statement was made about the intent behind Type 32 was last year when the First Sea Lord said it was going to be a general purpose frigate. A general purpose frigate needs to be able to engage in a peer-to-peer conflict in some way.

The article doesn't say it will focus on littoral warfare. It just listed all the things the Type 32 might do. The Type 32 being a general purpose frigate is consistent with having autonomous systems as described by the minister. Indeed, Navy Lookout had an article back in 2020 about how the Type 32 could benefit from USVs to make up from the limitations of the Type 31 design, assuming it becomes the baseline of the Type 32.

Given the Type 32 is being designed to help bolster the Royal Navy's numbers, it would be really strange to make a specialised ship that couldn't really do other duties well, especially when they're not the Navy's priorities now.

Seems like a classic attempt to recycle old information to look like something new.
 
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