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Thread: OPV Replacement

  1. #2601
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    More telling is Canada is ordering 15 Type 26 frigates while the RN is only getting 8!
    As for the decline of the ship building this started right after the end of WW2 (sorry "The Emergency") with the end of Empire. The Merchant Navy went with the decline of the heavy industries and manufacturing. Without the civil base to sustain the yards they became reliant upon navy orders but not these too have dwindled. Sadly this may only be the start of a number of other yards going to the wall: Rosyth with the PoW starting sea trials next year the amount of work there will soon decline and if there is no Type31 order then it is bleak for new builds.
    Whens the MLU for the Type 45's coming up? Could that give some yardwork?

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    In terms of Appledore, there is reports that the MOD offered a package of 60 million worth of work to keep the yard open but Babcock wouldn't accept it, though I'm not sure what exactly they were meant to be working on. In terms of the River B2's there has been some shocking bits like those sheared bolts being glued on, but I think the first is about to enter service soon enough finally (though like us where the RN is going to find the manpower for them is another question). For Appledore itself given it's limited height and it's tidal fit out area I'm not really surprised that it's been increasingly in trouble in terms of viability.

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    Did the TOBA effect Applrdore?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    Did the TOBA effect Applrdore?
    Torsion bar Antenna?
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  6. #2605
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmit� View Post
    Torsion bar Antenna?

    Terms Of Business Agreement - why the RN is buying new OPVs

    https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/mod-...-patrol-ships/
    https://assets.publishing.service.go...ntREDACTED.pdf

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    It did, because Appledore got none of the work.
    Scotland, in return for not becoming independant, was promised work on the next generation of Frigate. However when the numbers of Type26 to be produced was reduced, the OPV was instead offerred as a sweetener, at roughly the same cost per unit as the frigate would have cost.
    Indeed, Cork has made more from the RN since the completion of the Aircraft carriers than Appledore has.
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  9. #2607
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmit� View Post
    Last time I checked there was two of them tied up at the Cruise Liner berth.
    Photo taken yesterday I think.
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  11. #2608
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    Yeah it was one of the other hulls in the GRaving Dock, saw her leave this afternoon, also saw some workers on the Deep Water during the week, think they were NI ones as the vans had orange licence plates, not Irish ones.

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    One of the Peacocks has been in the Graving dock.
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    Another Royal Navy supplier goes under – the closure of Appledore shipyard
    Unable to follow up their success building OPVs for export, and with no other orders forthcoming, last week Babcock made the sad announcement that the Appledore shipyard will close in March 2019. Here we examine the background and potential impacts of this decision.

    A history of boom and bust
    The Appledore yard has been building ships since 1855 under a variety of owners and has faced closure on at least 3 occasions, only to be saved by new buyers. In addition to naval vessels, historically the yard built commercial coasters, tugs, dredgers, ferries and large yachts. Since the 1990s the majority of the work has been naval, securing the contract to build three fine vessels for the RN, survey ships HMS Scott (1997), HMS Echo and HMS Enterprise (2002). The yard constructed blocks for the QEC aircraft carriers and delivered the first section of HMS Queen Elizabeth for assembly in Rosyth in 2010. Babcock scored a rare victory for UK warship exports in July 2010 when they won the contract to build three 90m OPVs for the Irish Naval Service (Average price £55M). The customer was very pleased with the ships and placed an order for a fourth and final vessel, the Lé George Bernard Shaw, delivered to Cobh on 11 October 2018.

    The main construction dry dock on the site was covered in 1970 and is 3,958m2, served by two 60-tonne overhead cranes which together can move fully outfitted blocks up to 100 tonnes for assembly. In addition, there is a 26m x 30m covered facility used to fabricate further units or build small craft. The outfitting and commissioning quay can accommodate vessels up to 200m in length.


    The last of more than 350 ships built by Appledore? Hull blocks of the of Lé George Bernard Shaw being assembled in the covered dry dock, Summer 2017 (Photo: Irish Naval Service)

    A community pays the price
    As work on the Irish OPVs has tailed off, for the past few months, 140 workers from the 199-strong Appledore workforce have been making a tiring 4-hour daily commute to and from Plymouth to work in Devonport Dockyard. Appledore’s workforce has been declining in size for some time but Babcock will not make anyone forcibly redundant, promising it will offer jobs at its other sites to the remaining 199 workers. This will probably entail the majority relocating permanently to Plymouth, Rosyth or Faslane. This will be an unwelcome upheaval but a less bleak future than for many shipyard workers who have faced redundancy elsewhere. The greatest impact will be felt by businesses in Appledore, Bideford and in the wider North Devon economy which has little manufacturing and is heavily reliant on farming and tourism.
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    Last edited by na grohmití; 5th November 2018 at 11:51.
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    Reasons for closure
    The ideal work for Appledore would be small-medium size commercial vessels, OPVs, minehunters or hydrographic ships for which there is no immediate UK demand and stiff foreign competition for overseas orders. Babcock has strengths in many areas but their history as an engineering service company does not equip them well to compete for new commercial ships in a very tough market. A strategy that relies almost entirely on naval work is high risk, especially after the work on the QE carriers was complete and in view of BAE System’s domination of the market. The revival of Cammell Laird and Ferguson creates further pressure on Appledore by adding capacity to UK shipbuilding.

    Steve Turner of the Unite union suggested that “At a stroke, ministers could secure the future of Appledore by lifting the delay to contract the Type 31e frigate programme and guaranteeing that the Royal Navy’s new fleet solid support vessels are designed and block built in yards across the UK”. This is a rather confused view of the situation. The Type 31e tendering process is already underway again and the brief pause and restart will have only a minimal delaying effect. Babcock is in a tough competition with BAE Systems and Cammell Laird and the odds of them winning are about even. Type 31e is scheduled to be a very rapidly implemented program by historical standards, even if Babcock win the contract, first steel would not be cut until the second quarter of 2020.

    Although the yard could potentially construct parts of the ships, in truth Babcock is not dependent on Appledore to in order to construct Type 31e. They have considerable capacity at Rosyth for both construction and assembly where £100 million was invested in infrastructure to support the build of the QE carriers. Number 1 dock is of sufficient size for two Arrowhead 140 frigates to be constructed simultaneously. (Although this raises interesting questions about alternative options for dry-docking for the aircraft carriers) There is speculation Babcock is negotiating to purchase the Goliath crane from the Aircraft Carrier Alliance so it could be used to assemble frigates or potentially, the FSS.

    The Babcock-led ‘Team 31’ consortium also includes partnerships with other shipbuilders, Ferguson (Glasgow) and Harland & Wolff (Belfast). At a media briefing as recently as May 2018, Babcock stated their plan was Appledore would build midships superstructure sections of Arrowhead, while the bow would be built by Ferguson and hull blocks by H&W. The closure of Appledore will see this plan revised, probably with more blocks fabricated at Rosyth or in Belfast.

    The FSS design is at a very early stage, even if a UK based consortium were to win the construction contract (far from certain), steel for FSS would not be cut until late 2020. In other words, even if Babcock are involved in Type 31 and/or FSS, there would be a gap of at least 18 months before any work begins and the capacity exists in other yards British anyway.

    Appledore represents spare naval construction capacity right the moment when there is a lull in new ship construction happening in the UK. Only the BAE Systems yards on the Clyde with their Type 26 frigate order book can look forward to the next decade with absolute certainty. Even Cammell Laird, flush with recent successes in winning ship repair contracts and the construction of RSS Sir David Attenborough, is contemplating making 290 workers redundant in March 2019, mainly due to a lack of steel fabrication work.

    HMS Echo and HMS Enterprise fitting out at Appledore in 2002.
    Who dropped the ball?
    It is certainly fair to blame governments going back several decades for lack of coherent defence industrial strategy. Most seriously, they are also culpable for the dangerous long-term decline in size of the Royal Navy that has inevitably led to many shipyard closures. Whether blame should fall on the current administration for the end of Appledore is less clear-cut. The National Shipbuilding Strategy is an attempt to address some of the problems and there is a significant long-term naval shipbuilding plan in place. Committing to building the FSS in the UK might help British shipbuilding as a whole but would not guarantee Appledore a future. There are many vessels of all kinds that might be desirable for the RN which Appledore could theoretically construct. Unfortunately, there are not the funds, designs or plans in place to rapidly order new vessels to sustain the yard. The last hope to keep the yard open was a contract to build an OPV for the Armed Forces of Malta but an Italian yard won that competition.

    The Defence Secretary visited the yard in January 2018 and was clearly trying to do what he could to help. In a letter he sent to the local MP dated 31st October, it was revealed that the MoD had offered to bring forward a £60 million package of work allocated to Devonport to provide work for Appledore. Neither the MoD or Babcock are willing to comment on the nature of the work or why Babcock did not feel it was a viable solution.

    An explosive report on the performance Babcock was published in early October by little-known stock market analysts Boatman Capital Research who made serious criticisms of the company, enough to reduce its share price. Subsequently, other well-respected stock market analysts have rebutted most of the allegations in the report. Among the unsubstantiated claims, Boatman claims Babcock have “a terrible relationship with the MoD” and have been taking cash out of the Appledore shipyard subsidiary company, knowing its closure was inevitable. Whatever there veracity of these claims, Boatman clearly does not properly understand the shipbuilding landscape and make misleading assertions that “The Royal Navy’s MARS Fleet Tanker support vessels are to be built in South Korea and Appledore is slated to do the fit-out work” and “if [Babcock] shut Appledore it will struggle to win future Naval construction work, particularly the Type 31e frigate”. In 2017-18 Appledore generated just £24 million of Babcock Group’s total revenue of £5.4 Billion. The public relations dimension to the closure may be of more concern to the company than the financial impact.

    Campaigns, petitions and marches urging Government to “Save Appledore Shipyard [or insert industrial concern of your choice here]” are almost always doomed to failure without a viable commercial plan in place. The yard has some future strategic value and there is much sympathy for the workforce but is the MoD expected to suddenly order new vessels that are outside the equipment plan agreed in the 2015 SDSR, just to support a single commercial entity? The MoD points out the South West already benefits from its largest spend per-head of any region in the UK, totalling £4.4bn in 2017. It would be interesting to hear what the Labour Party, who naturally supported the Union-sponsored campaign propose as the solution. A subsidy to keep the yard in mothballs for a couple of years, while the workforce continues to be temporarily deployed elsewhere might be a partial answer, but one a cash-strapped MoD is unlikely to consider a priority.
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    Last edited by na grohmití; 5th November 2018 at 11:54.
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  17. #2612
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    What future?
    From the Navy’s perspective, any closure of its supporting industries that reduce future options must be seen as bad news. The BAES Portsmouth facility was closed at the end of 2015 and after the brief ‘aircraft carrier boom’, just three years later another English facility is to be lost. Closing another shipyards is hardly sensible in broad strategic terms for an island nation and the threat of Scottish independence has not fully receded. There may also come a time when a significant expansion of the Royal Navy is imperative and every shipyard would be needed.

    Although Babcock will end their interest in the yard, the site remains owned by Langham Industries and business leaders in Devon are holding out hopes the yard might be sold as a going concern to a new buyer. Appledore has a history of coming back from the brink, having been on the verge of closure several times before. Perhaps a buyer with a new vision could still harness the considerable potential that remains. In common with the fate of so much of Britain’s maritime infrastructure, redevelopment into a marina with expensive riverside apartments is probably the depressing future alternative for the site.

    The first blocks of HMS Queen Elizabeth to be completed leave Appledore in April 2010 for assembly in Rosyth
    3/3

    https://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/ano...dore-shipyard/
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  19. #2613
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    Wipers need work....
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    Still no main armament fitted.
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    I take that back, Armament fitted since those photos were taken.
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  24. #2616
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmitÃ* View Post
    I take that back, Armament fitted since those photos were taken.



    Interesting angles there...
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  26. #2617
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    Interesting angles there...[/QUOTE]

    A Euro 50m ship with a refurbished gun suitable for FP/police duties. What ammo types can be used effectively, against what range of targets. on sea, in the air, and on shore. This gun will cover, through right ahead, about 135 degrees either side, leaving after end to Light and Heavy MG from 7.62 mm to 20mm. Is the gun matched to it's own director only or is there also radar acquisition?

  27. #2618
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    Quote Originally Posted by ancientmariner View Post
    Interesting angles there...
    A Euro 50m ship with a refurbished gun suitable for FP/police duties. What ammo types can be used effectively, against what range of targets. on sea, in the air, and on shore. This gun will cover, through right ahead, about 135 degrees either side, leaving after end to Light and Heavy MG from 7.62 mm to 20mm. Is the gun matched to it's own director only or is there also radar acquisition?[/QUOTE]

    If I could just add that the manufacturers sell the NEW gun as an anti-missile/anti aircraft weapon, with antiship and shore bombardment as a secondary role. The unit cost of a NEW gun is about Euro 1.7m or 2m USD depending on number ordered etc.

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  29. #2619
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    Quote Originally Posted by ancientmariner View Post
    A Euro 50m ship with a refurbished gun suitable for FP/police duties. What ammo types can be used effectively, against what range of targets. on sea, in the air, and on shore. This gun will cover, through right ahead, about 135 degrees either side, leaving after end to Light and Heavy MG from 7.62 mm to 20mm. Is the gun matched to it's own director only or is there also radar acquisition?
    If I could just add that the manufacturers sell the NEW gun as an anti-missile/anti aircraft weapon, with antiship and shore bombardment as a secondary role. The unit cost of a NEW gun is about Euro 1.7m or 2m USD depending on number ordered etc.[/QUOTE]

    Not sure where to put this thread. our friends in the Maltese Armed Forces have just signed a contract for a new OPV complete with flight deck, and depicting a helicopter on deck. It is a single funnel on C/L so I assume no hangar. One lower calibre gun, boats recessed, also stern launch /dock for boatwork. Two radars with tracking on one for helo. Video available on their website. Desig. P71.

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  31. #2620
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    The unit costs of the P60s is around €67m incl VAT, of this €5-6m is the cost of a refurbished 76/62mm, a new build would be of the uprated SR version which would be closer to €8-9m each. The Strales version will be more in the €12-15m bracket. Even something like the MLG27 or Marlin 30 will be €1.5-2m each. The smaller 50cal RWS are just under €0.5m. Main reason for the high cost is the extremely low volume of production and the cost of the associated manufacturing plant.

    To give an idea of the system and armament cost, the Sa'ar 6 project is interesting. The vessels themselves will cost around €110m each but once equipped with GFE this rises to €250m.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ancientmariner View Post
    Not sure where to put this thread. our friends in the Maltese Armed Forces have just signed a contract for a new OPV complete with flight deck, and depicting a helicopter on deck. It is a single funnel on C/L so I assume no hangar. One lower calibre gun, boats recessed, also stern launch /dock for boatwork. Two radars with tracking on one for helo. Video available on their website. Desig. P71.
    Price tag of €35m.....
    https://www.timesofmalta.com/article...lagship.699503


    https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/92308/watch_armed_forces_to_take_delivery_of_new_more_ca pable_patrol_boat_next_year#.XEGv_nnrvIU


    And landing a AW-139 on the back, hope no one in the Don sees that!

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  35. #2622
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    https://youtu.be/ANejsePvq1Q

    I’d say there’s a big difference between its seakeeping and the P60s.

    It’s 4 metres shorter than Roisin

    Well the Don did send a team to assist in AW139 training to Malta
    Last edited by DeV; 18th January 2019 at 19:33.

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    Any update on commissioning of GBS or are they have problems with the weapon/work up ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    https://youtu.be/ANejsePvq1Q

    I’d say there’s a big difference between its seakeeping and the P60s.

    It’s 4 metres shorter than Roisin
    Seems to be a lot for the money, she will be a big step up from what they have today. Would like to see some more details on her but I would expect compared to the Peacocks she would be a big improvement. She seems to have a covered mission deck below the landing deck and two deck hatches for 20ft containers. THis would mean that she would be able to be equipped with containerised MCM equipment.

    Although she has no hanger at the moment (there are no folding rotor AW-139s) the aft structure looks likel it cold be modified with an extending hanger so common on Italian ships. But given that she will nt be operating so far from shore it is not an urgent item.
    Last edited by EUFighter; 18th January 2019 at 15:59.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    Seems to be a lot for the money, she will be a big step up from what they have today. Would like to see some more details on her but I would expect compared to the Peacocks she would be a big improvement. She seems to have a covered mission deck below the landing deck and two deck hatches for 20ft containers. THis would mean that she would be able to be equipped with containerised MCM equipment.

    Although she has no hanger at the moment (there are no folding rotor AW-139s) the aft structure looks likel it cold be modified with an extending hanger so common on Italian ships. But given that she will nt be operating so far from shore it is not an urgent item.
    Not that much of a step really. The other OPV (italian made) P61 also has a deck capable of operating an AW139.
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