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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galloglass View Post
    At the right price? Absolutely.....They seem good enough for a NATO country right now. They have ordered 5 (virtually identical) Batch 2 OPVs. Heres a link you might have a look at. http://ukarmedforcescommentary.blogs...questions.html
    They are ordering more because its either that or just give the money straight to BAE for nothing, they don't have a choice under agreements and the inability of both sides to get the 26 design into construction. Doesn't mean that its the best value for money.

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  3. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by spider View Post
    True.

    But The Admiralty are still getting 13 of those as well.

    As a minimum...their aspiration is to push the escort fleet up beyond 19 hulls again by 2030.
    No they are getting 8 and "something else" will happen in another 10+ years (at which point the SSBN build will be eating the budget, most likely a new SSN design is on the way with even more costs, the 45 might be going to Mark 41's and BMD, all costing a chunk of money). Given the post Cold War British Government policy, I'm betting a future Review is going to throw out the same line as the 45's in that "new technology means we don't need as many hulls". Even if the follow on "Lite Frigate" does get ordered how likely is it to be in service before 2030? Since the 26's won't be in service till the 2020's now?

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  5. #28
    CQMS spider's Avatar
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    Sparky, the 2015 SDSR has stated that the RN will receive 8 ASW frigates plus 5 GP frigates as a hill for hull replacement of the T23. That makes sense given that only 8 T23 have been or will be upgraded to the latest sonar fit. No-one ever expected 13 T26 ASW variants.

    Your speculation that that will not happen is at this stage just that. Speculation.

    We could also speculate that given a resurgent threat from Russia, and the current rumblings going on in the Far East that we may see the RN expanded further at the next SDSR, which is due in 2020. But there's no point, we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

    Meantime the RN continues to plan for a frigate fleet of 13 hulls, a one for one replacement of T23, with the aspiration to increase the number of frigate hills by the 2030s.

    That's what the SDSR says...that'll be what the RN and HM Government are planning for...that's what I assume will happen until I hear otherwise.

    If I'm still above ground I'll have hung u my boots by then and will be merely an interested observer 😃
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  6. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by spider View Post
    Sparky, the 2015 SDSR has stated that the RN will receive 8 ASW frigates plus 5 GP frigates as a hill for hull replacement of the T23. That makes sense given that only 8 T23 have been or will be upgraded to the latest sonar fit. No-one ever expected 13 T26 ASW variants.

    Your speculation that that will not happen is at this stage just that. Speculation.

    We could also speculate that given a resurgent threat from Russia, and the current rumblings going on in the Far East that we may see the RN expanded further at the next SDSR, which is due in 2020. But there's no point, we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

    Meantime the RN continues to plan for a frigate fleet of 13 hulls, a one for one replacement of T23, with the aspiration to increase the number of frigate hills by the 2030s.

    That's what the SDSR says...that'll be what the RN and HM Government are planning for...that's what I assume will happen until I hear otherwise.

    If I'm still above ground I'll have hung u my boots by then and will be merely an interested observer 😃
    I know what the Review says, I'm just deeply doubtful about it happening, how "cheap" is this "Light Frigate" going to be, since the 26's were meant to be around £400 million with export potential and we know how that turned out to be. Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't previous Review's have higher numbers of SSN's and a near 1 for 1 replacement of the 42's with the 45's which then got cut in slices quietly? Like I said, most likely the Lite Frigate design is going to have to be done when the RN ship budget is already going to be under pressure and certainly not going to be in service before 2030, let alone enlarging the numbers beyond 19 by 2030. Certainly nobody expected 13 ASW 26's, but when it was planned to have exports and "affordability" the other five were going to be GP of the same hull, I wonder when we get to number 8 of the 26 with the design work done and the yard experienced with the design how the unit price will compare to the cost of the First of the Lite Frigates?

  7. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky42 View Post
    They are ordering more because its either that or just give the money straight to BAE for nothing, they don't have a choice under agreements and the inability of both sides to get the 26 design into construction. Doesn't mean that its the best value for money.
    Never said the NEW orders were "value for money" the price is bogus. If the British wish to sell the Rivers (Batch 1) they will be cheap and great value though.

  8. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galloglass View Post
    Never said the NEW orders were "value for money" the price is bogus. If the British wish to sell the Rivers (Batch 1) they will be cheap and great value though.
    They won't
    Just visiting

  9. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galloglass View Post
    Never said the NEW orders were "value for money" the price is bogus. If the British wish to sell the Rivers (Batch 1) they will be cheap and great value though.
    I doubt that. They have already cost the UK government £39m to buy, on top of the £52m the lease cost from 2008 to 2013, and the initial lease cost of £63m. That's £154m+ spent in just 12 years. If they were any good, they wouldn't be getting rid of them. The cost of the Batch III Rivers will mean the First sea lord will be hoping to get as much as possible for the ships he is abandoning.
    There was uproar here when we decided to auction one of our 40 year old ships for 15% of her build cost price(not indexed). The UK, a nation that actually has an interest in what its navy does will be equally irate. They were livid when Charlie swooped in to buy the Peacocks at giveaway price. They Cost £7.4m Each when built in 1984 by Hall Russell. Ireland bought them in 1988 for less than the price of one.

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  11. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmití View Post
    ...If they were any good, they wouldn't be getting rid of them...
    this isn't quite true.

    if the original, batch 1 Rivers do go, it will almost certainly not be because the ships themselves are useless, but because the RN has something better to put their crews in.

    a 60,000 ton aircraft carrier for example...

    manning in the RN is tight, we all know that. if you were the RN, and you could either crew the 3 B1 Rivers, or bring the Carrier into service quicker, with air ops ahead of previous schedule, which would you do?

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  13. #34
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    The River Batch 1s are being (unnecessarily)replaced by River Batch 3s at a cost of UK£ 348 million for 3.

    In comparison, the P61 class are costing in the region of UK£ 145 million.


    The only reason they are being purchased is that otherwise HMG would have to hand over UK£ 230 million to BAe for the 2 years the yards the were idle.

    The RN has been recruiting the equivalent of direct entry PO/ERAs as they can't crew the ships they have.
    Last edited by DeV; 3rd January 2016 at 10:50.

  14. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    this isn't quite true.

    if the original, batch 1 Rivers do go, it will almost certainly not be because the ships themselves are useless, but because the RN has something better to put their crews in.

    a 60,000 ton aircraft carrier for example...

    manning in the RN is tight, we all know that. if you were the RN, and you could either crew the 3 B1 Rivers, or bring the Carrier into service quicker, with air ops ahead of previous schedule, which would you do?
    The way the RN works, that isn't really a valid comparison. Its ship crews are specialised in certain skills. The crew of an OPV(or three) will have little to do aboard a Carrier, whether it has aircraft or not. Not to mention their fishery protection experience going to waste while searching for fod on an empty flight deck.

  15. #36
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    @ Sparky...again you are speculating. We're going around in circles.

    Current UK Defence planning is for 13 frigates...8 ASW...5 GP...with an aspiration to increase frigate hulls in the 2030's.

    Will that happen...at this stage I'm assuming that it will.


    @ Dev...you are right...the only reason these OPV's are being built is because the build date for T26 has slipped the MOD are caught by BAE with a contractual clause (thank you Labour Government...remember Nimrod etc).

    So £348 million pounds has to be spent.

    Who gets what out of that?

    Firstly, UK PLC gets to maintain the skills needed to build warships, a key aspect of our defence policy...and something which once lost would be very difficult to resurrect.

    Secondly, Begby and his mates up in Govan get to keep their jobs, thus benefitting the local economy and indeed the Treasury as VAT, taxes etc go back into government coffers.

    Thirdly, their Lordships in the Admiralty. How i see it is they get three (plus two more since SDSR15) new OPV's. They will replace the Batch 1 Rivers which are older, smaller and less capable than the Batch 1's. Crucially they incorporate a flight deck capable of operating a helicopter up to the size of a Merlin. That's a massive uplift in capability. There will be more of these OPV's, giving welcome flexibility in the ability for the Royal Navy to maintain a global footprint. Yes they are costly, but producing a domestically built warship is IMHO worth paying extra for...and this has to be seen in the context of a £160 Billion re-equipping programme for the UK Armed Forces.

    So whatever the reasons...the Royal Navy are getting 3 (+2) new OPV's.

    The Batch 1 Rivers will be sold as the Royal Navy won't have the people to crew them.

    They will be replaced with ships which can do more...and be in more places.

    Glass half empty...or half full?

    If I was The First Sea Lord I'd be pretty happy about that.
    'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

  16. #37
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spider View Post
    @ Sparky...again you are speculating. We're going around in circles.

    Current UK Defence planning is for 13 frigates...8 ASW...5 GP...with an aspiration to increase frigate hulls in the 2030's.

    Will that happen...at this stage I'm assuming that it will.


    @ Dev...you are right...the only reason these OPV's are being built is because the build date for T26 has slipped the MOD are caught by BAE with a contractual clause (thank you Labour Government...remember Nimrod etc).

    So £348 million pounds has to be spent.

    Who gets what out of that?

    Firstly, UK PLC gets to maintain the skills needed to build warships, a key aspect of our defence policy...and something which once lost would be very difficult to resurrect.

    Secondly, Begby and his mates up in Govan get to keep their jobs, thus benefitting the local economy and indeed the Treasury as VAT, taxes etc go back into government coffers.

    Thirdly, their Lordships in the Admiralty. How i see it is they get three (plus two more since SDSR15) new OPV's. They will replace the Batch 1 Rivers which are older, smaller and less capable than the Batch 1's. Crucially they incorporate a flight deck capable of operating a helicopter up to the size of a Merlin. That's a massive uplift in capability. There will be more of these OPV's, giving welcome flexibility in the ability for the Royal Navy to maintain a global footprint. Yes they are costly, but producing a domestically built warship is IMHO worth paying extra for...and this has to be seen in the context of a £160 Billion re-equipping programme for the UK Armed Forces.

    So whatever the reasons...the Royal Navy are getting 3 (+2) new OPV's.

    The Batch 1 Rivers will be sold as the Royal Navy won't have the people to crew them.

    They will be replaced with ships which can do more...and be in more places.

    Glass half empty...or half full?

    If I was The First Sea Lord I'd be pretty happy about that.
    There are benefits of course but we all know that due to this there will be less money for the vessels that are really needed (frigates).

    The long and the short of it is the MoD got ripped off!

    The questions need to be asked as to why the BAe yards aren't getting the work - too expensive

  17. #38
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    All the talk of skill loss etc was raised here with Verlohme in Cork, the yard was shut and the country did not fall apart. As I understand it defence spending is largely exempt from EEC tendering ,keeping shipyards open at any cost with extravagant defence contracts is a fallacy for an open economy.

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  19. #39
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    [QUOTE=na grohmití;436145]

    "I doubt that...... If they were any good, they wouldn't be getting rid of them......They were livid when Charlie swooped in to buy the Peacocks at giveaway price."

    They "got rid" of the Peacocks and they will "get rid" of the Batch1 Rivers unless they get sense.
    The Batch1 differ little from the new Batch2. Anybody who thinks the "RN" will be "patrolling" the North Atlantic with Merlins lashed on their backs is idiotic. The other "improvments" are spurious and in total cost about £140 million in "development" (the actual cost of the build for the first three Batch 2) The £360million "investment" in Scottish shipbuilding was simply a political con in which BAE co-operated with Westminster.
    As the NS doesn't require an improved helideck the Batch 1 would be ideal for our needs. The ships are recognised by the British as being successful at their task and not in need of replacement and there are many valiantly arguing for their retention to make a squadron of 8 River OPVs. Should the Batch 1 come to market they will be sold cheaply. At a guess I think two could be bought for less than the cost of a P60. (How much will 2 bespoke minehunting CPVs cost?) If they become available buy them and look at a replacement for LE Eithne. Obviously I still maintain that 2 P60s would be preferable to CPVs (as does the poll above)

  20. #40
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    There's too many if's, should's and could's in your posts galloglass, the rivers have already been discussed to ****ing death in this thread.
    Everyone who's ever loved you was wrong.

  21. #41
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    Any chance we can bring this topic back on track? Aircraft carriers? Royal navy selling opvs to support local industry...

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  23. #42
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    Good discussion...a couple of quick points.

    @Dev...I don't agree that they got ripped off...their paying over the odds for three OPV's but its about more than the price of those ships as I've already said.

    @danno...completely different situation. Maintaining domestic warship building is a key facet of UK defence policy (that's why Devs persistent argument that these ships are a rip-off is just a bit too simplistic).

    @Gallowglass...who suggested that these OPV's would be patrolling the North Atlantic with Merlins lashed to their decks? Certainly not me.

    @na grohmiti...rodger that...I started the thread...and I'm still a Damon Stan fan.
    'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

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  25. #43
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    It may be that the NS has sorted itself out with Peacock replacements before the B 1 Rs come on the market. Should the NS ever have to consider them I reckon there will be a fair few moaning that the B 1 Rs are not fit for the NS as they do not sport 76mms up for'ad.

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  27. #44
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    Spider, keeping expensive /low productivity yards in being because its a defence facility is nonsense given that the OPVs are lowend units and could be built abroad as is the case with the RFA tankers at a fraction of the cost now proposed. It is/was open to HM Gov to build another 1-2 T45s which would tick the boxes by getting value for the taxpaying subjects, keeping highend skillsets in being and most importantly letting the RN have a greater number of relevant hulls available for blue water ops. The policy of yard retention at any cost is going to come adrift in c.10 years time when the T26s are delivered with nothing else needing replacement. It appears to me that retention of the yards has a higher priority than the capabilities/orbat of the RN. Yet another dog gets wagged by the tail.

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  29. #45
    Lt General Bravo20's Avatar
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    The downside to buying the River 1 class is that you are already 13 years into a notional 30-35 year lifespan.

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  31. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bravo20 View Post
    The downside to buying the River 1 class is that you are already 13 years into a notional 30-35 year lifespan.
    there are any number of downsides to buying River B1's - logistics, maintainance and training standardisation, the use of a third of their lifespan, the thing where i've written 50 times that the NS should never buy another vessel that doesn't have a flight deck... however, the judgement is not this vessel vs that vessel - we all know which is the better vessel (SB batch 2 with flight deck), the judgement is going to be would you prefer 1 SB batch 2, or 3 Rivers. we all know that the through life costs are going to be very different, but 3 vessels (that can do the job, not as well, and without much in the way of room for future cababilities..) for the same price as one Super SB is going to look very attractive to politicians.

    the question is, if the question genuinely comes down to one or two EPV's (flight deck etc...) or 3 River B1's with all their limitations, which should it be...

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  33. #47
    Lt General Bravo20's Avatar
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    I found it interesting how the RN funded the purchase of these ships

    "Tyne, Severn and Mersey[edit]
    The ships are significantly larger than the Island-class vessels and have a large open deck aft allowing them to be fitted with equipment for a specific role, which can include fire-fighting, disaster relief and anti-pollution work. For this purpose, a 25 tonne capacity crane is fitted. In addition, the deck is strong enough for the transport of various tracked and wheeled light vehicles, or an LCVP.

    Initially the three ships were not owned by the Royal Navy. They were constructed under an arrangement with the shipbuilder, Vosper Thornycroft (VT), under which the Royal Navy leased the vessels from the shipbuilder for a period of ten years. VT were responsible for all maintenance and support for the ships during the charter period. At the end of this, the Navy could then either return the ships, renew the lease or purchase them outright. In September 2012, it was announced by the Defence Secretary Philip Hammond that the Ministry of Defence had purchased the vessels for £39 million.[8]
    [edit]

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  35. #48
    CQMS spider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danno View Post
    Spider, keeping expensive /low productivity yards in being because its a defence facility is nonsense given that the OPVs are lowend units and could be built abroad as is the case with the RFA tankers at a fraction of the cost now proposed. It is/was open to HM Gov to build another 1-2 T45s which would tick the boxes by getting value for the taxpaying subjects, keeping highend skillsets in being and most importantly letting the RN have a greater number of relevant hulls available for blue water ops. The policy of yard retention at any cost is going to come adrift in c.10 years time when the T26s are delivered with nothing else needing replacement. It appears to me that retention of the yards has a higher priority than the capabilities/orbat of the RN. Yet another dog gets wagged by the tail.
    Quote Originally Posted by danno View Post
    Spider, keeping expensive /low productivity yards in being because its a defence facility is nonsense given that the OPVs are lowend units and could be built abroad as is the case with the RFA tankers at a fraction of the cost now proposed. It is/was open to HM Gov to build another 1-2 T45s which would tick the boxes by getting value for the taxpaying subjects, keeping highend skillsets in being and most importantly letting the RN have a greater number of relevant hulls available for blue water ops. The policy of yard retention at any cost is going to come adrift in c.10 years time when the T26s are delivered with nothing else needing replacement. It appears to me that retention of the yards has a higher priority than the capabilities/orbat of the RN. Yet another dog gets wagged by the tail.
    You are of course entitled to your opinion Danno...but...

    Its not a nonsense...its a question of National Security...something HM Government takes rather seriously.

    And they're willing to throw money at it to preserve that capability.

    The Type 45 programme cost just over £6 Billion...maybe they could have produced two more for just under a billion each...but not much under.

    In any case an awful lot more than £348 million.

    Would you build and task a Type 45 with the type of deployments these OPV's are likely to be given...Caribbean / Falklands / Persian Gulf standing patrols?

    I've said it before and I'll say it again...the T45 are about the aircraft carriers. That's their reason for being.

    I's argue against your assertion that there won't be any ships to build in another ten years time.

    T26 plus the GP version are set to run into the early 2030's (the first T23 isn't due OOS until 2022 / 23)...by which time the Royal Navy's assault ships, survey fleet and minehunters will be due replacement, along with various RFA's. And by that stage I'd guess they'll be beginning to look at a replacement for T45...

    Anyway...Batch 1 Rivers x3 vs Sam Beckett x2...if it came to that I'd go with two new ships.

    Or alternatively...bite the bullet...spend some money on a design phase and design / have built your own class of CPV's suited to your requirements.
    'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

  36. #49
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spider View Post
    Its not a nonsense...its a question of National Security...something HM Government takes rather seriously.

    And they're willing to throw money at it to preserve that capability.
    That is the excuse, the days of having the luxury of time to build more vessels in wartime are long gone!

    It is about jobs and votes plain and simple




    The Type 45 programme cost just over £6 Billion...maybe they could have produced two more for just under a billion each...but not much under.
    the cutting of hull numbers and constant changes (like most MOD projects), must the cost and development time


    Would you build and task a Type 45 with the type of deployments these OPV's are likely to be given...Caribbean / Falklands / Persian Gulf standing patrols?
    Frigates and RFAs are currently being tasked

    I've said it before and I'll say it again...the T45 are about the aircraft carriers. That's their reason for being.
    which is an issue! The RN have forgotten (when deciding how many to order), that they potentionally have 2 CBGs, 2+ ABGs and replenishment groups etc.

    I'd argue against your assertion that there won't be any ships to build in another ten years.
    i'd agree (but those being built should have already been delivered

    T26 plus the GP version are set to run into the early 2030's (the first T23 isn't due OOS until 2022 / 23)...
    already in development since 1998

    Anyway...Batch 1 Rivers x3 vs Sam Beckett x2...if it came to that I'd go with two new ships.

    Or alternatively...bite the bullet...spend some money on a design phase and design / have built your own class of CPV's suited to your requirements.
    The P61 class is more capable that the River Batch 1s.

    Anyway, there will not be any additional OPVs (Rivers, P61 class or anything else) until the 2 CPVs are replaced (with new CPVs) and Eithne is replaced (with a MRV).

  37. #50
    CQMS spider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    That is the excuse, the days of having the luxury of time to build more vessels in wartime are long gone!

    It is about jobs and votes plain and simple




    the cutting of hull numbers and constant changes (like most MOD projects), must the cost and development time


    Frigates and RFAs are currently being tasked

    which is an issue! The RN have forgotten (when deciding how many to order), that they potentionally have 2 CBGs, 2+ ABGs and replenishment groups etc.

    i'd agree (but those being built should have already been delivered

    already in development since 1998



    The P61 class is more capable that the River Batch 1s.

    Anyway, there will not be any additional OPVs (Rivers, P61 class or anything else) until the 2 CPVs are replaced (with new CPVs) and Eithne is replaced (with a MRV).
    Dev, I have no idea how to split up your post as you have mine, so forgive me... I'll have to deal with each point in turn.

    1. 'That is the excuse'...You're partly right...its about jobs...I did say that about eight posts back. But its more complicated than that. Have a read at this which will give you an indication of why HM Government are committed to retaining a sovereign warship building capability. http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/policy-ins...t-a-burden.pdf I will patiently await your reply once you've had a read at that for starters. Your assertion that it is about votes is interesting...because that hasn't really worked out for either Labour or the Conservatives up in Glasgow...has it?

    2. 'Cutting of hull numbers'...that doesn't really read properly but if you are trying to say that development costs led to hull numbers on T45 being cut then I'd agree, that's why I believe another two hulls could have been delivered for slightly less.

    3. 'Frigates and RFA's are currently being tasked'...well isn't that the point? That the five new OPV's will help take the strain off an over-employed escort fleet?

    4. 'The RN have forgotten'...now I'm Army not Navy but I'm pretty sure the Lords and Masters of the Royal Navy know exactly what they will or won't be able to do with all their shiny new toys. I'm happy to be proven wrong but short of a world war, in which case the Royal Navy will be operating as part of a global coalition, I can't see a conflict scenario where they will ever deploy more than one carrier group or amphibious warfare group at a time.

    5. 'I'd agree'...that's a little confusing...the only surface ships currently in build for the RN are the Queen Elizabeth Class and the Batch 2 River OPV's. They won't even cut the steel on T26 for at least a couple of years.

    6. 'Already in development since 1998'...I know...but what has that to do with the fact that they will be built on a rolling programme to replace the T23's up to the early 2030's?

    7. 'P61 class is more capable'...I'm sure they are...different role...10-12 years more modern...wouldn't doubt it.

    8. ' Anyway, there will not be any additional OPVs (Rivers, P61 class or anything else) until the 2 CPVs are replaced (with new CPVs) and Eithne is replaced (with a MRV)'...can we run a book on this? What odds are you offering?
    'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

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