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  • #16
    The issue of protecting undersea cables etc has been discussed on IMO in other threads. This article from Save the Royal Navy suggests that one of the roles to be undertaken by the proposed new multi-role survey vessel will be protection of undersea cables using ROVs...

    https://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/roy...announcements/
    'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

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    • #17
      Like what HMS Challenger was able to do, for the short time she was in service, and the invaluable work she did during that time.
      German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
      German 2: Private? I am a general!
      German 1: That is the bad news.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post
        Never heard of it, but presumably a new class to replace the types not already replaced by Type 31. The Type 26 numbers were reduced, and the T31e won't fill the gap so maybe the balance of replacements will be this as yet unknown type?

        Some suggestions are T32 will be a T31 Batch 2, or export variant. Not unusual for the RN to give essentially identical ships with minor changes different class names, The 1960s frigate types differed only in weaponry.
        I agree that an evolved Batch 2 makes the most sense with respect to a mooted Type 32 and you are correct about the old days when the Type 14 and 16 were austere "2nd Rate" versions of their more fighty cousins the Type 12 and Type 15.

        The Arrowhead 140 has all the latent capability there to be a very good combat frigate with the addition of improved sensors and weapons loadout. This could be done fairly successfully and cost effectively by equipping it with MOTS combat systems from production the Type 26 variants.

        I understand the aim is now for 24 surface combatants which should finally give the RN enough breath, balance and numbers for it to cover the breath of the Frigate role from low end long range independent patrol through to coalition taskforce contributions through to being able to generate a CSG. Six Type 45, eight Type 26, five Type 31 and five Type 32.

        In a way it looks like a blast to the late cold war past with the Type 31 doing the Type 21 role, the 26 and 32 doing the meat and potatoes combat work like the type 22 and 23, with the 45 covering the 42 role.

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        • #19
          Their biggest problem is they don't have enough hulls in the water, regardless of type. The numbers of the Daring class built was very poor economy of scale, same mistake being made with T31. If they built 20 of each it would be cheaper in the long term.
          German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
          German 2: Private? I am a general!
          German 1: That is the bad news.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post
            Like what HMS Challenger was able to do, for the short time she was in service, and the invaluable work she did during that time.
            There are some interesting insights to HMS Challenger here...

            https://www.navy-net.co.uk/community...llenger.47332/

            I believe at least part of her role is now undertaken by SD Victoria...

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SD_Victoria

            As the STRN article says it will be interesting to see if this vessel ends up being RN...RFA...or Civilian contracted.
            'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

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            • #21
              Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post
              Their biggest problem is they don't have enough hulls in the water, regardless of type. The numbers of the Daring class built was very poor economy of scale, same mistake being made with T31. If they built 20 of each it would be cheaper in the long term.
              Twenty definitely makes it much cheaper if a regular drumbeat is kept. However in recent years Britain couldn't afford or even man twenty T45, T26, T31 and River Class OPV's.

              According to the Australian Defence Material Organisation it is not until the 9th hull is built that the economies of scale start to properly kick in.

              If they apply the Type 31 basic hull and machinery which is a good honest design per OMT's F-370 and build it to follow the shipyard drumbeat with the combat systems of the in production and supplier leadlines of the Type 26 some of those economies of scale can flow back.

              I do think that a Type 32 that blends the T31 and T26 as outlined above would be a very competitive in the export market if they can find a happy medium on price-capability. The Type 26 market is limited due to its high cost with only Canada (15) and Australia (9) signed up and the austere Type 31 is limited to its underwhelming combat fit out. However, if they were to offer flexibility in the fit out drawing from all three variants to get a ship that meets customer Navy requirements then they could be on to a winner. For example blend T31 hull with the Canadian sensor/weapon of the Type 26 you would have the RNZN and Chileans all over it with respect to the Pacific.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Anzac View Post
                Twenty definitely makes it much cheaper if a regular drumbeat is kept. However in recent years Britain couldn't afford or even man twenty T45, T26, T31 and River Class OPV's.

                According to the Australian Defence Material Organisation it is not until the 9th hull is built that the economies of scale start to properly kick in.

                If they apply the Type 31 basic hull and machinery which is a good honest design per OMT's F-370 and build it to follow the shipyard drumbeat with the combat systems of the in production and supplier leadlines of the Type 26 some of those economies of scale can flow back.

                I do think that a Type 32 that blends the T31 and T26 as outlined above would be a very competitive in the export market if they can find a happy medium on price-capability. The Type 26 market is limited due to its high cost with only Canada (15) and Australia (9) signed up and the austere Type 31 is limited to its underwhelming combat fit out. However, if they were to offer flexibility in the fit out drawing from all three variants to get a ship that meets customer Navy requirements then they could be on to a winner. For example blend T31 hull with the Canadian sensor/weapon of the Type 26 you would have the RNZN and Chileans all over it with respect to the Pacific.
                Given reportedly that Babcock is trying to sell 4 31's to Greece (with a local build and support) for £2 billion currently, how likely is a "Type 32" with upgraded systems/capabilities would be cost effective for some of the mid tier navies?

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Sparky42 View Post
                  Given reportedly that Babcock is trying to sell 4 31's to Greece (with a local build and support) for £2 billion currently, how likely is a "Type 32" with upgraded systems/capabilities would be cost effective for some of the mid tier navies?
                  Good question and it is an answer that will have many variables. But essentially quite a bit actually. The build cost of a baseline hull and machinery is dramatically less in the Type 31 versus the Type 26. One is a General Purpose hull designed and built very efficiently in terms of cost and the other is a specific very very high end ASW enhanced hull with significant acoustic management built in. Not everyone needs the underwater equivalent of stealth which the hull capability and generational leap of technology that the Type 26 provides. Other MOTS goodies on top of that whatever the cost will still see a lower build cost if the project management is organised and contracts are optimised.

                  Greece is paying the premium to facilitate a domestic build which can add between 25% - 40% to the build price due to infrastructural set up and specific training, IP and licensing costs et al. Plus sustainment and support can be up to 100% of the originating build cost if it is WoL. It does cost more to build your own unless you can pick up export customers - however some nations the retention or development of a domestic industrial-military capability plus the local jobs and balance of payments situation can dictate the chosen programme. Greece make see one of these or all of these reasons as important. Countries like Chile and NZ concentrate their interests and capital investment into other things and go for MOTS supplied turn key products from offshore yards, as creating or sustaining such a sector is not in their interests nor developing such jobs.

                  The RNZN has showed interest in the Type 26. A Kiwi Type 26 will be around NZD $1.75-2.25 Billion. That is fairly costly to say the least. The only other realistic alternative for closest partner interoperability reasons is the FFG(X) variant of the FREEM which will be around NZ$1.5 - 1.7B. Still fairly costly.

                  A baseline Type 31 hull with government furnished equipment viz weopans and sensors that is MOTS and part of the existing lead lines of the Type 31 and 26 projects can also save a fair bit by being able to piggy back off the major sub-systems orders with the manufacturer for better commercial margins. For example NZ because I am familiar with it is installing the 330CMS into its upgraded ANZAC's which are also going into the Halifax Class upgrade and Type 26. The Canadian and NZ Govts having struck a deal over the CMS and some other systems with their selected integrator and supplier LM Canada. This is quite a usual approach as a cost saving measure. Both NZ and Australia tack on to US government production tranches such as C-130J's and P-8A's including the major sub-system lead line suppliers. - Other favoured nations are able to do this as well like South Korea, Norway, Singapore, NATO members.

                  What the Greeks may really doing we do not know the specifics, including what CMS they will select and have they used their commercial and political contacts to for example strike a deal to use Thales Tacticos or LM's CombattSS-21 or Artisan whatever? Will they add Mk41 VLS, an anti ship capability such as box launched JSM, box launched torps, bow plus towed sonar, a more advanced radar and EW suite on to this proposed Type 31. One thing though it will not be GBP 1 Billion.
                  Last edited by Anzac; 21 November 2020, 06:52.

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                  • #24
                    The whole point of the UK’s National Shipbuilding Strategy is to keep their shipyards open.... which requires orders.... they are getting small orders of multiple types from RN and afaik none of the export orders are going to built in UK

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by DeV View Post
                      The whole point of the UK’s National Shipbuilding Strategy is to keep their shipyards open.... which requires orders.... they are getting small orders of multiple types from RN and afaik none of the export orders are going to built in UK
                      AFAIK the shipyards on the Clyde have full order books until around 2035 with the T26 build.

                      Barrow shipyard is at capacity with the Astute and Dreadnought Class submarine programmes again until the mid 2030s.

                      Then there's x5 T31, x5 T32, x3 FSSS, x1 MRV, and looking ahead RFA Argus is due out of service in 2028, and the MHC Fleet, whilst it will look different, requires replacement.

                      The UK have also recently signed a defence agreement to build x2 patrol vessels for the Ukrainian Navy in the UK and x6 locally in Ukraine.

                      So yes small mostly domestic orders of multiple types but that will maintain a drumbeat of shipbuilding and it can't or won't all be in Scotland.

                      For me what is interesting is to watch H&W; their owners Infrastrata are aggressively and successfully targeting new staff and new orders across multiple work streams including defence. They have signed an agreement with Navantia to jointly bid for the FSSS builds, and have been quietly recruiting people who have a lot of experience in this field. The purchase of Appledore and ambition to re-employ its former staff also brings defence shipbuilding experience into the business. Certainly interesting times ahead.
                      Last edited by spider; 21 November 2020, 13:31.
                      'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

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                      • #26
                        Infrastrata appear to be flinging money at Appledore at present to bring it up to modern standard (not that it was lacking). Samson and Goliath in Belfast got an overhaul too.
                        They appear to be in a hurry also, something must be in the pipeline.
                        German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
                        German 2: Private? I am a general!
                        German 1: That is the bad news.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post
                          The only way that will happen is if France and Spain start downsizing.
                          UK Naval fleet: 77 Navy RFA 13
                          French Navy: 110 Ships and subs
                          Spanish Navy: 138 Ships & Subs
                          Don't get caught by the numbers trap, it is not a good indicator of the power of a navy. Not all commissioned vessels can be counted as like-for-like. We could buy 500 Optimists and commission each one, on paper we would then have the biggest navy in the world!

                          The RN is the biggest in Europe at present, the French are in second place with the Italians taking the final place on the podium.

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                          • #28
                            There has been some speculation in the Defence Media that the Type-32 might be the replacement of the MCMV fleet, a bit like the original proposal in Project SEA 1180 Phase 1 now known as the Arafura class.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post
                              Infrastrata appear to be flinging money at Appledore at present to bring it up to modern standard (not that it was lacking). Samson and Goliath in Belfast got an overhaul too.
                              They appear to be in a hurry also, something must be in the pipeline.
                              I read somewhere that they are going to target large trawler builds for Appledore but I can't remember where...and the Ukrainian Naval order would be a great win for Appledore.

                              The Belfast yard has been very busy this year with dry-dockings...well over 20 vessels from Cruise Liners to small Coasters.

                              Stena Europe the Fishguard-Rosslare ferry is due to dry-dock tomorrow for 5-6 weeks; a complete re-build of the steel on her car decks.
                              'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Sparky42 View Post
                                Given reportedly that Babcock is trying to sell 4 31's to Greece (with a local build and support) for £2 billion currently, how likely is a "Type 32" with upgraded systems/capabilities would be cost effective for some of the mid tier navies?
                                The Greeks are going for US/French mix, I see little chance of them going for a Type-31 as well.

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