The Royal Navy will soon have three new frigate classes, namely the Type 26, Type 31 and Type 32 but how much do you really know about them? This brief guide should bring you up to speed on the basics.

We’re all familiar with the various frigate types being built for the Royal Navy but many of us, myself included, may not be fully ‘clued-up’ on specifics like the build schedule, unit cost etc. So, I wanted to find out.

To this end, I was given access to Shephard’s ‘Defence Insight’ service, a fantastic platform used by industry to evaluate the latest information, modelling and intelligence on almost every defence project in the world, from information on the concept down to build schedules. I’m not exaggerating, it really is that comprehensive.

Type 26

The Type 26 frigate represents the future backbone of the Royal Navy and a massive leap forward in terms of the flexibility of surface vessels enjoyed by the service. The City class will replace 8 of the 12 Type 23 frigates currently in service with the Royal Navy.

Image via BAE.

It’s no secret that Type 26 is designed with modularity and flexibility in mind to enhance versatility across a wide range of operations ranging from counter-piracy and disaster relief operations to high-intensity warfighting. The Type 26 will be an adaptable, powerful and flexible frigate with a wide array of cutting edge sensors and weapons designed to help it effectively and efficiently meet the evolving mission requirements inherent to modern warfare.

The vessels are being built in Glasgow.

How will the ship be armed?

Information released by the Ministry of Defence through responses to written questions or press releases from industry gives the following information.

  • Anti-air missiles:
    • 48 cell VLS armed with Sea Ceptor missiles
  • Strike-length VLS:
    • 24 cell strike-length Mk 41 VLS (weapons undecided)
  • Guns:
    • 1 × BAE 5 inch 62-calibre Mk 45 naval gun
    • 2 × 30 mm DS30M Mk2 guns
    • 2 × Phalanx CIWS
    • 2 × miniguns
    • 4 × General Purpose Machine Guns

How much is each ship expected to cost?

‘Defence Insight’ says that given the cost of the first contract, the unit cost has been estimated on average at $1.59 billion each.

“This is for construction only, therefore the programme value years have been estimated by spreading the estimated unit cost across the construction period of each vessel. The construction value of the first ships sits at $4.77 billion.”

When will the ships be delivered?

According to the extensive entry found on the ‘Defence Insight’ service:

“From the first ships build schedule, the vessel began construction in July 2017 and is expected to take five years to manufacture and a further four years to fit-out and sea trials. The main construction period has therefore been estimated at seven years with launch around 2024 before undertaking sea trials in 2025. The vessel is not expected to enter service before 2027. Based on this schedule for the first vessel and the second ship beginning construction in 2019, the final of the Batch 1 ships is estimated to be delivered in 2030.

For the Type 26 Bath Two, a ‘standard’ construction period has been estimated at four years, from the beginning of works to the launch, with a further one to two years between launch and commissioning. The first of the Batch 2 frigates, HMS Birmingham, is expected to begin construction around 2023 and the last in 2029. Therefore, deliveries for the Batch 2 vessels can be estimated for between 2028/2029 and 2034/2035.”

All eight ships are estimated for delivered by 2037.

Type 31

The Type 31 frigate or Inspiration class was designed by Babcock International, it is also marketed under the name Arrowhead 140 and was based on the hull of the Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate. It is intended that the relatively low-cost Type 31 frigate will replace some of the general-purpose Type 23 frigates.

Image via Babcock.

The Defence Command Paper last year outlined the lighter Type 31 Frigates as “key to our forward presence in the South Atlantic, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and the Gulf of Guinea, as well as the Indian and Pacific Oceans”.

The vessels are being built at Rosyth.

How will the ship be armed?

Information released by the Ministry of Defence through responses to written questions or press releases from industry gives the following information.

  • Anti-air missiles:
    • 12 cell VLS armed with Sea Ceptor missiles
  • Guns:
    • 1 × 57 mm Mk 110 main gun
    • 2 × 40 mm Mk 4 secondary guns
    • 4 × 7.62 mm General Purpose Machine Guns
    • 4 × 7.62 mm Miniguns
  • For but not with:
    • Fitted for but not with Mark 41 VLS for Future Cruise/Anti-Ship Weapon

How much is each ship expected to cost?

‘Defence Insight’ states that the true cost of a Type 31 may be £250 million per unit but this is minus GFE which keeps the average cost of the units at £250 million, including the purchase of diesel engines, shafts and propellers, sensors, CMS and weapon systems.

“This figure will still be a challenge based on what is required. The programme cost to the UK MoD is likely to be higher as it will include additional government-furnished equipment such as Sea Ceptor, electronic countermeasures and another system which are to be drawn from the Type 23’s. This could take the cost to £2 billion ($2.6 billion), which each ship in effect costing £400 million ($521.5 million) to deliver into service.

The frigates have a unit cost of $320 million each.”

When will the ships be delivered?

According to the extensive entry found on the ‘Defence Insight’ service:

“Steel was cut for the first Type 31 HMS Venturer on 23 September 2021. The keel of the HMS Venturer was laid down on 26 April 2022. The first frigate is expected to be launched by 2023 and delivered to the Royal Navy in 2024. However, it will become operational no earlier than 2025. All five ships are planned to be delivered by the end of 2028, with the last vessel to enter service in 2030.

The second ship is expected to start production in 2022 for a 2025 delivery, ship three is to start in 2023 and be delivered in 2026, four will begin manufacturing in 2024, aimed to be delivered in 2025, while the fifth and final ship is to begin construction in 2025 for a delivery on the deadline by 2028.”

Type 32

Type 32 was first announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in November 2020. In addition to the long-known Type 26 and Type 31 frigates, the Prime Minister announced a new Type 32 frigate would be built.

We don’t know how Type 32 will look.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace subsequently stated that the Type 32 frigate would come “further along from the Type 31”, adding that the Royal Navy “requested another class of ship” in order to increase its numbers of surface fighting ships, destroyers and frigates. Many speculate that the vessel will be a ‘Batch 2’ Type 31.

Later in November 2020, the Ministry of Defence stated that the concept phase for the vessel had not yet been launched but added that the ship is currently envisioned as a “platform for autonomous systems”, used in roles such as anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures. Like the Type 31 frigate, the ship will be general-purpose in its design.

The vessels will be built at Rosyth, according to Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.

How will the ship be armed?

  • While the vessel is likely to host drones, we know next to nothing apart from that.

How much is each ship expected to cost?

This is speculated at £300 million.

When will the ships be delivered?

According to the extensive entry found on the ‘Defence Insight’ service:

“Making judgements on the newly announced programme at this stage is purely speculation but should the new class of frigates requested by the RN be intended to follow a similar track to that of the Type 31, then estimations around the numbers will be based on the preceding class. It’s expected this will be a new design to that of the Type 31 but five platforms are estimated at this early state. It is anticipated that they will require some form of MCM capability, being that likely of drones.  

With the class not expected within the next five years, we would expect it to follow the delivery schedule of the Type 31. These are to be delivered between 2024 and 2028. Should this new class begin development around 2025/26, deliveries could begin in the early 2030s.”

What is ‘Defence Insight’ anyway?

Quite simply, it’s a tool for companies that incorporates information on major defence systems, subsystems and market forecasting in a single-licence database.

It captures a broad range of data including:

  • System specifications, unit costs, out-of-service dates, plus orders and deliveries by country
  • Programme details and existing contract information
  • In-depth market forecasts
  • Linked news and analysis from our dedicated team of journalists

With over 85% coverage of global defence spend and more than 11,000 equipment entries – you can see who’s bidding on which programmes, view equipment attributes and even see who supplies the subsystem parts of an equipment entry. For over 30 years, Shephard Media has been providing high-quality business intelligence to the aerospace and defence markets, through a combination of magazines, online news services, handbooks and global events.

The company is particularly well known within the rotorcraft, uncrewed vehicles, C4ISR, military logistics, land warfare and maritime security markets and speaking from a purely personal view, I have a great relationship with many members of their team at different levels. They’re good at what they do!

This isn’t a sales pitch, I genuinely find the system useful for researching and I believe it should be recommended.

If you’re interested in a free demo, here’s a link you can visit and see if it’s something you want, just click here.

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
202 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago

Just a post too remember the Lads of D118 Hms Coventry 40yrs today I’m old now they are forever young Lest we Forget

RobW
RobW
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

Well said.

Tarnish
Tarnish
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

Also we remember the brave souls on Atlantic Conveyor. 40 years ago today.

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
1 month ago
Reply to  Tarnish

🇬🇧 🇦🇺 Not forgotten.

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Tarnish

Spot on Tarnish sorry AC and her crew

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Tarnish

👍👍

Rfn_Weston
Rfn_Weston
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

Good man.

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Rfn_Weston

Thanks Rfn Weston

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

Good post, well done.

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

Much appreciated David , 🙏

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

R.I.P.

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Much appreciated David 🙏

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

👍

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

Coming from the city, the devastation and numbness there on hearing the news will stay with me. A lad who grew up four doors down from me was on that ship. He survived but the experience changed him forever.

Good men died that day. We all know the faults with the T42, and those lessons should never be forgotten. No politician or senior officer should be allowed to let any ship of the Royal Navy to go into harm’s way without the best equipment our nation can provide, ever!

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

Thanks Ianbuk , your city did the Lads proud 👏

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

God bless them all

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

🙏🙏🙏 thanks Dave

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
30 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

News that stunned the nation at the time, a very sad day for all of us.

Tommo
Tommo
30 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Thanks Nigel my Townie Bessie Oppo who joined the RN when I told him “See the World and get paid for it ” got Drafted to the Cov Stoker in the Steam turbine Rm when hit survived but boy did I feel guilty about my comments still took the mick about getting a free cruise on the QE2 back that’s how we dealt with it ,but we remember every Year the lads who didn’t come back

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
30 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

And as you quite rightly say, we never forget them.

The_Unknown_Warrior_at_Westminster_Abbey,_London,_7_November_1920_Q31518.jpg
Tommo
Tommo
30 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

👍🙏🙏

Blue Fuzz
Blue Fuzz
1 month ago

So, is that definitely 24 Sea Ceptor for Type 31? Previous speculation (based on promotional images of the design) had the figure as low as 8. And does anyone know how many Mk41 cells the Type 31 has room for if money is found to fit them?

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
1 month ago
Reply to  Blue Fuzz

I wonder if the FC/ASW will be able to be cannister launched as well, at least the subsonic variant? Hope they can squeeze 24 CAMM plus x Mk41s onto the T31. The Polish version of the Arrowhead 140 shows what level of armament can be put into a T31 type ship.

RobW
RobW
1 month ago
Reply to  Blue Fuzz

I can’t find anything that confirms 24. The available information is still “up to 24” as far as I can see. Most renders show the fit to be 12.

Matt
Matt
1 month ago
Reply to  Blue Fuzz

Don’t the Polish ones have 32 VLS?

Bringer of facts
Bringer of facts
1 month ago
Reply to  Blue Fuzz

Let’s hope so, but again the MODs FFBNW cop-out is being applied to the MK41 cells.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

I recall someone complaining the T26 was poorly armed??

Seems well armed to me for its role.

Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
1 month ago

Not in its primary role Daniele. A ship of that size should regularly carry two ASW helicopters. The Italians manage that perfectly well on their Bergamini class which is smaller. Notice I’ve conveniently avoided the question of whether we have enough helicopters but that’s for another day 🙂

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

No, we don’t have enough!

Can we publicly name the individuals who decided updating only 30 of the 42 remaining Merlin was a good idea??

If not, why not?! There is no accountability.😡

grizzler
grizzler
1 month ago

Why does that surprise you – There is no accountablity in many high position public service jobs these day

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  grizzler

I didn’t suggest it did surprise. It’s infuriating.

grizzler
grizzler
30 days ago

Apologies no you didn’t – I was surprised you were surprised now I realise you’re not surprised I’m no longer surprised you’ve not surprised…surpisingly 😀

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
30 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

That made me chuckle, surprisingly ! 😆

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago

The T26 can take two Merlins as the mission deck and hanger can be merged to carry two Merlins. Although as you rightly point out the limited number of Merlin small ship flights will make this unlikely.

Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

A tandem hangaring arrangement is highly inefficient severely limiting handling options, particularly in rough sea conditions. Only a side by side arrangement provides for effective flight operations. And yes, we need more helicopters

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago

Hi Richard, the reality is that the Merlin is the best ASW rotor in the world and a key reason for that is the size of the tripled engined airframe. I don’t believe it would be possible for any escort Of any nation to carry tandem Merlins, as it not far off a heavy lift rotor in size. The fact T26 can take two very large rotors is better than any other escorts small ship flight capability. it can also take 2 wildcats in the hanger + another rotor in the mission bay, that’s well beyond any other escort. The… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Absolutely Jonathan, some dipping sets should be acquired for the Wildcat fleet. It’s a plug and play unit already cleared and used by other Wildcat users.

Crazy not to fully utilise these very expensive helicopters.

Re the Merlin, if AEW gets shifted to one of the future UAV platforms and dipping sets are provided for the Wildcat, then our Maritime Helicopter fleet wouldn’t be overstretched.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Hi john, yes very true, it’s not actually a lot that’s needed. They could also consider looking at the wildcat force in general if you consider the 28 RN cabs and how many small ship flights we could likely need. Type 45, say four deployed or working up can carry 2 wildcats (8) Type 26 say 5 deployed or working up with Merlin Type 31 say 3 deployed or working up ( 3 wildcats) Type 32 another 3 deployed/working up (3 wildcats) That’s 14 cabs just for small ship flights ( if we actually deployed are larger escorts with 2)… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
30 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I believe 825 ( the OCU ) has 6 or 7 cabs.
815 NAS also has to provide a couple of cabs on standby for the MCT Flight.

Some more needed, as always.

Simon
Simon
30 days ago

As you say the big issue is that we don’t have enough cabs for the fleet that we have. madness really

Klonkie
Klonkie
29 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Great reading thanks for posting Jonathan. An observation on the RN 28 Wildcat Lynx. Are these all fitted out for ASW or are some assigned as unarmed utilities for the Royal Marines?

Suportive Bloke
Suportive Bloke
30 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

The reality is that this is going to be a drone or drones quite soon.

So I would be amazed if Wildcat got dipping Sonar.

What would make a difference would be if the baggers were replaced with UAVs and thus those were released for ASW operations.

Jonathan
Jonathan
30 days ago

Fingers crossed supportive, I’m just not sure when we will in practice see these drones deployed for ASW and AEW. Especially as a small ship flight. The AEW will be linked to the carriers so possible we are going to have drones for AEW with the range, loiter time and payload to do the job within a reasonable timescale, but I’m not sure if that timescale will make much difference to Merlins being released ( after all they are not flying for more than 17-18 more years). But I’m not so sure about ASW drones off the back of an… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
30 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Does to drop sonar buoys are perfectly real?

You can then have Martin with its dipping sonar on that tasking only and with the heavy torpedo.

You could also have satellite dipping sonars.

Yes, you probably need one Merlin but you can augment with the UAVs.

Problem with the UAV drone submarine sonar concept is how does it have enough battery to keep up with a fleet persistently and how does it communicate the full data picture?

Deep32
Deep32
30 days ago

A Die SM with its engines and large capacity battery can’t keep up with a fleet, there is absolutely no way a UAV drone will have the ability to keep up with one either, despite what many seem to think. These drones will be used in a different manner, a gatekeeper role perhaps, or a tripwire type role, as they won’t have the speed/endurance to chase anything. As you allude to, they will need some method to let their controller know what they have detected and where it was detected. A reasonable assessment of a FCS will also be required,… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
30 days ago

AW149?

DaveyB
DaveyB
30 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Hopefully in due time, we will have a vtol UAV to work in combination with the Merlin, either as the hunter or shooter.

Joe16
Joe16
1 month ago

I’d ask what size those 2 Italian ASW helicopters are, compared to a Merlin – which are comparatively large. Although your underlying point, that we don’t have enough helos to assign 2 per frigate anyway, is well made and I agree. Personally, I quite like the idea of pairing an ASW Merlin with a large autonomous rotor, like an MQ-8C or V-247, fitted with sonobuoy dispensers, and potentially dipping sonar or Stingray. I think both of those would be big enough airframes for that, and they have good endurance in a smaller overall package by removing the need for crew.… Read more »

Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe16

Two NH90 (or Seahawk) sized helicopters, one of the reasons the US navy selected the type as the basis for its new Constitution type frigate), or one NH90 and one EH101 Merlin. The Italian navy operates both types. Both carry FLASH dipping sonar and sonobuoys. So your idea would easily work. Starboard side of the hangar is slightly taller (for the Merlin) and is also the maintenance hangar. The port hangar is a garage hangar and not quite as tall. Both hangars have automated deck helicopter handling equipment leading to a centrally positioned spot on the helideck. An Australian MP… Read more »

Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
1 month ago

I meant Constellation class, not Constitution!

Rudeboy
Rudeboy
1 month ago

If you think the Italian’s have got enough NH-90 ASW to get 2 on any of their ships I’ve got a bridge to sell you…

There are still people who think they have AW101-AEW (they’ve been hangared for over 5 years now and don’t work…).

Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
30 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy

Don’t need a bridge thank you. I don’t know what the Italian navy capability generation status is. That was not my point. My point was to illustrate a point that the T26 is deficient in its usable air wing component for the size of ship. I used the Italian Bergamini class as an example (and the US Constellation class as well). Whether the Italians can generate sufficient helos to put on the back of a Bergamini or not is immaterial. The capability is there if needed. We don’t have enough F35s to put on QE and PoW, but the yanks… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
30 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy

The Italian EH101s that were being used for AEW are getting the radars replaced. They are getting Leonardo’s multirole Osprey AESA radar. There’s conflicting information on the number of panels they are getting, some say it’s 3 whilst others say 4. The Italians are looking at replacing the radar on the 8 AEW aircraft first. Then doing a fleet fit on the remaining aircraft. This means any aircraft with it fitted, can then do the AEW role.

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
1 month ago

Wasn’t there a design and engineering flaw in the NH90? The Dutch found issues with them?

Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
30 days ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

I worked at Westland for seven years. Do you want me to start telling you about the design and engineering flaws on the Merlin? All programmes have their problems

DaveyB
DaveyB
30 days ago

Did I mention Windscreens?

Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
30 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Windscreens, tail rotors, control rods, rotor brakes, vibration, inability to dip FLASH at night, etc, etc. suspect many of these would have been resolved by now. As I said, all programmes have issues

DaveyB
DaveyB
30 days ago

Remember seeing them at Basra. All 6 had broken windscreens. Didn’t realise the windscreens were structural. The extreme night and day temperatures was causing them to crack. They solved it by fitting the armoured windscreens which were 3 times thicker. The other issue they had back then was spares. They just couldn’t get any, so cabs were sitting around for weeks waiting on spares. I don’t think the manufacturer was completely to blame, as I under DE&S didn’t purchase a spares package for wartime ops.

Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
30 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Spares have always been a problem. Insufficient stocks. Never the right spare in the right place when needed. Logistics management systems (IT) never working as intended. Supply chains disincentivised to produce spares supplies quickly through inadequate contractual arrangements that favour initial equipment delivery over life cycle management. We laugh at Ivan having his problems in Ukraine. Let’s hope our logistics are never put to the test. And in my experience it applies to all programmes. Just look at the trouble affecting F35

Daveyb
Daveyb
30 days ago

DE&S never learn. They are always looking at a way to save money. Not buying spares is one of them. If they can delay buying spares for a year or two, they make a massive saving. It just means you have to cannibalise brand new assets to keep the fleet going.

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
30 days ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

And down here in Australia too with the army Taipan variant.

Mark
Mark
30 days ago

We could pick Blackhawks for the new NMH and get a few extra Martime variants for the RN SAR and ASW roles that way we would save huge amounts on maintenance and basic type training. Plus being able swap and share with other allies.

Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
30 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Not a bad idea. The Blackhawk is still probably the best helicopter design there is after the Sea King

Simon m
Simon m
30 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Could do that with the AW149 as well

Joe16
Joe16
30 days ago

Sounds like a good setup, and certainly better than previous generations of frigate. The advantage the Italians look to have is that NH90 is bigger than Wildcat, which is our “smaller” naval airframe, so the sonar and sonobuoys are better carried I’d imagine. I’ve read somewhere that the dipping sonar causes significant drag and thus a noticeable difference in range for the Wildcat. I think that the Australian MP may be complaining over what is a relatively small thing in the grand scheme of the step up in capability that the Hunter offers.But at the same time, it is a… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
30 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

Italian NH90 also have Sea Killer ASM.

For the record and based on Italian Wiki, they have:

38 NH90 ASW
14 EH 101 ASW

Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
30 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

I think you meant the sonar adds weight, not drag. I agree with you that the way ahead is a manned/unmanned rotorcraft combination working in tandem/parallel. Likewise a P8/MQ9 type combination

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe16

Hi Joe, I believe that it is the MODs intention to use the ‘Pomethius’ drone – if it ever gets up and running, to assist the Merlin’s. Think the idea is to fit it with buoys and Stingray!
We don’t seem to want to put a dipping sonar on our maritime Wildcats, unlike the S Koreans, don’t really know why, as the RNs Lynx fleet carried it?

Joe16
Joe16
30 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

It’s fairly late in the evening, and I’m trying to work out if you’re Australian and trying to pull one over on me with a drone called “Pomethius”..! I am a big proponent of build in Britain, and drones are high tech growth industry, which should suit “Global Britain” etc. But, MQ-8C and V-247 are actual platforms that we could trial now, to at least get an understanding of how we’d operate with them and suchlike. If we aren’t giving them a go, or looking to operate systems of a similar size/weight class, then I’m disappointed. I heard that the… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
30 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

Hi mate, no to both, not that I’ve got anything against AUS. Got the name of the drone wrong, it should be ‘Proteus’ part of the Future Maritime Aviation Force article covered by NL in January. Like many on here post, drones are going to become a big part of our force capabilities. A capability still in its infancy which is still evolving. I also think that we as a country should have a build in Britain approach to much more of our military requirements. We have lost too much of it already and need to reverse it. We will… Read more »

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
30 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Just looked at the company website for Proteus. There’s a use for a 2.2kg drone, but cannot see any for the Royal Navy. What could it carry? It’s too small. The US has the Northrop Grumman MQ-8 Fire Scout, that looks very useful & has the ability to carry multiple devices. Unless we have something of that size, I cannot see the use or functionality.

Last edited 30 days ago by Ianbuk
Deep32
Deep32
30 days ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

Hi mate, I don’t think it’s that for one minute. Under Future Maritime Aviation Force (see NL for detailed overview), Proteus is going to be something much larger, able to help Merlin’s hunt SMs as well as replacing Crows nest Merlin. No idea who is going to build it, or what it looks like – not even sure it’s got past the drawing board stage yet, but that is the plan. Due sometime in the 30’s – maybe!!!

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
30 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Ah, that’ll be why it’s different than what I saw from the Edinburgh company using the same name. Thanks.

AlexS
AlexS
30 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

The Italian FREMM helicopter hangar size is 1 hangar up to EH 101 size , another hangar up to NH 90 size.
As can be seen in pictures the hangar doors have different sizes.

RobW
RobW
1 month ago

With FC/ASW added its going to be very well armed. As will the T31 if it gets mk41 vls. Things are looking up.

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago

A little part of me looks at them as almost being a cruiser (and I know I’m going to have people frothing at the mouth at that) – they just really remind me of a modern Tiger class. A large main gun, decent missile load out, Mk41(!), the provision for two merlin or at least three wildcat, CIWS.. I wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of one. I only wish they would use it as a chance to procure further 40mm guns in place of the planned 30mm mounts. T31 is fine. Frankly we need the ships, and… Read more »

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

Lusty, I have to agree. At the start of the T26 program it was called the Global Combat Ship. Which kind of implies it would be “cruising” around the World. Wasn’t that the original role cruisers were doing, sailing around the World and protecting shipping? Allthough the T26 will be the premiere ASW platform, so sailing around the World on a jolly, might be far and few between. If the T32 was a different design, then the Navy would have three different types of frigate in service. Which then incurs three separate sets of maintenance, spares and training. Having the… Read more »

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

For the price T31 @£260m, T32 @£300m, surely we could have at least another two of each? When you consider the T45 and T26 are over the billion each figure, the 30’s provide fantastic presence per pound (£). The Royal Navy (as will the British Army & RAF) will find itself being needed in more places and doing more tasks over the next 30 years. There are many undeveloped but ambitious nations out there looking to carve out their own part of the world and into their control, particularly in Asia. There’s danger for our allies, Australia and New Zealand,… Read more »

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

Realistically, I can only see a few paths to upgrading the surface fleet: 1). Expanding the number of Destroyer hulls. This could be done through recognising that six isn’t enough when it comes to T83 (or whatever their replacement is) and ordering at least eight replacements. 2). Pushing the T45 replacement back to squeeze in an extra T26 hull or two. This might be possible, given the fact that the T45s haven’t been run as hard as the T23s. However, it would place a burden on the build and the ships that remain in service. 3). Government spin. They reclassify… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

I’d go for options 3 and 4. The 31s can be the Leanders of their day and the 1st tier fleet of 45s T26 are used for the QEC group and GIUK.

You know how I feel about the B2s, you as well!

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago

Me as well! Lovely ships.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago

I will second that guys, now where do we sign?

Dern
Dern
29 days ago

I want River B2’s to take over from the B1’s and a B3 to be ordered to take over from the B2’s.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
28 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Of mild interest is an artist impression of T31 in Navy News 06/22 showing ‘Venturer’ escorting a carrier with all guns blazing. Also disernable is a stbd 4x anti-ship canister launcher.
Feel we’ll need these vessels in just such a role, with the B2s principally left for the role they’re now in, upgraded as corvettes if necessary.

Dern
Dern
28 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Yes, for a long time the plan was to migrate ISSGW from the Type 23’s onto the Type 31’s… sadly that program fell through.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
27 days ago
Reply to  Dern

I suppose with the security picture getting bleaker, there’s a limit to how truly effective Harpoon may have been by 2027, so I’ll remain sanguine on how T31 transforms. With NN being the ‘official’ RN newspaper, the printed scenario has a certain intrigue. That said, the artist has not gone overboard on ‘fantasy fleet’ as the escorted carrier seems to have no fixed wing or rotor aircraft associated, that I can discern! But I expect they’re all away doing busy CSG stuff. As an aside on the latter, I noted Mark Grove (strategic studies senior lecturer) recently expressed concern over… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
27 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Sorry, see you said ISSGW. Rgs

Steve M
Steve M
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

Agree Lusty you could easily make T-32 batches in different specialites,not full blown replacement but to use as extentions of other types lots of VLS controlled by the t-45/83, mothershipfor ASW drones under water and UAV controlled by T-26 plus GP frigate etc

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve M

Exactly. If done right, they could be a gamechanger for enhancing/augmenting current and future capabilities.

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
30 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Like option 4. Look at how well armed the Polish A140s are plus the Poles have Merlin’s. Like to see 4 of these types for the RN if no more T26s on the table or extra T32s whatever they are? There should be some draft image available of the T32 by now if they’re planning for after the a T31s?
For option 3, maybe they’ll be an upgrade of the Rivers with a 40/57mm and possible FFBNW AShMs, which I believe the RAN here is looking to do with its Arafura patrol boats.

Crabfat
Crabfat
1 month ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

For the price T31 @£260m, T32 @£300m, surely we could have at least another two of each?”

I know very little about ships but can’t understand the unit price of the Type 21 is going to be £1.3 BILLION when the T31 is £260m and the T32 is £300m. Is that a typo or would £1.3b include something else (e.g. development).?

Crabfat
Crabfat
1 month ago
Reply to  Crabfat

Sorry – meant T26…

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
1 month ago
Reply to  Crabfat

Nope, it’s correct. T26 are £1.23 billion each.

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo
30 days ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

I understand T26 unit cost is 800M. See comments below.

Unit cost differs from average cost. T31’s average cost is, of course, 400M. 2Bn program cost divided by 5 hulls.

Last edited 30 days ago by donald_of_tokyo
Dern
Dern
29 days ago
Reply to  Crabfat

A few reasons, mostly things going into the insides:
Rafted RR CODLOG engines vs commercially available MAN CODAD engines, Sensor fit, accoustically silent hull, in house design instead of based off a already existing design, Mk41, and missiles to fill it, build strecthed due to industrial strategy and in year budget limitations,

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

To be honest different design or not the propulsion, weapons and general systems will all I suspect be fundamentally the same surely other than any advances in the meantime that would effect any evolving platform from early to late versions. So most maintenance aspects I suspect would not vary much. Either way whatever new systems, weapons and sensors applying to its specific defined purpose, be it drones or other not yet envisaged or matured platform requirements, would happen even if they kept the basic t31 design.

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Yep, fair one.

Dern
Dern
29 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

To be fair, practically all modern surface escorts have some element of cruiser in their genetic make up.

andy a
andy a
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

What advantage does a 40mm give you that a 30mm cant do? I saw a discussion recently saying there is very little difference except the ammo is x10 as expensive. Anything much further out will be dealth with by a missle.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  andy a

Double the range – missiles may attempt intercept further out but gun is absolute last resort so if it comes to it, I’d rather longer engagement envelope if I can get it. Defence against fast attack boats too, I would want to engage at 12km not 5km if I can. Keep them as far away as possible. 3p ammunition is quite an upgrade – not 10x expensive – if you don;t know about it, a quick google should sell the idea. Allows you to engage surface and air threats with one system. One 40mm with and integrated radar (the big… Read more »

Suportive Bloke
Suportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  andy a

40mm can take the cheapo standard 40mm AP or HE rounds. 40mm can also take the 3P Programmable ammunition which gives it a range of roles as a far out CIWS. If you have two or more ammunition bins then it can auto change between types as directed by the CMS. Main thing with destroying fast moving big missiles is to fragment them as far from the ship as possible so that the chances of fragments hitting the ship are much reduced. As Stu says below the range of a 40mm is massive compared to a 20mm or 30mm as… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
30 days ago
Reply to  andy a

As noted by others, that with super and hypersonic missiles especially you need to destroy them at as much range as possible. The number of joules of kinetic energy that a hypersonic missile is staggering so you cannot just destroy the missile you have to destroy the fabric of the missile far away so you don’t get hit by it. I did work our the Kinetic energy of some of the larger hypersonic anti ship missiles and it worked out to about the same magnitude of kinetic energy as running an intercity 125 into the side of a ship (… Read more »

grizzler
grizzler
30 days ago
Reply to  andy a

dealth with ??…what a great word …meaning dealt with by death ?
If it didn’t mean that before it does now… perhaps you should suggest it to the Oxford English dictionary 🙂

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

Thought the adaption of Tiger and Blake to Sea King cruisers was very imaginative back then, Lusty. Though just a young matelot around the time, I never really understood any significant merits of replacing the 2 × twin 3 inch waist mounts with Seacat launchers.

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Ah, yes. An extremely interesting concept at the time. I can imagine the removal of the guns caused some upset at the time – particularly as I know many young matelots liked things that shoot and go boom. I still miss the 6 inchers and double turrets.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

Haha miss the 6 inchers😂😂😂 a night out with the navy😂😂😂 that’s given me a chuckle today

Lusty
Lusty
30 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

😂😂

Klonkie
Klonkie
29 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Hi Lusty. I still think the Tiger class Sea King cruiser was a particularly innovative idea. Great pity they weren’t around in the Falklands 40 year’s ago.

Lusty
Lusty
29 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

They would have been a big help. I believe they looked at pushing them into service, but the idea was dropped when they realised they had no 6″ ammo!

Last edited 29 days ago by Lusty
Paul T
Paul T
29 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Work was started on both to get them fit for service to head down south but they simply ran out of time,the War was over before they were even ready to sail.

Paul T
Paul T
29 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Regarding HMS’s Tiger and Blake,imaginative at the time they certainly were but ultimately unsuccessful,most Naval commentators then and since thought the conversions were a waste of money,even possible service in the Falklands might not have changed that outlook.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
29 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

Welcome your input, PT. On reflection, our Royals would have appreciated just such turning up, as like as not. Although I fully expect to hear that the Sea Kings had already been expropriated since we never have sufficient sharp end equipment. Excusable at the time, if you discount Knott (difficult), as Falklands did come out of the blue. But we’re still in the same boat (!) with war, and the threat of more, with us whilst having been telegraphed for years. Don’t blame the RN which is prioritising sufficiently sized platforms, but we do need to start fielding ‘fitted for… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
30 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

To be honest lusty I think the whole frigate, destroy description is getting a bit stretched. I’m sure it’s more about Navies trying to appear to be more financially responsible to political masters as cruises are expensive large warships and frigates/destroyers are cheap as chips escorts…it like invincible not being an aircraft carrier. The fact that the Burke ended up a like for like replacement of the USN guided missile cruises, but are destroyers always made me laugh. The type 12I type 21 were frigates, small cheap 2500+ ton warships that were clearly a frigate/destroy sized small escort….but later frigates… Read more »

Lusty
Lusty
29 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Agreed.

Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
30 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

I agree with you regarding the 40mm guns. Shame though that the T31 will have a much better radar than the T26

James T
James T
29 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Agree. Although I don’t know where the CIWS are coming from – certainly not cross decked from the T23!

Challenger
Challenger
1 month ago

Well armed in theory for sure, but proof’s in the pudding, namely what will be procured to fill the MK41’s and will there be healthy stocks to ensure most of them don’t sit empty.

Additionally the Phalanx / 30mm defensive fit made more sense when they were initially designed and ordered but by 2030 the former will be showing it’s age and I think there will be a growing argument to replace both with the 40mm once it’s introduced on the T31’s.

Can T26 still hangar 2 Merlin’s or was that abandoned in one of the many re-designs?

RobW
RobW
1 month ago
Reply to  Challenger

The Type 26 frigate mission bay. Part 2 – configuration and contents | Navy Lookout

Good article on the T26 mission bay. To answer your question yes it can carry 2 Merlin in a certain configuration.

Get the T26 in service as planned, it can be upgraded with 40mm later on.

andy a
andy a
1 month ago
Reply to  Challenger

if you replace the 20mm phalanx most countries go with SeaRam missles.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago

Interestingly this criticism is being applied to the Hunter Class with ‘only’ 32 VLC despite being 1000 tons heavier and 600mm wider than t26 apparently according to Shepard. Can anyone clarify here as I can’t immediately find a direct comparison. Is that for Hunter 32 mk41 VLCs or 32 cells in total (plus the canister launched anti ship ie 8 cells I note), t26 has 24 mk 41 but obviously 48 SeaCepter cells too. If it’s 32 total vlc for Hunter it does seem a little low unless they can.be quad packed with air defence missiles especially as the Hobart’s… Read more »

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

The Hunter’s will be armed with quad packed ESSM and SM2 Block 2 for primary air defence. From what I’ve read there is talk of including a few SM6 due to the CEFAR 2’s performance capability, but it is not a done deal yet. I have yet to see any information on what length the 32 Mk41 cells will be. Though there have been some press information about Australia getting Tomahawk (TLAM). If the Hunter’s had TLAM they’d need the strike length cells. The only models and images I’ve seen is where there is only one VLS farm in front… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Hi mate, I’ve read something about AUS wanting TLAM, but believe that it is Tube Launched TLAM for their Collins class that this article was referring too. Can’t remember anything in it for use in their ships though. But then again why not have both if you are buying them from new?

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Not sure the Aussies picked the right ship if they wanted it to have lots of Mark 41 VLS. Solution can be to put it in the mission bay but you lose some of it

Last edited 1 month ago by Monkey spanker
DaveyB
DaveyB
30 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

There was a lot of talk about them buying the Flight 3 Arliegh Burke. But then what are the recently upgraded Hobarts for? I think the RAN bought the T26 to be primarily an ASW platform. As they are concerned that China’s subsurface capability is getting better. The FREMM design wasn’t chosen as it isn’t as quiet as the T26, plus has next to no mission bay. The Hunter when teamed with the Sea Hawk will make a very formidable combination. Having 32 Mk41 cells might not sound a lot, but if a 12 of them are quad packed with… Read more »

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
30 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

The RAN has gone 4 x Mk41s abreast not the 3 back +1 forward Mk41s with the Canadian T26s. I wonder if we can sell the 6×4 CAMM ExLS to the RAN and then they can lose the two CIWS and possibly save some nett weight.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Thanks for that, I wasn’t sure if the Standard missile could be quad packed but it seems they can then. That gives it a decent missile capacity while still exploiting the mission bays for flexibility. Will be interesting to see which solution, T26 or Hunter is eventually deemed best further down the line, SeaCepter v SeaSparrow will be an interesting comparison.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
30 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

ESSM are quad-packed. SM-2 are one per cell.

Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
30 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

They’ve just contracted for Block 2 ESSM. Quad packed into the Mk41 launchers will make for a formidable capability

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
30 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Just FYI CSC has 32 Mk41 cells. At least some are strike length for Tomahawk.
https://www.navy-marine.forces.gc.ca/assets/NAVY_Internet/docs/en/fleet/rcn_csc_factsheet-8x11_web.pdf

Daveyb
Daveyb
30 days ago

I’ve seen contrasting information where they are having only 24 Mk41 and 24 Sea Ceptor vertical launchers

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
30 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

That’s why I linked to the Canadian govt. site as the most definitive source for now.

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
30 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

The Hobart’s are 6 Mk41s x 8 = 48. I believe 4 x 8 = 32 SM 2/3/6 and 2 x 32 = 64 ESSM. That’s a potent 96 missiles. Not sure if some of this will be lost when they have TLAM and NSM will be cannister or they might also go either way with LSRAM too.

AlexS
AlexS
30 days ago

Maybe me Daniele?

My always complain is that they do no have area AAW. I think that is crucial.

Australian and Canadian versions have.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
30 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

I don’t know much about the navies of Australia or Canada, do they have an in service AAW asset like T45 already?
HMT ( HM Treasury ) do not like duplication.

Daveyb
Daveyb
30 days ago

The RAN have the Hobarts, these were based on the Spanish FREMM hull, use AEGIS as their CMS and the four panel SPY-1D PESA radar as per the USN Arleigh Burkes. They have 48 Mk41 VLS that contain either SM3 or ESSM air defence missiles. They have a currently a higher missile count than the T45. But their radar is not as good as the T45’s.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
30 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Thanks. So, no excuse for the bloody treasury then. As I expected.

AlexS
AlexS
30 days ago

My point is that the Australian and Canadian Type 26 projects have area AAW. The RN one do not. The CAMM have only a 20-30km range.

PS: DaveyB there is no relation between Hobarts and FREMM

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
30 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Yes, there you go!

Perhaps theirs would not either if they had 11 SSN to fund and replace.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
30 days ago

7 and 4 SSBN!

AlexS
AlexS
30 days ago

Close some QUANGOS?

Klonkie
Klonkie
29 days ago

Morning DM.

For me it’s all about the 4x GPMG! Can’t beat a good ole gimpy, the vickers gun of its day. eriously though, it does seem they got the armament balance about right for both the 26 and 31. Surprised though that it appears neither design is equipped with ASW torpedo’s, or did I miss that?

Now for a dipping sonar for Wildcat please!

Lusty
Lusty
29 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

No torps yet, though T26 does have room for them if they are added at a later date.

klonkie
klonkie
28 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

thanks for that Lusty -enjoy the weekend

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago

George, when you write “soon” what element of time travel are you in?

Johnston used that ploy, in Parliament, to say we would have 24 escorts by the end of the decade, and it is not true.

RobW
RobW
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

It would be good to know if there has been a rethink in the T23 OSDs. Lancaster, for example, has recently gone through LIFEX but was slated for retirement in 2024. Perhaps some of them will soldier on a bit longer to increase the escort mass until T32 arrives. Radakin has said that numbers would rise above 19 from 2026 onwards. I guess time will tell.

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo
1 month ago
Reply to  RobW

Recent navy-lookout tweet on HMS Argyll maintenance said, she will be active until 2027, the year when HMS Montrose was originally planned to retire. On the other hand, Montrose goes out in the year Argyll was planned to.

Just one example.

RobW
RobW
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

Follow up. Radakin confirmed that Argyll, Iron Duke and Lancaster would retire later.

UK to retire two Type 23 frigates saving £100M to boost future fleet – Naval Today

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
30 days ago
Reply to  RobW

I don’t get the £100m savings bit, sounds like a small drop in the ocean really. I doesn’t buy much that’s new and god knows how much has already been wasted along the way. Keep the vessels on for longer and boost the fleet that way. More ships can be in more places. Or, build more T31/32s.

Steve M
Steve M
30 days ago
Reply to  Quentin Drury

The £100M is what will be save by not having to have 2 operational crew on those ships being fed and the fuel etc running them and doing refit on the 2 hulls.
Of course with the current manning issues all three branches are having not sure where we will find enough to crew 18 frigates (15 Operational plus 3 in various refits)
When i joined up (long ago) was 10-20 applicants for every post now everyone struggling to recruit and retain)

Last edited 30 days ago by Steve M
David Steeper
David Steeper
30 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

Last I heard RN training was full to bursting. RAF similar. The Army is a different story but for once that’s not down to the Army itself.

Steve M
Steve M
30 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

👍

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago

Good article. Hope it’s proved right about 32’s being batch 2 31’s. We need them ASAP so no buggering around with design please. Learn from construction and operation of 31’s then leave well alone.

Jonno
Jonno
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Quite right. they seem very good value and capable as patrol frigates. I hope the T32 has the 5 inch and FFAW the Mk 41s and lightweight towed array sonar.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonno

With the unit cost estimated at £300m the 5 inch is out but towed array is definitely in play. FFBNW is probably to early to say. Too many unknowables like budget, inflation etc.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Agree we need more hulls asap. Learn from T31, tweak the design & get cracking!
Regards 5′ gun though – I’m sure I read somewhere the unit price is only about £11m for the system (could be very wrong here though). I can live with ‘building down to a price’ within reason to get some numbers back. Theres also an argument for ‘it does not need one for the duties expected’. But do you think it excessive to pop a 5′ on the T32?

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

Tried searching to find cost of 127mm but found everything except price. Pretty sure when 31 contract was announced it was rejected as much too expensive for £250m ship. To be honest couldn’t care less whether it uses 127 or 57mm both have advantages and disadvatages. 127 has range and anti ship 57 is better anti air weapon.

Steve M
Steve M
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

We need another type with 127 on to provide NGS, T-26 are/will be the RN’s primary ASW asset and the risk involved in sending £1B asset close to hostile shore to provide NGS is MAD, better to use the £.3B hull!

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve M

I don’t think NGS would be viable except in the most permissive situations. Against an opponent with even moderate SSM capacity it would be far too risky.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
30 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

$245M for 3x Mk 45 gun systems plus 1x training system and ammunition, back in 2016.
https://www.baesystems.com/en/article/bae-systems-awarded–245-million-contract-for-uk-type-26-gun-system

David Steeper
David Steeper
30 days ago

Whoa that’s ridiculous. £60m plus each. The RN made a smart decision rejecting them for the 31’s.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
30 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

It was actually dollars, but with inflation and the ex rate you’re probably on the mark, if not light at today’s prices.

Ironically while T26 probably had the Mk 45 added for NGFS, it would be very unlikely to be risked in that role today. What may happen though is using the gun for the BAES Kingfisher capability as part of a suite of layered ASW. Or a 5″ version of the 57mm MAD-FIRES. Or both, given the large magazine.

More on how BAES see ASW playing out including Kingfisher in videos on website linked –
https://www.baesystems.com/en-uk/productfamily/underwater-weapons

David Steeper
David Steeper
30 days ago

Good link thanks.👍

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

I might make some minor changes to the design based on experience from the early T31’s, particularly if they are going to major on autonomous vehicle use. Having said that I would keep pretty everything outside of the mission bay and its support systems. Any other changes would have to make use of the current design’s modularity and flexibility i.e. add a hull mounted sonar and some more VLS if there is money available…

Whatever the design they need to get on with it sooner rather later or they won’t get it ready for production in time…

Cheers CR

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Agreed.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
30 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I suspect there will be a couple of factors at play wrt T32. T31 is leveraging an old design. It was by far the best option for the RN given the urgent need, but it isn’t optimised for unmanned platforms, where one large contiguous mission bay is going to provide more flexibility. It is a good platform for the long range GP patrol frigate role though. T31 can be built optimised for different roles, per Arrowhead website, but there are trade offs to doing so. https://www.arrowhead140.com/modular-system-specific-roles/ Both France and Italy, as the most likely competitors, have developed FTI and PPA… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
29 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Perhaps.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Got to be the logical answer doesn’t it why redesign the wheel. The only hesitation would I presume be as and when the purpose of the t32 is finalised and when is if specific aspects would benefit from a different design. However one would think a very different and fundamental design of ship would be very expensive and risk the troubled development the US has experienced with any of their programmes moving away from the traditional so while options are understandably left open at this stage I reckon substantial change to the T31 design would be highly unlikely, just the… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Agreed. If we want a drone carrier for example we’d be better off using something like a Bay.

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo
1 month ago

Not good comparison of costs: 1: Average cost T26 cost stated is the total cost divided by unit number, which is £1.3B. T31 average cost is £0.4B, with a total cost of £2Bn and 5 hulls. 2: Unit cost T26, there is no information of unit cost, to date. T31, £0.25 or 26 is often stated. But, we do NOT know if it includes GFX. Among the £2B T31 cost, there is a £1.25 Babcock contract. It includes Rosyth frigate hall, 5 hulls with guns, TACTICOS CMS and N100 radar, but NONE of the GFX is included. At least, it… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by donald_of_tokyo
Suportive Bloke
Suportive Bloke
1 month ago

Last week BAE said that the unit cost was £800m a copy excluding R&D spend.

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo
1 month ago

Great, very important information!!

If yes, it means “5 more hulls” of Batch 2 T26 will be only £4Bn (if no up-arming is implemented)…

Similarly, if T32 is a 5 ship program with average £0.3B cost (i.e. including R&D), which means £1.5Bn, we can builld two more T26 and a River B2 for the cost of 5 T32s…

2 T26 plus 1 River B2 VS 5 T32. Will be an interesting comparison, when the spec of T32 are known (will be several years later…)

Last edited 1 month ago by donald_of_tokyo
Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
1 month ago

The usual built for bur etc…. I wonder whether we will ever learn. It’ like creating a PL football team and saying the players can only have a ball on match days. At the very least I hope the 31’s and 32’s, and for me the 45’s get a dozen or more VLS tubes or perhaps in the latter case Bae’s ADL system. A form of anti ship SSM surely.

Jon
Jon
1 month ago

Type 26 “the final of the Batch 1 ships is estimated to be delivered in 2030.” That is incredibly pessimistic, especially as you estimate the first of the second batch will be delivered in 2028/29. Are you sure that shouldn’t be “in service” or “operational” by 2030? You also seem to contradict yourself with the final delivery date of batch 2, where again I think you mean in service by 2037. The faster build and intermediate rate predicted for batch 2 would be good news if confirmed, one every 1.5 years. Better still if they were built at an even… Read more »

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Good point. T45 hull2 was in service almost at the same time as hull1. Not an issue, “first of class trial” is there to establish each and every protocols to handle the ship, which is the reason taking so long. As such, I guess T26 hull-2 will be in service around late -2027 or early-2028. As hull-3, 4 and 5 onwards follows in 1.5 years interval, and hull-8 estimated to be delivered by 2037, estimated in-service date will be hull-1 2027 hull-2 2028 hull-3 2029 hull-4 2031 hull-5 2032 hull-6 2034 hull-7 2035 hull-8 2037 or alike, as I understand…… Read more »

Mark
Mark
30 days ago

They’ve just announced last week they are draining the wet basin and building a roof over it to allow for in door construction this surly is something they have learnt during the build process on hull 1 and will make it easier and quicker to build the remaining hulls, all the scaffolding and tarp being erected and took down will save money and time.

RobW
RobW
30 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Unfortunately the first 3 will all be built outside. The facility won’t be ready until work on number 4 starts.

Mark
Mark
30 days ago
Reply to  RobW

Surely it’s not going to take 7 years to build a warehouse? Because it’s just a big shed. How long did the rosythe ship factory take? 2 years so why is this one taking 7?

RobW
RobW
29 days ago
Reply to  Mark

HMS Birmingham is due to start build in 2023/24 , she’s the 4th ship of the class and supposedly the first to be constructed in the shed.

Mark
Mark
29 days ago
Reply to  RobW

Cheers Rob that does sound a bit more like it. Then 3 years to build, wonder how long we use to knock ships out in the 40s and 50a when we were still pride of the seas and money no object?

Jon
Jon
30 days ago
Reply to  Mark

The speed of the build is down to the contract. The hope is that the new shed is an indication that the batch two contract will not deliver as ridiculously slow build as the first one’s.

Peregrine16
Peregrine16
1 month ago

The recent Navy Lookout articles on the 57mm / 40mm combo on the T31 makes the 30mm / Phalanx combo on the T26 look decidedly out of date and very much inferior. Feels like the T26 should be revised in this regard.

RobW
RobW
30 days ago
Reply to  Peregrine16

With contracts signed and Phalanx and 30mm refurbished from existing stocks, changing to 40mm now will just add cost and no doubt delay. Best to get them in service and change later.

Peregrine16
Peregrine16
30 days ago
Reply to  RobW

Yes that is the pragmatic way forward. Got to be a good chance that they will be updated later as you say and as experience is gained and supply chains established on the T31’s.

Paul T
Paul T
30 days ago
Reply to  RobW

Contracts have not been signed yet for Batch 2 T26 AFAIK.

Paul T
Paul T
30 days ago
Reply to  Peregrine16

I would be quite surprised if there were no significant differences between Batch 1 and 2 Type 26.

Adrian
Adrian
1 month ago

All the comments about the type 31 and space for this or that seem to forget they are big ships, bigger than a type 23 and the type 22s. In the age where we’re building larger ships to enable space for expansion I see it as budget being the limiting factor and not space

Coll
Coll
30 days ago

Still no mention of the LAWs?

nonsense
nonsense
30 days ago

Drone hosting is the most important ability required for a ship that will be needed in 10 years.

McZ
McZ
30 days ago

There is too much talk about ships, not enough action, not enough strategy and still too many open questions. Basically the UK is still in peace dividend mode, with the governmental body unable and unwilling to switch. Really, we talk about frigates for 20 years and not a single one has hit the water. We have to look to Japan. They just launched two world leading frigates within five months. No flexibility and modularity rubbish talk, just hulls in the water. 22 of them, drumbeat of two per year, lean manned. With the T26 budget, you can actually build 35… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
30 days ago

Would somebody kindly explain where the Constellation class multi-mission guided-missile frigates fit in with Type 26,32,31?

Is it just a case of one size fits all or is there more to it?

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2022/01/u-s-navys-constellation-class-new-frigate-to-start-construction-this-year/

sna-ffg62-slide-1-20.jpg
Paul T
Paul T
30 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Its a Full Fat frontline Frigate much closer, in spec to a type 26 than a type 31.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
30 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

Many thanks @ PaulT, I was under the impression that it might be an all in one as it were!

Deep32
Deep32
30 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Hi Nigel, as per @Paul. T reply. Evolutionary wise it could be seen as the spiritual successor to the OHP class.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
30 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Many [email protected] Deep32!

AlexS
AlexS
30 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

The most important aspect for Constellations: -Have area AAW capability with AEGIS – fixed panel radars – with VLS for long range Standard missiles. The VLS should also be capable of other missiles like Asroc ASW missile and ESSM.roughly equivalent to CAMM RN frigates have only 25km range CAMM missiles and inferior rotating radars. -have 16 canister for SSM’s missiles It is unknow what quantity Type 26 will have. Some talk Tomhawk cells in it. -have 2 medium MH70 size helicopters, RN will have only 1 their frigates, albeit the EH101 is slight more capable. -Do not have hull sonar,… Read more »

Last edited 30 days ago by AlexS
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
29 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Many thanks AlexS, Clearly they bring a great deal of firepower to the fight, I hope we can do the same by increasing the loadout on our future warships.

Marcus FARRINGTON
Marcus FARRINGTON
30 days ago

The Polish 140s going for 32 cell VLS so quad packing gives 138 units ready to go.4 quad SSM midships plus guns…UK should bite bullet and fit MK41 to EVERYTHING afloat even the Batch 2s.Then we can argue the toss about missile mix,type etc.

Marcus FARRINGTON
Marcus FARRINGTON
30 days ago

Correction 128 units!!

steve
steve
29 days ago

I’m lost. Why are we designing ships with only 24 cell VLS? do we not want them to come back from any significant future conflict? or is it that we don’t ever intend for them to be used in conflict?
What is the point of a warship that has no offensive capability and almost no defensive capability? (well at least that’s the way these ships look to me when compared to warships from other Navy’s).
Still, as long as they’re cheap and look like a warship I guess that’s the main thing..
Sorry folks!

Daniel John Powell
Daniel John Powell
29 days ago

Great article again thanks for enjoy read, 8 out of 12 type 26 replace type 23? Would be nice add other 4 batch 2 of the type 26 As we keep under strength lack of strong fleet 5 only type 32? Should be 8 would be more better for our fleet to flexible and full strength. I would like see full strength something like this 8 type 31 8 type 32, 8 type 26, 6x Type 83, 6x Type 45 – keep (ABCM), 2x QoE Carrier, 2x UACV & Helicopter Carrier, 4x LSS (4 MRSS frame) so full strength fleet.… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
25 days ago

Highly unlikely the UK will have economic growth of 6% per annum over the next decade, to pay for this fantasy fleet!
By the way, the Astutes are the cream of UK military assets, why reduce them?