BAE Systems awarded Lockheed Martin a contract to equip the Royal Navy’s new Type 26 Frigate fleet with the MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS).

The MK 41 VLS is the only system capable of launching anti-air, anti-submarine, surface-to-surface and strike-length missiles. Once integrated with the Type 26, the MK 41 VLS will offer the Royal Navy “unparalleled flexibility and capability” say BAE.

There have been more than 3,850 successful firings worldwide. MK41 VLS has been successfully integrated and is in service with the US and 12 allied navies on nearly 200 ships representing 20 ship classes.

“Lockheed Martin has a long and successful partnership with the Royal Navy, and we look forward to working with BAE Systems to integrate the MK 41 VLS with the Type 26,” said Paul Livingston, Group Managing Director of Lockheed Martin UK Rotary and Mission Systems.

“The MK 41 VLS will provide the Royal Navy’s Type 26 Global Combat Ships with a proven and cost-effective vertical launching solution.”

Each Type 26 will be equipped with three 8-cell MK 41 VLS modules. BAE Systems initial order includes nine MK 41 VLS modules, enough for the first three ships of the class.

“The signature of this contract is another important milestone in the ongoing delivery of the UK’s Type 26 program,” said Mike Holstead, head of the Type 26 program at Defence Equipment and Support, the Ministry of Defence’s procurement organisation.

“The vertical launch system will be a key part of the capability of the new frigate fleet, and an essential tool for Royal Navy in operations to defend the UK and her interests.”

“As momentum builds and GLASGOW, the first of three contracted next generation City Class Type 26 Global Combat Ships, takes shape at our facilities in Glasgow, we are delighted to place this contract with Lockheed Martin,” said Nadia Savage, director of the Type 26 program at BAE Systems.

“The Vertical Launching System contributes to our overall combat management system and will further enhance platform flexibility and capability, which are core to the design of the Type 26.”

83 COMMENTS

  1. Is there anything to read into this with regard to the land attack/anti-submarine/anti-ship missile situation?

        • Ideally we want to continue the development of FC/AsW Perseus with the French, instead of just buying more American weapons. Unfortunately, Perseus isn’t expected to be ready until around 2030, and the anticipated range of ~300km is shorter than any of its competitors, although I imagine its guidance and EW systems will be more advanced, and at Mach 5 its far faster than LRASM or BrahMos.

          LRASM appears to be the next best option if we don’t want to wait, especially if they make the intended canister launched version that we could fit to the T31 and T45.

          • Indeed. It has to be a good thing to continue to encourage developments of this sort this side of the Atlantic. On Perseus it quite hard to imagine how it is going to take another 12 years to get the thing ready. I wonder how much that could be reduced in the event of an immediare strategic requirement.

          • Yeah if we want an anti ship missile to travel at mach 5 it will need to sacrifice range otherwise its fuel capacity would need to be huge. I’m not even sure how Brahmos works does it only hit mach 4 when it approaches a target and cruises before that

          • Brahmos gets it’s range from being bloody huge with a massive fuel supply. Its a couple of metres bigger than a Tomahawk for comparison purposes.

    • Most other ships use their MK41 for anti-air missiles as well whereas we have other VLS for sea ceptor meaning our Mk41 will be used solely for ASW or strike capability.

    • Be careful which peers you’re looking at. Many of them are only fitted with tactical length Mk41, which is only good for AAW missiles, whereas the T26 is getting strike length cells that can fire the whole range of missiles. T26 also has 48 Sea Ceptor launchers separate from the Mk41, so consider that also.

      In terms of frigates, the T26 is more than a match for any of its peers. It’s only undergunned when compared to an Arleigh Burke or one of the latest Japanese or SK destroyers

        • I have to say I was surprised when they opted to split between 24 mk 41 and 48 small single launch cells for the Sea Ceptor. Quad packing them into a mk41 would make far more sense if offer improved flexibility.
          But I don’t think the treasury wants the option of launching 30-40 cruise missiles in the opening night of a military campaign if they can get away with only launching a couple and let the Americans foot the bill for the rest.

          • The lack of more Mk41s is a shame, true, but given how tight budgets are right now, I’m thankful the intention isn’t to use the Mk41 for additional AAW missiles on an ASW platform. Spending an extra couple of hundred million on 2 more 8-cell Mk41s (I believe the unit price for a single 8-cell launcher is around the £12mn mark) is small in relative terms, but its also big money for a fleet desperately trying to avoid losing more ships to cuts.

        • Jack Wyatt have you got a source for that? Every source I can find simply states Mk41 VLS with no version specified, however all of these ships are only equipped with SM-2 and ESSM, weapons that only require the smaller versions of the Mk41. The only reference I can find for larger weapons is for the Hobart, which says the Hobart’s Mk41 may be capable of firing SM-6 or Tomahawk “either as built or through later modification”.

          So either the T26s peers only have self defence or tactical length cells, or every nation that fields them paid extra for an option they seem to have no interest in acquiring (bar the Aussies, who as mentioned previously discussed it in their Force 2030 white paper). Regardless, this puts the T26 ahead of them simply because we intend to actually use the strike length cells

          • Callum

            Attached is a link providing a then project update on the Hobart and the installation of Mk41 strike length cells.

            http://www.ausawd.com/Article/NewsDetail.aspx?p=16&id=68

            I also provided a link further down the page from the USNI News advising that Japan, South Korea and Australia may be the first customers for the SM6.

            Note Hobart and her sisters are being upgraded to Baseline 9 Aegis for BMD.

            Hobart is also the first non US Navy warship with CEC.

    • Don’t forget that T26 will have 48 dedicated Sea Ceptor launchers as well. That’s equivalent to another 12 quad-packed Mk41. It still doesn’t match the 48 you talk about but I would say it’s acceptable. The trade-off, as in pay back for having fewer VLS, is probably allocating space to the big mission bay. Whether that is a good trade off I have no idea but I suppose time will tell.

    • When peer ships have more than 24 its usually because they are using this for AA missiles as well. In these cases it will be their exclusive VLS and would likely have either a similar number of land attack and anti-ship missiles or less. The Type 26 also has separate sea-ceptor silos so it is pretty comparable.

    • If reports/rumours are correct the RN haven’t always had enough missiles to fully equip the ships we have now so the lack of more than 24 cells may be moot. That aside 24 is not enough, the quantity possibly limited as a result of the shortening of the ship for cost reasons.

      • I have seen those reports, but isn’t there an international agreement all navies agree to, that they carry minimal munitions except on exercise or on combat duty, so when they have port visits as most do if there is ever an accident and the ship explodes it doesn’t take half the civilian port and town. Could this be the reason for such rumours??

    • This is just the Mk41, they’ll also have Sea Ceptor Silos (16, 24, 32? haven’t seen a number on this) which. Sea Ceptor can be quad packed as well.

      • The number is 48 I believe, 1 silo of 24 just forward of the Mk41s at the bow and the other silo of 24 amidships, just behind the funnel. Not a bad load out at all, and even better if those Sea Ceptor silos are sized to take CAMM-ER if that becomes a reality. I don’t know whether the T26 silos will be able take CAMM-ER or not but it would be nice if they had that option.

  2. Nothing about Mk41 VLS for Type 45. I doubt now they will ever get them. Real shame if they don’t. We need the few platforms we have left to be optimised as much as possible.

    • Only way they get them is if the latest defense review decides that we need to use them for BMD. Pretty decent chance with the latest stuff with NK and Russia.

    • Aster 30 Block 1 NT makes sense for the Type 45. It would use the existing VLS tubes I think and would give an ability to intercept 1500km intermediate range missiles. Beyond that the next step needs Mk41 and SM-6 so an AAW version of Type 26 might make more sense.

    • Unless the funding situation changes, the Type 45s are unlikely to ever reach their full potential. They’ll probably get the engine issue corrected and a new canister missile, thats it. A comprehensive refit, giving them the new standard 5″ gun and the full complement of 64 strike VLS they were designed for, is unlikely to ever happen unless the defence budget gets a substantial boost.

      Thats why its so important that the T26s are at the very least fitted with everything they need to operate future equipment. With the Mk41 VLS and mission bay as part of the design, integrating new weapons and equipment will be far cheaper and easier in the future, and won’t require an intensive refit

    • With the relentless ongoing cuts it’s highly unlikely that the Type 45’s will get a VLS upgrade of any description unfortunately. They have SYLVER A50’s which will accommodate the Aster 30 Block 1NT but not the Aster 30 Block 2 BMD’s which I believe will require the SYLVER A70’s.

      In my opinion, I think the following options will be available (from most likely to least likely):

      – Repair engines. Keep SYLVER A50.
      – Repair engines. Swap SYLVER A50 for A70.
      – Repair engines. Swap SYLVER A50 for Mark 41 VLS.

      • If they were to be replaced (preferably with Mk 41 VLS), could at least some of the Sylver cells from the T45s be put on the carriers?

        • What would be the point? The QECs have nowhere to fit a big hot launch VLS system without putting them directly on the deck and cutting into the hangar and storage deck below. They would also severely hinder flight ops.

          Theres also the issue of what you’d put in them? Unless you want the additional hassle and cost of integrating Aster with Artisan, Sea Ceptor is the only option. Which doesn’t require the Sylver cells in the first place.

  3. The article referenced by Julian in his 11.13 post also details in para 3 the historic unit costs of the Type 26 (‘£500m reduced to £250m’) and size (5400 tons) but fails to mention what the latest specs are. Wiki mentions £1bn per ship and a 8,000t fully loaded.
    https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/guide-type-26-city-class-frigate/

    I appreciate that these stock articles are constantly being updated as MOD updates are released – but with respect, I do think that the latest info would be of more interest to most readers than historic data from 8 years ago. Despite the grumble, always enjoy reading the latest articles – keep up the good work Mr Allison.

  4. Lovely looking ship. I hope that the mini MOD review underway will highlight the need for a few more of these, but I won’t hold my breath. 6 T45s (with MK41 VLS), 10 T26s and 8 T31s would be a great balanced fleet.

    Yes TH I have told my MP of my views on defence, numerous times.

    • I agree Rob, stunning looking ships. I love the sweep of the bow. Not that looks matter of course but they also seem very capable so looking good as well is a nice little added bonus.

      Oh, and don’t go telling TH that you’ve told your MP your views – now he’s going to escalate things and start demanding that you chain yourself to the railings of the Houses of Parliament :-).

  5. I don’t really get the need for strike length missiles. The missile themselves are insanely expensive and so we can only afford a handful of them and so the astute is more than capable of launching the limited number we have.

    Some form of modern anti-ship missile is a different question, but there are some canister options out there that could be added to the t45 a lot cheaper.

    We need to focus one what we can afford and not try and top end everything.

    • Firstly because relying solely on our overstretched fleet of subs for Tomahawk is a terrible strategic choice. Secondly, the more versatility you build into a design at conception, the easier and cheaper it is to upgrade in the future. Strike length Mk41 gives the RN the option of equipping the T26 with Tomahawk, a new anti-ship missile (LRASM or Perseus), and also hopefully a Spearfish ASROC derivative. Meanwhile, the T45 is restricted to Aster, and if they wanted that sort of versatility they would need a major expensive refit.

      • Ship launched TLAMs are significantly cheaper than sub launched TLAMs.
        I’m shocked they where never incorporated into the original T45, the French and Italian’s really did one over on the UK with the Aster program its an entirely Franco Italian missile system yet we ordered more than they did put together until the released the Fremm.

        • Far cheaper, and the T26 can carry a similar number of them while being less difficult to deploy.

          Its understandable that Sylver was chosen over the Mk41 really. In a joint European endeavor between 3 of the richest countries on the continent, buying foreign equipment that none of us were currently using wasn’t logical, although one of the reasons the project fell apart was because the UK wanted Mk41 regardless. Even after we went our separate ways, all of the ground work for the T45’s combat systems was based around Sylver and Aster, and the project was already over budget. Still, we ended up with probably the best air defence ship in the world, its just not much cop for anything else until they get a big refit.

  6. Phew. When I read this article I actually breathed a sigh of relief.
    I was really worried the type 26, was going to be fitted for but not with mk41 vl system.
    Now we just need to order missiles for them.
    I would say asroc, harpoon, lrasm, tomahawk are minimum fits. Then sm3 for medium range as defence if needed.
    For BMD we need to look to either land based THALD system or type 45 with Aster 30NT. Both will be quite expensive but seeing as we already have the type 45s this makes most sense.
    The other interesting concept is the NASM fitted into mk41vl system and/ or versions of brimstone and stormshadow cruise missiles.
    Summary: good news, the mk41vl system does give the RN the maximum flexibility of weapons choice

    • Being a cynical old git I would say we have moved from the fitted for but not with MK41 VLS to fitted for but not with 24 missiles…..

      • I think I read somewhere that the T45’s are not fully equipped and when one goes to sea they have to transfer the missiles from one boat to the next one. If there ever was another conflict in Europe I think all of the EU nations would run out of missiles after the first week.

  7. The type 26 is going to be a world beater. We need to reverse the decision to only build 8 and go back to 13 or more of these ships, expensive yes but would they be £1.27 billion each if we were building 13 or more of these ships?
    Economies of scale come into play. The type 26 hull and engines also should be the starting point for type 45 replacement or supplementation in the air warfare/ BMD role.

  8. T26 is going to have 72 (yes 72) VLS’s. its incredible news. 24 Mk41 is good when put with the Seaceptor launchers that can be quad packed as well (dependant upon missile). Each ship could have 24 Strike missiles, 24 long range Aster 30/NG and 96 Seaceptor (or combination). This is world class in my opinion.

    • Actually its going to have 64 VLS. The Sea Ceptor cells can’t be quadpacked, and unless the RN wastes strike cells on quadpacking Sea Ceptor in the Mk41, the maximum number of AAW missiles is 48. Aster isn’t compatible with Mk41, its restricted to the Sylver launchers on the Type 45.

      What you seem to think the T26 could carry would make it more suited to being an AAW destroyer or cruiser. 48 Sea Ceptors and a combination of 24 Tomahawks/Perseus/ASROC is still a very strong loadout though.

      • Hi Callum

        Seaceptor can be quad packed in Sylver and Mk41 silos and as far as I can see MDBA do not make the tubes. I believe the RN has made a decision to go 1-2-1 using the olde Seawolf tubes but have read that Seaceptor can also be quad packed in these.

        So am a bit confused, what silo’s are going into the T26 (my understanding is 24 Mk41 and 48 Seaceptor which I assumed was Sylver 50’s – if this is the case then they can be quad packed)

        I am no expert on this but it would be good to get some proper info and what VLS is actually 1. Being used on updated T23’s and 2. Is going onto the T26 fleet.

        • The Type 26 is getting 24 Mk41 strike length VLS and 48 Sea Ceptor launchers. You’re right on the fact that Sea Ceptor can be quadpacked into the Mk41, Sylver, and even Sea Wolf launchers, however the mistake you’ve made is assuming what is meant by the Sea Ceptor launcher.

          Sea Ceptor is cold launched, meaning it is ejected up into the air by a piston before the rocket motor kicks in. This method of launch is far safer and cheaper, as it reduces damage to the deck of the ship and especially the launch tube itself. Sea Ceptor essentially comes packaged with its own launch tube, which can either be fitted directly on a ship (like on the T26) or quad packed into bigger launchers like the Mk41 or Sylver.

          To answer your two questions in short:
          1)The T23s can carry quadpacked Sea Ceptor in their existing Sea Wolf VLS
          2)The T26 will have 24 Mk41 VLS tubes and 48 individual Sea Ceptor launchers, it will NOT have Sylver A50 cells like those on the T45

          • Hi Callum, thanks for the clarity.

            On further reading I noticed that Seaceptor is twice the length of seawolf and 1/4 diameter (broadly speaking). I was unaware they have there own launch system, although understand they come in canisters for insertion into a VLS. I have assumed that the sea wolf VLS have been modified in length but tbh there is little no info on this at all.

            It doesn’t matter too much to me as I think a fit out of 24 CAMM ER, 24 Seaceptor (96 clearly better) and 24 Strike is such a good balance I am happy, just interesting on which VLS is being put on T26 for Seaceptor as I really dont think it has its own VLS and relies either on the old Seawolf or Sylver/Mk41 as stated on MDBA website.

            Your second point is interesing as transferring 16 Seawolf VLS to the T31’s would give a great capability to these ships – especially as Seaceptor seems to have the ability to be used to attack small vessels. Perfect for T31’s planned operations.

            Still all good news in my book – thanks again for the info

  9. A couple of people have said in the comments here that the Sea Ceptor launchers can be quad packed. Is everyone sure about that?

    I thought the 48 Sea Ceptor launchers on T26 were custom soft launch tubes for a single Sea Ceptor (and maybe also CAMM-ER at some point) but do not have the diameter to take 4 in each tube and also as soft launch will never be able to carry Aster.

    If they could be quad packed that would be a maximum Sea Ceptor load out of 4 x 48 = 192 missiles per ship without even touching the Mk41s and frankly that doesn’t sound plausible to me.

    • You are correct Julian.

      The CAMM launchers will be 48 individual soft launch tubes… sort of like on the Type 23

      the quad packing thing refers to the Mk41 VLS…. which won’t be used for SAMs

    • I agree with Joe below Julian. In addition, the quad-packed Sea Ceptor discussion was in reference to the Type 45 that can quad-pack four per in the Aster silo.

      • I believe Sea Ceptor (CAMM) can be quad packed on the upgraded T23’s (hopefully Gunbusters can confirm) they can’t on the older VLS (round tubes – Seawolf??) but can on the Sylver tubes.

        Could be wrong but have been on the MDBA website and it seems to be the case and confirmed in an article on TD and on various other sites

        Certainly not for Aster 30/NT though – these are single per silo.

        • No quad packing on T23. One for one in the positions that held Wolf. The soft launch tubes are a completely different system to a hot launch MK41 Tube.

          • Thanks Gunbusters

            MDBA website states it can be quadpacked in SeaWolf canisters as well as sylver. I assume this is a choice made by RN not to quadpack as standard.

            Understood on Mk41 – it is tube sizing that matters for Seaceptor

          • The Sea Wolf launcher tubes are round so there are round holes in the deck to accept them. To save on costs and to make sure the missle upgrade is low er risk the Sea Ceptor tubes are just slid down via an adaptor plate into the same holes in the deck. Other wise it would have meant a massive structural change to get the new launch tubes in.

  10. Hopefully we will be able to add spear 3 vls in the future as well giving a further capability to the sea ceptor vls

    • I think that’s a very important possibility but it does rely on MBDA going further than its concept render and actually bringing the capability to market. I really hope it does.

      The chances are pretty high that, with a £250m per vessel budget, the T31e spec for the RN will not include Mk41 and the most we can hope for is a fairly sizeable complement of soft launch tubes which I hope shouldn’t be too much to ask for. Carrying some VLS Spear 3 in its soft launch silo would allow a T31 to attack small land targets of opportunity from well offshore if the targets were static and the GPS coordinates known or even attack moving targets if a team was on the ground to laser designate. That could be useful in a number of situations.

      Also, I hope that RN T31s will have box launchers for heavier anti-ship missiles (perhaps with NSM as a stopgap before the U.K./French developments bear fruit) but, despite that and the discussions here about Spear 3’s anti-shipping capabilities, with a helicopter as the eyes VLS Spear 3 could engage smaller surface vessels well over the horizon without needing to use a presumably much more expensive NSM or similar.

      It would be interesting to see what sort of range a VLS Spear 3 (S3) might have. Aircraft-launched S3 is said to be 1.8m long. CAMM is 3.2m long so that leaves a plenty of length in the soft launch tube to strap a booster onto S3. If the Sea Ceptor tubes are sized for CAMM-ER that is planned to be 4.0m long so an S3, if weight and ejection capabilities of the soft launch canister permit, could carry a 2.2m long booster, i.e. 120% of the actual missile length. Given that first stage boosters can be fatter than the missile itself (e.g. CAMM-ER and Aster 30) the booster’s size relative to the S3 might be even bigger than that. It gives me some hope that a VLS Spear 3 might be able to more than make up the range deficit inherent in not being air launched and actually have extended range vs the current 60 miles (which is probably an under-estimate in the first place) which for the sort of ground support use I mentioned would be a key attribute. No, it’s not going to do shock and awe but I bet there are anti-terrorist actions in places without drone overwatch where it would be a useful and cost-effective capability.

      • I think the Type 31e with CAMM, Spear 3 and Sting Ray would be attractive for export and the possibility of a saturation attack of Spear 3 to disable larger ships would work as an effective deterrent for potential aggressors.

  11. One thing we should be looking at is to see if there is cheap sea captor based way of launching a stingray torpedo this could avoid having to use mk 41 for asroc (if money is there for that) and allow more space for long range strike missiles. I still do not like relying entirely on a helicopter for anti-submarine warfare, but with only 24 cells if we are to support the us with strike operations then I would say at least 18 tomahawk would be needed then the remaining should be anti-ship no space for asroc

  12. Mk41 is a nice to have on T31 in my opinion – it is not essential, we should however standardise to save on costs further down the line.

    Mk41 is essential on T26 and T45 which are the backbone of our fleets offensive capability and should have strike, I also think we need to upgrade the radar on T26 so it can take over AAW from T45 which is coming to its end of life sooner than people think (15years – can be batch 2 T26) and upgrade to ballistic defence (which the UK seems to have forgotten about totally).

    T31 really should be a smaller version of T26 from a hull perspective (having spent so much money on its design) – making the helicopter deck much smaller and tightening up all round to get to the 120m.

    I also believe that there is the ability to make CAMM operate in a “cruise missile” manner which could also be useful for T31 – giving it the ability to sink smaller ships, not sure what’s involved in making this happen.

    All in all great news in my opinion.

    • Hi Pacman, I agree – the “Type 26 Batch 2” could be a Type 45 AAW replacement with static Sampson radar and Mark 41 VLS configured for BMD. I can’t see the Type 45’s being upgraded unfortunately.

  13. The TLAM asset East of Suez was one of the SSN. However with now only 6 available it is not possible to have a SSN committed to this role.

    T26 will be escorting the Carrier and perhaps on occasion it may be possible to have one deploy on the TLAM role EOS.

    It is envisaged that T31 will be forward deploy EOS.. If T31 had VLS for TLAM the this would release SSN and T26 from this role. If the plan is to maintain a continual forward deployed T31 then logically it should take on the TLAM role EOS also. Even a modest fit of 8 cells in perhaps 2 of the T31s should be considered if cash is tight.

    Preferably all T31s would have MK41 VLS. The more cells the better.

  14. Afternoon All

    The capital reinvestment in the RN is now continuing at a rapid rate of knots, it has taken a while but the RN seems to be getting a platform that it actually wants (admittedly at a high price) and something potentially that BAES could sell abroad.

    Whilst the conversation above has now moved on from the number of vessels to the number and type of weapon systems it will deploy no one has mentioned how we are actually going to run the platform.

    What is it going to be used for? ASW for the CVF – doesn’t need TLAM type weapons for that. Bomber screening – doesn’t need TLAM type weapons for that either.
    Currently the TLAM role is fulfilled by the SSN fleet. With limited funds how do we fund the arming of both in the TLAM and ASM role, or do we remove the TLAM role from the SSN fleet and assign the SSN to purely SSBN defence and anti shipping. If we do, do we need 7 boats or could we cope with 6.

    Buying shiny toys is one thing, running them is quite another.

    A person may have a garage full of top of the range cars, but thats where they stay, in the garage because that person cannot afford to run them and drives around in one at a time.

    Don’t under estimate the difficult decisions the RN are going through at the moment.
    With a stretched budget they are having to maintain and sustain the following:
    CVF fleet
    SSBN
    Amphibious Fleet
    Surface Fleet
    Sub Surface Fleet

    Something will have to give.
    Which one do you sacrifice, or what do you move out of core MoD funding to relieve the pressure?

    • Surface Fleet for me. The 4 pillars of the RN should be.

      Carriers and Carrier Aviation / FAA.
      Amphibious Ships and RM.
      Nuclear Submarines.
      Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

      If a reduced T26 order can still do its core tasks and the saving generate enough to run the others pillars and produce a decent sized T31 / RB2 fleet for the various other roles a T26 or T45 is not needed for I’d go for this.

      If the forces thought of maximising defence as a whole rather than the usual turf wars the army should be losing Infantry Battalions to produce manpower for an increased RN and RAF.

      Obviously Vanguard replacement should be removed from core, as it was previously.

      • Morning

        The manpower issue is not just about reducing headcount in one service to create more resource room elsewhere. You have to want to join that service in the first place.
        By the looks of it the Army isn’t short of applicants it is just being let down by its recruitment provider (Capita) who are taking far too long in processing applications (300 days).
        I don’t know if this is the same for the RN but they are reducing RM resource headcount to give themselves room to increase their own manning.
        Quite simply at the moment we have too many ships that we can neither man nor maintain, this has been caused by years of hollowing out of the RDEL funding as it goes into CDEL to pay for the late delivered capital platforms, some of which are sitting along side at Pompey. If the MoD has actually fulfilled the RN AAW destroyer requirement the wharf at HMNB Portsmouth would be filled with idle T45’s with no manpower nor weapons to utilise them.

        There are to be some tough choices ahead, once again an ambitious over optimistic costly equipment programme is severely hampering the services in generating what they are supposed to – a fit to fight force.
        Politicians get dazzled by toys, I assume the Sec Def has seen all the shiny toys each service want to buy.
        I wonder if he’s been to the married quarters that have damp, the equipment stores that still have CR2 tanks still in their 2003 TELIC paint or careers offices where the footfall is there but the provider of recruitment processing is so poor at doing it that most cannot be bothered to wait for their application to be processed.

  15. I was reading up on the Trials of seaCeptor and it does seem the RN has been targeting incoming vessels and moving targets with it. If not they seem to believe it can be used against small ships and vessels and from a logical point of view why not – just like a tomahawk can be used to target another ship if required (after all its a target).

    Will be interesting in how this develops but it looks as though we may have a really good and relatively inexpensive solution for the T31 in particular to get a fairly comprehensive capability.

  16. The mk41 vl system also had the potential of carrying sm3 (medium to long range SAM and Sm6, BMD)
    Thus if we want MD we now have 3 options
    Aster 30NT and type 45s (probably cheapest option)
    Cooperative engagement and SM6 fitted into type 26 or

    A new mk41 vl system fitted into type 45 to fit SM6, I would love the type 45 fitted with mk41 vl system to really get maximum flexibility and strike power back to RN and the type 45 hull. Currently the type 45 is not multi role or armed to an equivalence of a light cruiser or heavy destroyer classes in service in peer nations despite being light cruiser sized. This is all about making the most of the limited RN escort warship numbers and returning fighting power to the RN.
    Either way the mk41 system gives lots of options which I am hugely happy about and ends the monopoly of MBDA for its Aster system which is much less flexible then mk41.
    Only problem is SM6 missiles each cost +£1 million each.

  17. The Type 26s are certainly global ships in terms of sourcing from around the globe. My flippancy aside, hopefully, they will become a form of export, albeit it built in Canada Australia and maybe some other Countries. I guess part of the high price is due to source expensive (but good) equipment from abroad, as we do not make it ourselves as yet. It would be interesting to get a cost breakdown of this ship, as I have mentioned before. The shipbuild bit, is just one bit.

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