In a recent report, experts discuss the necessity for the Royal Navy to bolster its frigate force to address current and future maritime challenges.

The report, ‘A More Lethal Royal Navy: Sharpening Britain’s Naval Power‘ by William Freer and Dr. Emma Salisbury, outlines the current state of the Royal Navy’s frigate fleet and offers key recommendations to enhance its capabilities.

The Royal Navy’s frigate force has dwindled to precariously low levels but is expected to see a modest resurgence by the early 2030s. The Type 23 frigate, serving as the workhorse of the Royal Navy for three decades, is aging and heavily overworked. The report states, “While one of the best general-purpose frigate designs of their time, they are ageing – and have been heavily overworked.”

The current plan involves a mixed fleet of high-end and lower-end warships. This will include eight advanced Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Type 26 frigates, five less capable but still potent Type 31 frigates, and possibly five Type 32 frigates. The Type 32 design is yet to be finalised but is expected to be a more autonomous version of the Type 31. This strategy aims to provide a total frigate force of 18 warships.

These new frigates will offer a balance between hull numbers, lethality, and survivability. The report notes, “The Type 26 class will carry 48 VLS cells for Sea Ceptor and 24 cells of Mk41, for a total of 72 cells.” The Type 31 class, initially planned to carry only eight Sea Ceptor cells, will now be equipped with 32 Mk41 cells, significantly enhancing its capabilities.

The Type 32, described as a “Type 31 Batch 2,” may also feature 32 Mk41 cells. The Royal Navy’s approach to rebuilding the frigate force is commendable and by the mid-2030s will see a larger and more capable fleet.

Recommendations

Additional Type 26 Frigates

The report recommends procuring two additional Type 26 class frigates, increasing the total order to ten vessels. “Russia and the PRC are both placing heavy emphasis on their submarine fleets and ASW frigates will be in higher demand in the coming years,” the report explains.

Integration of ASROC

To amplify the ASW capabilities of the Type 26 class, the report suggests integrating the Anti-Submarine Rocket (ASROC) system. The report states, “ASROC is Mk41 VLS compatible and will amplify the Type 26 class’ already potent ASW capabilities.” This integration would ensure that the Type 26 can engage submarines at a range of around 10 miles, even if its helicopter is inoperable.

“The Type 26 is already set to become the world’s leading submarine hunting warship – integrating ASROC will turn it into an even more lethal submarine killer.”

It’s important to note that after the report was published, thinking went down this route.

Royal Navy seeks Long Range Anti-sub Weapon for Type 26

Maintaining Type 31 Capabilities in Type 32 Design

The report emphasises that the Type 32 class design should not see a reduction in the capabilities of the Type 31 design. It asserts, “Ensure that Type 32 class frigate design – as a ‘Type 31 Batch 2’ – does not see a reduction in the capabilities of the Type 31 design.”

Additional Type 32 Frigates

To enhance operational flexibility and coverage, the report recommends procuring an additional four Type 32 frigates, bringing the total to nine. The report states, “Procure an additional four Type 32 frigates, taking the total order to 9 vessels. Warships can only be in one place at any given time and a larger number of warships will amplify and extend the Royal Navy’s ability to protect British interests.”

Enhancing Offensive Firepower

The report suggests fitting both the Type 31 and Type 32 class frigates with eight canisters for surface-to-surface missiles to boost their offensive capabilities. It advises, “Fit the Type 31 and Type 32 class frigates – designed ‘for but not with’ – with eight canisters for surface-to-surface missiles to amplify their offensive firepower.”

Options include transferring Naval Strike Missiles from the retiring Type 23 class or procuring new canisters for the Future Cruise/Anti-Ship Weapon (FC/ASW) or other weapons such as the Long-Range Anti-Ship Weapon (LRASM).

Improved ASW Detection

Finally, the report recommends amplifying systems for submarine detection. It suggests, “Bolstering the effort could come through ensuring investment into the Merlin helicopter life-extension programme and exploring how long-range drones, able to operate across multiple platforms, can contribute to ASW.”

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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. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Geo
Geo (@guest_828678)
18 days ago

No arguments on that……also need to make them well weaponised as described

Brian Dee
Brian Dee (@guest_828683)
18 days ago

I don’t think the T32s will happen. Were looking at a 2045-2050 if it did happen before those are all commissioned if we’re lucky.

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_828685)
18 days ago
Reply to  Brian Dee

I’m waiting to see if it gets wrapped into another program, like more Fighty Amphibs or purpose built Mine hunting motherships

Bazza
Bazza (@guest_828760)
18 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

The stretched Type 31 with the stern ramp and mission bay babcock showed off last year seems like an easy way to merge the Type 32 programme with future mine hunting capability.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_828806)
18 days ago
Reply to  Bazza

Yes, design ready to go and pretty well armed too. Not sure it needs 4 x MK41s as it has two and maybe could have a 24 CAMM farm on the roof.
With all these additional ships, will there then be a need for additional helicopters too?

Pacman27
Pacman27 (@guest_828965)
18 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Since 2000 the uk helicopter fleet has lost more than 50% of its assets, that is crazy.

so in any world the UK needs to massively increase its helicopter force, the only type you could really say is a healthy size is Chinook but you can never have enough of those beasts of burden.

its gonna cost a fortune

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_829286)
16 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

You are Mystic Meg and I claim my £5 🙂
Navy Lookout has just posted an article on learning from RFA Sterling Castle – it says that the RN want 3 large, bespoke design armed, survivable MCM motherships.

Fraser
Fraser (@guest_828688)
18 days ago

The type 26 frigate is far too expensive to build in large numbers, it is 4 times more expensive than the previous generation type 23. The type 26 comes in at over a billion each. The type 31 and 32 is more affordable if you carefully choose what systems you want to put on them, we can’t afford everything and anything. Camm, a good radar, a good helicopter hanger, and if you have been careful about your budget so far some anti ship missiles. Then your done

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_828690)
18 days ago
Reply to  Fraser

It’s more like 800 million now which is in line with other first line frigates.

Fraser
Fraser (@guest_828707)
18 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

800 million is still a considerable sum, but beside the point its 800 million after the research and development period. The issue is that once we have paid to develope the vessel there is nothing left to build them. The navy can’t keep choosing extravagant designs that take up all the budget to develope and then scream bloody murder when there is nothing left to build the things. the budget is the budget, the navy is responsible to choose a design where resources available allow for both design and build.

David
David (@guest_828712)
18 days ago
Reply to  Fraser

It needs to be an “extravagant design” to have any hope of bothe detecting the very good latest gen of Russian subs and defending itself from those subs.
What was the cost of T23 in the late 80s and 90s when inflation is taken into account?

Fraser
Fraser (@guest_828724)
18 days ago
Reply to  David

320 million initial cost, initial 1st ship hms norfolk, 200 million for later ships. 135 million 1991 and 97 million in 1990s onwards. Even with inflation we are seeing a 4 fold increase in cost. If you spend 4 times more don’t be surprised if you get 4 times less.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_828834)
18 days ago
Reply to  Fraser

And Norfolk didn’t have a command system at build . You had to fire Seawolf from a local console!

Now factor in the upgrades to T23 to get it from where it was at build to where it is at decommissioning which will be where the T26 will start at with its new/better and comparable systems.

Just from my world as a WE
Mk8 Mod1
S2087
S2150
Artesan
1008
ECDIS
Doppler Log
Sea Ceptor
SCOT5
DNA
CMS
Comms fits
COBLU
30mm
Sea Gnat
DLF 3
ESM
NSM
Special Fits

Michael Valentine
Michael Valentine (@guest_828750)
18 days ago
Reply to  Fraser

The point is any additional orders will not have the development cost included. Therefore much more affordable.
Initial requirement was for 13 platforms, we should have stuck to this number. Also build rate would be higher as investment in facilities wad depending on an order of 12 plus.

Exroyal.
Exroyal. (@guest_828926)
18 days ago
Reply to  Fraser

I agree the Navy will always want the best toys as it were. Sometimes that can be achieved by going with proven technology. Propulsion systems for instance. Look at the destroyer debacle. Lessons need to learned. No more fitted for but not with. A multi layered air defence is required for all ships. With CIWS as the last resort. With limits on cell capacity the day of the depot ship could be coming again.The destroyer fleet is to small, the RFA is desperate for investment. Amphibious assets are tired. Somebody at Barrow and another at RR in Derby needs to… Read more »

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_828944)
18 days ago
Reply to  Exroyal.

Theyre already looking at the Astute replacement, its part of the whole aukus program.

Exroyal.
Exroyal. (@guest_828983)
18 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

You should read my post again. I said someone in Derby and Barrow. Not someone in Derby, Barrow, Gorton and Newport News. AUKUS has already caused delays. Ambush will go out of service in or around 2040. We need to be cutting steel in 2029.

Wasp snorter
Wasp snorter (@guest_829057)
17 days ago
Reply to  Fraser

Extravagant design? It’s not made of gold. The design is to make it peer class sub hunter, there’s no cheap way of doing that unless you think we should build 3 times as many crap ships that will fail to detect until too late and be sunk quickly. Tech , detection systems, integration and weoponry are state of the art and takes years to build and commission, so it ain’t cheap. Your cost comparison to the T23 fails to account for the upgrades that lead to the starting point of the T26. Obv if we build more of a class… Read more »

Last edited 17 days ago by Wasp snorter
AlexS
AlexS (@guest_829156)
17 days ago
Reply to  Wasp snorter

Yes extravagant design for what it offers. It is a good project for the Australian and Canadian navy versions, not the subpar UK version.

Wasp snorter
Wasp snorter (@guest_829195)
17 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Is the subpar reason because it does not have torpedo launchers like the RAN version?

Callum
Callum (@guest_829252)
17 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

“Subpar UK version”? In what world is it subpar? Look at the fleets they’re designed for it makes sense. The RCN version packs a little more offensive firepower with 8 cannister SSMs and torpedo launchers, as well as the superior LRDR radar, but has dropped half the Sea Ceptor cells and Phalanx. Its a more multipurpose vessel at the expense of being costlier, because unlike a T26 its role is to do everything, not hunt subs under the umbrella of destroyers and carrier air cover. The RAN version is, honestly, daft. They’re overloading the ship to make an ASW frigate… Read more »

ZivBnd
ZivBnd (@guest_829137)
17 days ago
Reply to  Fraser

A Flight II Type 26 with updated weaponry and radar systems might keep the price down, the shipyard open and allow for improvements in the original design. I look at the Burkes being commissioned now and they are beasts compared to the original Flight I Burke.
I am not familiar enough with the Type 26, is there planning for improving the ships over the years to come?

Mark P
Mark P (@guest_828909)
18 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

If Norway order the T26’s 🤞 then the unit price should come down further, so a couple more on the back of that for the RN should make things slightly more affordable?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_829002)
18 days ago
Reply to  Mark P

Just need to sell some to the US for some extra icing on the 🎂!… If their Constellation class falls through. And why not try for a licence build T26/T31 to India?

Jim
Jim (@guest_828748)
18 days ago
Reply to  Fraser

I’m inclined to agree, I think we should really have a force of perhaps 12 high end destroyers merging the T26 and T45 role like the Burkes do for the USN then a cheap frigate fleet like the T31 with 12 hulls as well. T26 will be top class but it’s expensive for something bobbing around in the North Atlantic in numbers like the T23. The T31 may be too cheap and cheery though for our NATO commitments We possibly something like a T32 with the noise reduction options to make it better at ASW instead. T31 will be great… Read more »

Paul Bestwick
Paul Bestwick (@guest_828782)
18 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Why go to the effort of quietening the hull on the T-32 when the work has already been done for the T-26. Just build a few more T-26, bearing in mind that the £800m price tag only holds for up to 3 extra at which point the government furnished equipment (radar etc) carried over fromT-23 runs out.

Fraser
Fraser (@guest_829194)
17 days ago
Reply to  Paul Bestwick

Yeah I don’t think fielding £800 million pound surface frigates meets the economics of war. Its less than 1.2 billion but with that reference point any sum ‘looks’ cheap. Its way too many eggs in a basket, it’s doomed to be fielded in small numbers because of the cost, it ensures that ship yard capacity is kept low because we can’t afford the volume of orders to keep it up. In the event of a protracted conflict we are immediately going to run into the issue of not being able to deploy them widely enough due to small numbers leading… Read more »

Paul Bestwick
Paul Bestwick (@guest_829238)
17 days ago
Reply to  Fraser

The whole issue relates to one fact, to our political masters defence is NOT important. Shipbuilding is not important. 100 years ago shipyards were considered critical national infrastructure. It’s not for nothing that Arson in the Kings/Queens shipyard was the last crime alongside High Treason to carry the death penalty. If the escort fleet had been been maintained at a build rate of two a year, allowing for replacement of the whole force over 20-25 years. Would the costs per ship be so high? However could we afford it even if the unit prices were lower, not without something else… Read more »

Paul Bestwick
Paul Bestwick (@guest_828784)
18 days ago
Reply to  Fraser

Thing is Fraser is you are not counting all the investment made on the T-23s since comissioning. Many of the onboard systems have been replaced. Also defence inflation has run above baseline inflation since at least the end of the cold war and we have far less shipyards capable of building surface warships now. Also according to defence analyst Francis Tusa the the costs of the T-31 are pushing £450m per ship, due in part to the use of capability insertion after comissioning which is outside the base contract.

Ex British Tom
Ex British Tom (@guest_828854)
18 days ago
Reply to  Fraser

I would argue that with Canadian and Australian variants starting construction with economy of scale the price should come down.

Jon
Jon (@guest_828997)
18 days ago
Reply to  Fraser

The Type 26 are not too expensive and the unit price could even be cheaper if we chose to build at full throttle. We “can’t afford” more frigates at the moment because the government chooses not to fund Defence to even a fraction of what is needed. Type 23 was ordered in the 1980s, when we spent a real and properly measured 5% of GDP on defence. That’s why could buy twice as many. Even then there was more than an element of fitted for but not with. Remember the design lifespan and how that worked out?

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_829157)
17 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Type 26 UK do not have 360º planar face radars that all its competitors have, do not have area AAW with Aster 30 or Standard missiles so what explain its cost?

Jon
Jon (@guest_829571)
15 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Silence. There comes a point in a fight against a submarine where the ability to run silently comes in handy. If American terms help you think, perhaps try accoustic stealth. No, it won’t have wide area AAW coverage to the same standard as a destroyer. I have no idea why you’d want to judge an ASW specialist frigate by the standards of an AAW ship. Especially as we still don’t know what AAW missiles it will be getting, other than CAMM. Maybe it will have Aster 30s or SM2. The medium-range Artisan radar is pretty good from all accounts, even… Read more »

Pete
Pete (@guest_829136)
17 days ago
Reply to  Fraser

I think this is where “designed for but not with” comes into play. You can’t afford everything in one go so stagger it all over 5-10 years with upgrades during standard refits. Much like with what’s been done with the T45s.

Fraser
Fraser (@guest_830069)
13 days ago
Reply to  Pete

Yeah but not being able to equip a very small number of ships and then having to equip our ships over 10 years, shows how unaffordable navy equipment has become. Imagine if we got into a war and we increased our spending 20x to over 3 40% of gdp for 3-5 years. What would we get 10 partially equipment ships a year instead of half a partially equipt ship a year, which we get now?. In ww2 we were making over 200 major naval vessels a year, and the uk economy was much much smaller back then. Naval equipment isn’t… Read more »

George Amery
George Amery (@guest_828689)
18 days ago

Hi folks hope all is well.
I note mention of “Type 32s”. This would be fantastic to have a further class of frigate to bolster needed numbers. However, I’d be surprised if such a class will get underway, especially when Labour take control, and poor over the MOD’s accounts, they’ll have a hissy fit as it currently stands despite all the talk of increasing the defence budget to 2.5 percent of GDP “when possible” or something like that!
Cheers
George

Patrick
Patrick (@guest_828696)
18 days ago

Preaching to the choir.

Graham
Graham (@guest_828702)
18 days ago

Still no land attack capability

jjsmallpiece
jjsmallpiece (@guest_828703)
18 days ago

Still too small a fleet. The RN should be circa 50 warship hulls

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_828714)
18 days ago
Reply to  jjsmallpiece

With our economy size that’s frankly unfeasible, it could be better but not that.

jjsmallpiece
jjsmallpiece (@guest_828722)
18 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

Entirely feasible.- its all down to political decisions and priorities.

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_828723)
18 days ago
Reply to  jjsmallpiece

There aren’t many votes in defense so while i don’t like it I see exactly why it isn’t a government priority

DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan (@guest_828767)
18 days ago
Reply to  jjsmallpiece

The US has three companies – NVIDIA, Microsoft, and Apple whose market capitalization individually is greater than all of the companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. It’s a matter of economics, not politics mor priorities. The only real place the funds can come from is the NHS budget and that is not going to happen.

Nick
Nick (@guest_828805)
18 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

Have you seen south Koreas navy? They have more ships then we do. Be it we have more modern ones. We used to keep what we now call ‘old’ ships active longer to keep fleet sizes up. The US, China, Russia etc do this still. If we upped the type 26s to 10 and built more type 31 ships we could. The problem is the philosophy of the MOD unfortunately is way fewer ships more technology. Where are we could do both. Ships that are active in navies even from the 70s-90s are still feasible ships with the right upgrades.… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_829158)
17 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

With our economy size that’s frankly unfeasible, it could be better but not that.

False ,with your social state and political state expenditures is what makes it unfeasible.
Face the fact only few people in Britain care for armed forces. Billions are spend in propaganda, netzero, DEI, universities etc.

Darryl2164
Darryl2164 (@guest_828708)
18 days ago

Great report but will the bean counters at the treasury take it onboard and agree to the extra funding the Navy is desperate for . The fleet is far too small for all escort types including subs .

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_829160)
17 days ago
Reply to  Darryl2164

It has nothing to do with bean counters, but with political and cultural priorities of British media-political class.

The Britiish Government will spend 1226 Billion Pounds in 2024/2025 if Statista is correct.
10% would have been 122 billion.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_829316)
16 days ago
Reply to  Darryl2164

Priorities

‘White-centricity’ of folk music investigated in £1.5m academic study

University of Sheffield researchers handed taxpayer cash to ‘decolonise’ folk singing.

The Telegraph

Bob
Bob (@guest_828710)
18 days ago

Need an urgent purchase of 4.5″/5″ anti-air shells and some similarly armed 40mm for the T26, carriers and support ships (30mm if they cannot be up-gunned). Dragonfire once it is available.

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_828715)
18 days ago
Reply to  Bob

We have 30mm lying around. There’s other reasons for not installing them on the carrier.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_828835)
18 days ago
Reply to  Bob

Buy as many shells as you want.
Unless the gunnery control system can do AA it won’t matter.

It’s a systems issue not an individual item issue.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_829161)
17 days ago
Reply to  Bob

I don’t think 4.5″ rounds are being made anymore.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_829163)
17 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Emgprom in Brazil make them for the Brazillian Navy. There are still some Mk 8s in use for other countries but not many . Pakistan made its own but now that the T21s are gone that need has probably disappeared.

I think that BAe do batch runs as required for RN and Chile use. The new facilities that they have can be configured far more easily than the old, dedicated calibre machines

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_829173)
17 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I’ve got a funny feeling that Iran also have the 4.5″ on a couple of their older frigate/ corvettes? I guess they’d be making their own ammo…. Lol 😁

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_829375)
16 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I think they do. Could have been buying from Pakistan or making their own ordo they even have shells for them?

John Hartley
John Hartley (@guest_828711)
18 days ago

Fantasy Fleets, my favourite! Sadly they will be last on the list of Starmer’s priorities. I would add two more T26, but built as a Canadian/Australian arsenal ship. So the Canadian T26 standard, but with the proposed extra aft MK41 VLS offered to the Australians.(Exeter & York?)
Then three more T31, but with the ice hardened hull being developed now. (Hurricane, Hardy & Havoc).
Sadly there is not enough money down the back of the sofa. (My five would probably cost £4 to 4.5 billion).

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_828718)
18 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Why do they need to be ice hardened.
Also there’s no point in an AAW T26 because we have no Mk41 long range missiles.

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_828776)
18 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

Because the only way we’ll get them is if hell freezes over?

Just being cheeky.😯

John Hartley
John Hartley (@guest_828920)
18 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

Have you seen what Putin is doing in Polar regions? If you have no missiles for MK41, you can buy them off the shelf. A mix of Tomahawk, ASROC & Standard SM3 & 6, would be my choice.

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_828942)
18 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Theyre not going to get any other air defense systems till they decide what theyre going to use for the Type 83, e.g. theyre not going to make an Air defense variant of either the T26 or 31.

Geoff Bowler ex RAF
Geoff Bowler ex RAF (@guest_828729)
18 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

in canada type 26 built by Irvin shipyard est 15 ships =Can $ 70/80 billion public figures

John Hartley
John Hartley (@guest_828924)
18 days ago

Well thank our Canadian cousins for the extra R&D. Also their figure includes money spent on Canadian shipyards & workers.

Mickey
Mickey (@guest_828951)
18 days ago

That price tag is for the full funding for 15 ships from start to finish over 40 years.

Rowan Maguire
Rowan Maguire (@guest_828756)
18 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

I’d disagree with it being last on Starmers lists of priority. With much thanks to Russia, defense has slowly crept back into the public eye and some recent headline reports on the state and actual capabilities of our armed forces have come as a shock to a lot of people I know who previously have never paid any attention to it and just assumed that “we are Britain we’ll always be strong ect, ect.” Complete lack of air defenses and the size of our navy always seem to be what gets the average person actually scratching their heads. As we… Read more »

Daniel Henderson
Daniel Henderson (@guest_828798)
18 days ago
Reply to  Rowan Maguire

What most people forget though is our geography! we are a island to the far west of Europe and thus a long way away from most potential air threats. very few Russian jets have the range and would have to deal with many other European countries first. Chinese could only hit us with ballistic missiles (and let’s be honest they have their hands full with the Americans !) and they would be nuclear armed so end of the world stuff and Russian missiles would have to cross most of Europe (the Germans or poles would be more likely targets!) or… Read more »

John Hartley
John Hartley (@guest_828918)
18 days ago
Reply to  Rowan Maguire

Last thing I want, is more party politics on this site. The UK has a £2.7 trillion national debt. Rapidly heading to £3 trillion. We are still running a gov deficit of £120 billion in what is hailed as a good financial year. The unions want a bonus from the first Labour government in 14 years, but money will be tight, no matter which party wins. Yes I want more money spent on UK defence, but I am well aware of the financial constraints.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_829175)
17 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Time for the 🇬🇧 to generate more sales revenues, cut down on waste and pay off some of that debt! 😁

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_828719)
18 days ago

As an ex-army man I have totally given up hope of the army being expanded even slightly in manpower and platform numbers, whichever Party forms the next Government – we will struggle to deploy an effective well-equipped warfighting division on a single-shot operation and it is wishful thinking to suppose we could deploy even a brigade on an enduring operation without recourse to the Reserves and/or ‘the Royals’.

I wish my Navy colleagues and their supporters all the best – their news looks a lot brighter, certainly as regards the escorts.

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_828733)
18 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Evening Graham, I fear you’re right mate…

Everything seems to be downsizing to Brigade level. The thought of deploying a division is frankly laughable in anything short of general war.

Alas, I think even deploying a Brigade for anything more than a few months would start to cause issues.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_828955)
18 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Hi John, The BA, even at 73,000 Regs, has the numbers to deploy a warfighting division (but probably could not easily continue with all other commitments). There may be a limited recourse to Reservists in specialist roles. The issue is kit – if deployed in the short term it would be largely old and/or unmodernised kit. No-one is really sure about how much we have in the way of ammunition reserves – some are very pessimistic on that front. If we were instead required to deploy a Bde on an enduring operation, it would of course deploy for the standard… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_829162)
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

With 73000 you can’t make rotation and there will be losses.

Andy A
Andy A (@guest_829169)
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Yet we have most advanced small arms factory in the world and make bigger stuff too. No stockpiles though damned idiots

Daniel Henderson
Daniel Henderson (@guest_828799)
18 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Having served in the army you could be missing the point. We just don’t need a big army. we are not on Russia’s border, Germany and Poland are! Our contribution to the shared defence is securing the northern sea lanes, cyber and nuclear. the army’s only real job is to protect the overseas territories and we don’t need 100k men todo that. Russia can never win a fight against nato they know that as well as we do. The bigger concern is that they try and get so completely destroyed in a very short time frame that they feel threatened… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_830372)
12 days ago

Daniel, I have never argued for a big army, just a right-sized (and properly equipped) army. When I joined the army in 1975 we had a big army of 180,000 regulars and about 70,000 TA. The key army commitment then was of course assignment of a Corps to NATO, with HQ 1 (BR) Corps commanding four armoured divisions in West Germany plus a brigade in Berlin. A heavy commitment to Op BANNER in Northern Ireland (a 38-year deployment) was also a remit, with up to 21,000 soldiers deployed at times (plus 6,500 UDR). That was a big army. ‘Options for… Read more »

Jon
Jon (@guest_829018)
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

That’s worse that I imagined. I thought two BCTs with rotations and you tell me they’d struggle to field a single brigade. Why for pities sake? A BCT is about 5,000ish, isn’t it. What’s the multiple to stick a group in the field for long periods? Okay, I read your response to John. You say it’s a sixfold multiple One tour on, five tours off. I’ve never served so this seems a very high multiple to me. Double the Navy’s rule of three. So I looked up Harmony guidelines. Over a three year period (1096 days), Navy can be away… Read more »

Angus
Angus (@guest_829180)
17 days ago
Reply to  Jon

All 3 Services should be the same and at the HIGHEST number as the Fleet has been doing that and more for years. Better people management would help with personnel being able to multi task, more. In the end all the talk about desired dreamed of new equipment is all hogwash without the right people to man it and the younger generations are simply not up for that as they are all WOKE and soft which is not to blame them but the older generations allowing it to happen. Little hope for the future no matter who gets in as… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_829240)
17 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Hi Jon, World of difference between fielding a division for warfighting in a one-shot operation such as Gulf war 1 (and warfighting phase of Guldf War 2)….and fielding a BCT on an enduring operation. Enduring operations (of various sizes) can be ongoing for many years – Op TOSCA (UN duties in Cyrprus) has now been going for exactly 50 years. The mission to defend the Falklands by deploying an in-place force has lasted for 42 years.Op BANNER in NI lasted for 38 years. Op HERRICK in Afghan lasted 12 years. Op TELIC in Iraq lasted 8 years. Enduring operations is… Read more »

Jon
Jon (@guest_829257)
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

My figures came from an old answer to a parliamentary written question. Ah, found it. 2017 it was, so possibly out of date. However, I did understand it to mean time away from home rather than time getting shot at.

Last edited 17 days ago by Jon
Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_829335)
16 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Time away from home had become an issue around that time – some called it ‘nghts out of bed’, I seem to recall. That is (or can be) a very different thing to number of deployments on major op tours in a given period.

Last edited 16 days ago by Graham Moore
Jon
Jon (@guest_829274)
16 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Okay, had a think about what you are saying and it puts the hollowing out of the Army into chilling perspective.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_829336)
16 days ago
Reply to  Jon

It is quite easy to make a claim that the army could not deploy a BCT+ on an enduring operation (running for many, many years) or could only do so by making recourse to reservists and/or RM personnel. ie no more Op Herricks or Op Telics or Op Banners.

Chris Gooding
Chris Gooding (@guest_828726)
18 days ago

Agreed 2 additional Type 26
12 type 31 or mixture type 32
8 type 83 destroyers
This would be a minimum requirement in current climate not in 10 years time..
Flog the older ships to death.. they are much needed now and get our ships ready we need more personnel..
Army and air force are so stretched.. yet we are scraping things left right and centre to save money.
We need troops vehicles planes and ships.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_828730)
18 days ago

More chance of Ed Davey becoming prime minister. Sunak should have ordered a second batch of 31’s when he had the chance.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_828759)
18 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

In fairness I thing that could have happened……but

T31 was brought at a budget.

MOD/RN up specked T32 and then there was a moment of disbelief when the costing numbers didn’t match any conceivable budgets….

So round the maypole it went….

And a down specked T32 is the order of the day!

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_829035)
17 days ago

Probably right my friend and something we see far too often. Where we go now heaven knows. 😇

PhilWestMids
PhilWestMids (@guest_828734)
18 days ago

I think getting the T26, T31 and the rivers B2 up to 10 each would be a good start to increase the fleet in a decent timeframe. My opinion is for what it is worth, cancel the T32 and build more what is currently in production, the T26 is a world class platform and the T31 has plenty of potential for expanding it’s capability, what we have is generally great capability, just not the numbers required in today’s threat level. We can then start to look at the type 83, with the T45 being upgraded as much as it can… Read more »

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_828766)
18 days ago
Reply to  PhilWestMids

T32 has been suggested as just another name for a 2nd batch of T31, or one with slight modification, but obviously both seem unlikely unless something is done about crewing or budget

PhilWestMids
PhilWestMids (@guest_828780)
18 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

T32 being a 2nd batch of the T31 is probably the best option. I feel the more T32 being a different type of ship option is out there, the more chance it will get analysed for what difference it can be to the T31, who can come on board as a potential partner to export to/share development cost and it will just get canned and take up much needed defence budget/resource in the process.

Pete
Pete (@guest_828804)
18 days ago
Reply to  PhilWestMids

Perhaps type 32 should simply be a T31 as currently envisaged (mk41 etc and NSM), to simplify hull and shipbuilding planning, but add a bow sonar and ‘NS200’ class radar instead of NS110. Create a drumbeat of Type 32s and when time is right sell off type 31s and replace with additional T32s.

Escort fleet of 24
8 x GP
8 x ASW
8 x AA

Pete
Pete (@guest_828807)
18 days ago
Reply to  Pete

8 x is of course…long long term but reflects for each class of vessel, at any one time, 2 for CSG / global deployment, 2 for home waters / North Atlantic, 2 alongside post patrol and 2 in long term refit / maintenance

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_828808)
18 days ago
Reply to  PhilWestMids

There’s been a recent UK shipping industry delegation visiting Hyundai in Korea recently, but I didn’t see Babcock on the list there but I think they’re more involved with subs. I might be wrong on that. Mentioned this before but the UK is not on the list for the RANs light frigate requirement for 7-11 ships. How/why did they miss that? Navantia is on there despite there being problems with their Canberra, Hobart’s and now the latest Stalwart /Supply oiler ships, so you’d think the T31 with its Danish IH background would have got a look in? Might need to… Read more »

Last edited 18 days ago by Quentin D63
Nick Cole
Nick Cole (@guest_828736)
18 days ago

About time too! Better late than never but we need them now!

Bazza
Bazza (@guest_828757)
18 days ago

The ‘buy American’ report recommends buying ASROC instead of it’s much more capable Japanese cousin, the Type 07. Shocker

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_828809)
18 days ago
Reply to  Bazza

Maybe “they” want cheap, and quickly? If it’s Asroc hopefully they can get the latest with a bit more range out of it and definitely use UK torpedos. Wonder if the Aust and Canadian T26s will also have Asroc and if the Norwegians go for the T26, them too? Common stock, pooling resources, so might get the nod.
Would the Japanese Type 07 be able to carry the UK torpedo?

Mr Bell
Mr Bell (@guest_828761)
18 days ago

I’d be happy with that recommendation. Type 26 (+2 more hulls=10)
Type 31 and additional batch of type 31s ideally optimised for surface strike with 5inch medium gun and a navalised MLRS?. Then add 5 type 32s.
Plus 8-12 type 83s.
Job done.
Best navy in Europe.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_828811)
18 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Signed, sealed, waiting… Lol 😁 🇬🇧

SMR
SMR (@guest_828764)
18 days ago

Instead , building drone carrier will be more cost effective and will provide modern sea warefare lead.

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_828773)
18 days ago

Certainly true. Most here have been saying this since escorts ran down to 25, if not earlier & today we have a hopeless 15 & no new builds ready for a year or two. But we also need more air defence destroyers. CAMM has considerably increased the air defence of our frigates but area air defence is dangerously low with just 6 T45 DDG. Add to their remit the planned ballistic defence capability of the UK & we’ve far too few to withstand any sustained attack.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_828779)
18 days ago

Henceforth, recommend that all consultant reports have a mandatory section detailing a viable financial and schedule implementation plan. May tend to reduce overall consultant expense. 🤔

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_828810)
18 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

I think “they” should be consulting all “us experts” here on UKDJ. Free of charge too! Lol, tongue in cheek of course!! 😂 And some here are actual subject matter experts.

Last edited 18 days ago by Quentin D63
SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_828872)
18 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Was it Labour or the Tories who wanted Citizens’ Assemblies to help decide on some matters? Well, in UKDJ we have an assembly of, presumably, British citizens who have an interest in and occasionally knowledge of Defence. What are the government waiting for?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_828990)
18 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

“Ukdj” should be a think tank consultancy direct to the MOD! What do you reckon?! 😁 😂

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_829102)
17 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

As long as they wangle me a job at one of MBDA, BAE or Qinetiq in a few years I’d be happy to help.
I’m not sure they’d want us, we all want them to spend more money.

Jon
Jon (@guest_829031)
17 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

There are a few non-British and (Russian and Chinese trolls excepted) we are enriched by their presence.

Julian
Julian (@guest_829034)
17 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Tories, specifically Rory Stewart proposed the idea when he was running in the 2019 leadership contest that Boris ultimately won. That’s not to say that people in other parties haven’t suggested it over the years but due to the 2019 leadership candidate debates and 1-on-1 interviews RS got the concept a fair amount of airtime.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_829097)
17 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Recommendations have some utility, however, recommendations embedded in a viable implementation plan can prove to be quite valuable. In days of yore, we often said consultant reports were valuable paperweights (NLA w/ electronic media).

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_828803)
18 days ago

Sorry if I’ve missed something, but if the T32, which I thought are going to be mothership types for MCM roles, how can they also have 4 MK41s? They’re then basically going to be a T31+? I thought they might be more a paired back T26 or like the Babcock MRP stretched T31 concept which had just the 2 MK41s, mission bay of the T26, but not sure if there’s a CAMM farm on the roof? It’s good there’s this report and debate going on as things must be being stirred into some action. Waiting to see now if the… Read more »

Jon
Jon (@guest_829036)
17 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Drone motherships were mooted, not MCM. MCM will be the Castles.

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_829039)
17 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Agree another 2 T45 would be good: but not practical. The French canned all but 2 Horizon class in favour of incrementing AAW capability of some Fremm frigates. The UK could do something similar by building another 2 T31 or T26. Both have room for lots of VLS but in either case you would create something of an orphan design. Wouldn’t surprise me if they are holding fire on finalising the T32 – MCM thing until they see how RFA Sterling Castle works out.

Drew murrY
Drew murrY (@guest_828851)
18 days ago

I think we should be building a destroyer class ,something similar to the ticos, yes keep the frigates but think we should have something more powerful

Peter S
Peter S (@guest_828902)
18 days ago

To summarise- this report recommends * a fifth Dreadnought * five more SSNs * two additional T26 frigates * nine T32s ( all additional to current numbers), * arsenal ships * installation of ASROC and more SSMs to a Royal Navy that can’t crew its existing fleet. My fantasy upgrade would instead * increase Typhoon fleet to 300 * install a comprehensive air defence system for the whole UK * augment Trident with several hundred long range nuclear armed cruise missiles * increase the army to 100,000 with equipment to match * increase the SSN fleet The last suggestion is… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_829017)
17 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

‘This Report is the first to be released by the Council on Geostrategy’s Strategic Advantage Cell. Kindly sponsored by Lockheed Martin, this Cell is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom (UK)’.
Defence company sponsors report recommending more spending on defence..,well I never. Be interesting to compare with the likely labour govt’s defence review. Back to reality I would say getting pay and recruitment sorted is pretty high on the agenda so we can deploy the ships under construction.

Peter S
Peter S (@guest_829103)
17 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Exactly. If existing surface ships can’t be fully crewed what is the point of T32? Unless AUKUS disintegrates, I do think an increase in SSNs will happen. The rest, no chance.

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_829114)
17 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

MRSS is an opportunity. Get the design, the number, roles and crewing right and things could look a lot brighter.

Raz
Raz (@guest_828927)
18 days ago

Given the disasters of the Zumwalt, LCS and Constellation classes, perhaps working with the Americans should be avoided

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_828928)
18 days ago

This mornings Articles more Destroyers , Submarines , Frigates. Think must of us on ukdj have been saying this for year’s ,please don’t make me laugh 🤗 Like I’ve said on another post need to sort out recruitment first and budget increase 🙄 🇬🇧

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_828992)
18 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

I had to check I was drinking just normal ☕ this morning when all these “need more of” articles came in. 😂 Lets hope at least some of them eventuate.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_829091)
17 days ago

and the new destroyers to the list

Rod P
Rod P (@guest_829096)
17 days ago

We have to get away from the concept of fitting for but not with. By there very nature warships can be called upon on very short notice to respond to a threat – particularly as the world is at the moment. There may not be time to retro fit the anti ship cannister system and you are more than likely going to put both the ship and the crew at greater risk. To me it is a false economy.

Jon
Jon (@guest_829164)
17 days ago
Reply to  Rod P

I think it’s reasonable to delay a decision on certain elements of the initial fit out, just as it’s reasonable not to decide what will go in a mission module or which missiles will go in a VLS. The issue comes when there’s no money put aside in the budget to buy these things. So we end up with few missiles, nothing in the mission modules and FFBNW lasting the entire life of the ship.

If the Navy can’t put aside the budget space for these things, there’s no alternative than to pay for the full fit out up front.

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_829104)
17 days ago

Companies are clearly anticipating that they will need to fight to sell Government anything at all. This ‘report’ looks like the opening salvo.

dc647a
dc647a (@guest_829255)
17 days ago

What planet are these experts are from the government has never increased the quantity but always reduce, even to suggest that we need to increase will fall on deaf ears…. This is how the government brains work plan for 8 might increase to 10 but end up at 6..

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_830576)
12 days ago

then another twenty five years to get them.

Iain
Iain (@guest_830960)
10 days ago

Why 4 not 5 Type 32 (Aka Type 31 batch 2). I also take the other two T26. Then there to Batch one river class ships needed replacing soon. Also as a priority the T83 design is needed now, first T45 due to retire 2040. Then there is the Astutes, originally planed for 12 but now only 7, in the full report they suggest one extra Dreadnought with lots of conventional VLS, to keep the Sub Drum beat going, but would it not be better and cheaper to built 2-3 Astute as a single ship of a class is a… Read more »