How about a little one man turret .
How about a little one man turret .
Don't spit in my Bouillabaisse .
Given the locations of some of the mountings..I'll watch with interestIt is across the fleet but as they are to removable they can be fitted to any new vessels
Unlikely all boats will be in hotspots simultaenously.
Ships not boats...
Ships carry boats, boats dont carry ships......
1. Main Armament, 4 inch 31pounder. A large calibre with 12km max range. The French 100mm Modele 68 is the obvious like for like but these are being replaced in french service with the Oto Melara 76mm, so we have that right.
2. 1x AHTW (Hedgehog) which was seen as an anti submarine defence weapon. Homing Torpedoes and ASROC have replaced the Anti Submarine Mortar mostly worldwide, except for in Russian Service. ASROC has become part of the VLS payload since the late 90s. If we are not going the VSL route then the Mk54 LHT seems the obvious successor, mounted on a pair of Mk 32 launching tubes.
3. 4x 20mm Oerlikons. An Anti Aircraft Heavy machine gun, firing the 20mm x 110 cartridge, similar in punch to the 12.7mm x 99mm HMG. We used them up to very recently on the OPVs, first replacing them with the GAMBO on the P20 types, then eventually with the Rhein-Metall RH202 which has a much larger 20mm x 139mm cartridge. For point defence though the apparent successor is the MLG27 RWS. It is as easy to mount 4 as 2.
4. 1x QF2 pounder AA Gun. The Pom-Pom was already dated when it entered service on the Corvettes, and was replaced on many hulls by the Bofors 40mm following experiences gained against Kamakaze attack. To this end it is more last line of defence than the RWS above. Modern equivalents to me would be the RAM or CIWS. If european weapons are to be considered, the Oerlikon Millenium 35mm is the modern pom-pom, as seen on the Danish Absalon class and others.
5. 4x DC throwers, 2x DC rails. At this point we have to make a decision. We already have anti Submarine defence. Do we want another layer? If we do we need to go full frigate, with associated towed sonar array, ASW helicopter. Does the risk from sumbarines justify this? Is there a greater risk from aircraft or surface attack? This brings me back to the VLS launcher. Modern types seen on US, French or UK vessels allow the user a full range of defence from multiple threats, with a relatively small space required for the unit. The A50 Aster for example takes up just 6 metres height,(3 decks) and under 3 metres length and width. The VLS used aboard the many MEKO types is similarly compact. To this end I would suggest a VLS with missile options based on the evaluated threat. As soon as you go missile, you have taken another step on the naval ladder. A more costly one which is more difficult to justify when the majority of your patrol is done away from any threat where missiles become the main defence.
None of this of course is any use without a proper situational and tactical awarness by way of Fire control system. The ship needs to know what is above, below and around it at all times. It needs to know this out to the maximum range of the weapons defending against threats on these dimensions, and the ships commander needs to be in a position to respond accordingly. A sensor suite should incorporate a combination of Electronic and visual identification, in addition to secure communication with other assets. Its powerplant needs to be able to respond instantly, sometimes speed and manouverability is as useful in defence or offence as weaponry. Most importantly, the vessel needs to be able to survive an unexpected attack, and respond, and neutralise the attacker all while maintaining essential C3 and life support systems.
This is what makes the ship a warship, rather than a patrol vessel with a gun. It is also the bit that will push the cost much higher.
Well, there's good news and bad news. The bad news is that Neil will be taking over both branches, and some of you will lose your jobs. Those of you who are kept on will have to relocate to Swindon, if you wanna stay. I know, gutting. On a more positive note, the good news is, I've been promoted, so... every cloud. You're still thinking about the bad news aren't you?
Regarding the current fleet and recent acquisitions specifically, one wonders has there been an element of buying bigger more capable hulls with potentially expandable weapons and sensor fit out coming at a later date. We know the P60's mast was designed to take an Air Search radar and a future retrofit is possible. What about sonar for example? Could a towed array or anything hull mounted be accommodated? Could the optical FCS be upgraded to something with radar like Ceros 200?
Regarding weaponry, there are quite a lot of systems of various types on the market that are bolt on with zero deck penetration. MLG 27 is a good example but only a viable in anti air if integrated with a radar FCS. It would be a vast improvement over unstabilised 20mm manned guns and easily achievable. Lightweight SAM like the Mistral have bolt on unmanned naval mounts available (Simbad RC), that have minimal deck footprint and provide a credible anti missile capability.
Would something like Sea Griffin or Sea Spear be of any value for swarm defence? At the other end of the scale would the integration of an anti ship missile be possible? MBDA have revisited the Marte missile as a lightweight option for smaller ships.
There are options out there. It would be interesting to know if there are any physical impediments to up gunning other than budget.
In the recent past there have been no instances of the NS being out-gunned , out manouvered or out witted by adversaries hence very little appetite for the weapons outlined above.
However a deficit has been identified in the recent past for the ability of the NS to deal with disabled vessels, locate sunken vessels and perform recovery operations from stable platforms.
No initiative appears imminent on either front.
In the meantime the NS appears to be quite comfortable cruising offshore on ATCA-ATCP gigs and is so equipped and profiled.
In reality they are vastly over gunned for it's preferred ATCP/ATCA role.
The problem with that is that the political class may assume they are capable of operating in areas where they really shouldn't be going in their current configuration. Like off the coast of Libya for example, where they are blind to anti-ship missiles fired by rogue elements and in any case, lack ability to counter them.
Surely some sort of containerised system that could be loaded on the vessel that is to be used in a volatile area. rather than equipping all vessels at great expense and for little return, a system that can be transferred from ship to ship may suit better and require fewer units
Harpoon AShM is a plug-and-play job, as is Phalanx CIWS - the important bits however are the surveilance and fire control systems, and they are integral parts of the ship. if you have them your ship is a warship able to operate in dangerous, contested areas, if not you have a toytown boat...
The USN are currently facing just this issue with the LCS.
I fully agree about the need to have the Crew trained to operate the system, but the ROE's that the ships operate under have to be changed as well, would the political class here accept a situation like a few years ago when a US Marine team killed some Indian fishermen when they thought they were a threat?
Sure, the credit card has been tapped for some decent tactical level gear, but has there really been much move on the much bigger issues of doctrine, training, combined arms deployment, organic and inorganic firepower, mobility or ISR?
the missile launching system in the Skold class ship is about as 'bolt-on' as the engines in a 65,000 ton aircraft carrier. not very...
The phrase "designed around" springs to mind.
Regarding the radar, my thoughts exactly and hence my confusion. 100nm missile range is irrelevant if you don't have something, airborne or otherwise to do provide target info. You just won't see it with on-board systems.
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