A Bay class vessel will be converted to deliver greater littoral strike capalities at a cost of £40 million.

The Defence Command Paper released today, titled ‘Defence in a Competitive Age‘, states:

“The Royal Navy will invest £40m more over the next four years to develop our Future Commando Force as part of the transformation of our amphibious forces, as well as more than £50m in converting a Bay class support ship to deliver a more agile and lethal littoral strike capability.

Forward deployed to respond rapidly to crises, this special operations capable force will operate alongside our allies and partners in areas of UK interest, ready to strike from the sea, pre empt and deter sub threshold activity, and counter state threats. This will be enabled by the deployment of two Littoral Response Groups; the first in 2021 will be deployed to the Euro Atlantic under a NATO and JEF construct, while a second will be deployed to the Indo Pacific region in 2023.

They will also be able to deliver training to our partners in regions of the world where maritime security is most challenging.”

What do the Bay class do?

The Bay class are operated by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and are officially designated as ‘Landing Ship Docks’. Each Bay class vessel is capable of carrying up to 24 Challenger tanks or 150 military trucks in 1,150 linear metres of space. The UK operates three Bay class vessels after selling the fourth to Australia.

Under normal conditions, a Bay class ship can carry 350 soldiers, but this can be doubled to 700 in overload conditions. The flight deck is capable of handling helicopters up to the size of Chinooks, as well as Merlin helicopters however while the class have no hangar, a temporary shelter can be set up to house a single helicopter. The well dock can carry one LCU Mark 10 or two LCVPs, and two Mexeflotes can be suspended from the ship’s flanks.

A Mexeflote from RFA Mounts Bay in the Carribean.
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Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago

WHERE is the F****ng thing? Desperate to read and cannot find it!

Farouk
Farouk
6 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

It’s a bit of a read so will digest it later on tonight, you may need to go to chapter 7 in which to find the bits your are after

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Hi mate. I found it earlier, ta. Already digested. Yes, most is vague waffle and even from Ch7 on little of real value yet. A few interesting snippets.

David
David
6 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Thanks Farouk.

RobW
RobW
6 months ago

I think BW said it would be tomorrow now.it’s what he seemed to suggest in his speech.

Ross
Ross
6 months ago

In exactly the same boat!

RobW
RobW
6 months ago

Ignore me, am reading it now. It’s not easy to digest!

Tony
Tony
6 months ago

Right, been looking and can’t find it anywhere, highly irritating!

Pacman27
Pacman27
6 months ago

why?

what will an upgraded Bay do that Albion/Bulwark can’t?

doesn’t make sense

Paul.P
Paul.P
6 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Bigger flat top area?

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Hangars for sure, precision fires perhaps to support raiders – a very modern version of NGS. Will be permanenly based overseas.

Last edited 6 months ago by James Fennell
Johan
Johan
6 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Bay Class is a Royal Fleet Aux, and not classed as a warship. so it will develop the littoral strike capalities£40m was the cost of converting the carriers to accept more commandos, over hanger space.

which was rejected, littoral strike capabilities will see a future designed HULL once developed and understood.

Rob
Rob
6 months ago

Upgrade the Bays to Littoral Strike capability. Well that’s the death of the Albion Class and no ambition for a LHD.

Surely it would be cheaper to scrap the Bays and build new??

Herodotus
Herodotus
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

That would be too sensible…..why squander an opportunity to waste yet more money! I think the article says just one Bay class to be converted. Bye Bye to the other 2.

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Albions, Bays and Points to be replaced in 2030s by ‘Multi-Role Support Ships’ – one Bay to be converted to Littoral Stirke in interim.

RobW
RobW
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

One Bay to be upgraded.

dave12
dave12
6 months ago

If you want a better armed forces you will have to not vote for the tories ,the era of little Britain has begun not even labour was this bad on cuts.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  dave12

You think?

Shall I list them for you?

dave12
dave12
6 months ago

Oh I know Labour cut back a lot Daniele but as it stands after this review we have got soon to be 147 tanks and an army to of 72,000 that was not the case under Labour. We are declining.

Andy a
Andy a
6 months ago
Reply to  dave12

Labour in last ten years presided over worst cuts in my life.
Maybe it’s jam tomorrow but government and MOD are right that technology and war is changing damn fast, drones AI in air space and sea and land are future snd will be force multipliers.
The chances are that days off full army deploying are gone.Azerbaijan shows that, by time traditional army deploys the show will be over. We have to adapt and modernise our Cold War forces

dave12
dave12
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

Still 72,000 troops and 147 tanks will not even do the tasks in the future conflicts doesn’t matter how much you reorganize and put new fancy names on units.

Andy a
Andy a
6 months ago
Reply to  dave12

No but perhaps keeping minimum level of tanks just incase, let rest of nato do tanks, we bring lot of other capabilities to table. We have some if we need them but for 90% of who we will fight ifv IF unarmed with unmanned drones and new smart weapons will be fine. Let’s face it building our own tank like France did is something we can only do if we scrap lot of other stuff so it’s decision time. Public won’t up defence to 3% so how would you pay for tanks and bigger army? No navy? No f35 and… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Andy a
Johan
Johan
6 months ago
Reply to  dave12

we currently only have 75500 troops, trimming the fat of the top, currently more EX servicemen claiming pensions. or dont you include that in youre defence spending.

TrevorH
TrevorH
6 months ago
Reply to  dave12

The tanks are there just to keep the skills in place. We reallt need to lose them. It’s a very moot point that the MBT has a use.

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 months ago
Reply to  dave12

But what if tanks were no longer war winning weapons? What if they were easily destroyed by cheap drones, and what if our enemies had lots of cheap drones? What then? How should we equip and train our forces?

James
James
6 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Exactly as happened recently in Armenia/Azerbaijan war, tanks turned out to be utterly useless against cheap drones. The army needs to move with the times.

Peter S
Peter S
6 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

If MBTs are easily destroyed by drones, then every other military vehicle is even more vulnerable. Ajax and Boxer are just as big as an MBT but have only limited armour. If drones are so capable, do armies revert to footsoldiers camouflaged and widely dispersed?
Armour has always been vulnerable to airpower. Blitzkrieg worked only until Germany lost control of the air.
So the lesson is not that tanks are outdated but that control of the air is vital.

AJP1960
AJP1960
6 months ago
Reply to  dave12

The reality is that it’s only a real cut of 2-3,000. The army hasn’t been able to find enough recruits to get to 82k for years now and is currently around 75,000 iirc so the cut is a lot less severe that it looks on the surface

Paul C
Paul C
6 months ago
Reply to  dave12

Labour was abysmal on defence. The settlement the MoD has secured is a generous one and I find it hard to believe that an incoming Labour government would be prepared to spend more. So the need to make tough decisions and cut some capabilities would have remained. Easy to call out the government when you are in opposition, completely different when you are in office and have to decide where the money goes.

Herodotus
Herodotus
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul C

As the ship of state sinks, the crew adamantly maintain that the captain was not at fault. It was that bloody iceberg what done it.

Paul C
Paul C
6 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

If you look at the records of captains from both the Blue Star Line and the Red Star Line since the 1950s, all should be relieved of command. Some people appear to have short memories with regard to the disasters inflicted by the latter though.

Herodotus
Herodotus
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul C

Macmillan’s famous statement is so apt….events dear boy, events!

Paul C
Paul C
6 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

I always think of that every time some carefully crafted plan goes wrong.

Johan
Johan
6 months ago
Reply to  dave12

here we go again, you’re political views are stuck down the mines, bet you class yourself as working class.

sat in youre own home with 2 cars on the drive…. WORKING CLASS SON MY ARSE. we are all working. youre flat cap n whippet must be old…

dave12
dave12
6 months ago
Reply to  Johan

Nope! voted for both parties actually buddy my politics are purely center but if you look at my comment I point out that past this review the army is its smallest ever at 72,000 ,that did not happen under labour now did it, so take your class war some where else, I rent and drive a Nissan Micra.

James
James
6 months ago
Reply to  dave12

So if labour kept the army at say 80,000 fully trained but lost a few ships instead would that be better?

In reality the cut to the army is exceptionally small, more naval personnel will be hired and in real terms the overall number combined might probably increase.

Jonathan
Jonathan
6 months ago
Reply to  Johan

Class is actually a culture Johan, you can have all the money and cars in the world and still be working class or be as poor as a church mouse and be as upper middle class as you like. The English sniff out class through things like accent ( do you have a regional accent) where you shop for your food and cloths, the car you drive, even the the names of the thing you sit on in the room you spend your evenings in. Class is culture and its inescapable and defines us. I earn a fairly good wage… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
6 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Glad you cleared that up Jonathan, the thorny issue of class explained in a couple of paragraphs…..There was a boy (Darren McGarvey) who took 4 hour long episodes on the BBC Scotland channel and still didn’t really have the answers.

I’m still mummy’s little prince so I guess I’m aristocracy. 🙂

Herodotus
Herodotus
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Just stay away from Megan Andy!

Andy P
Andy P
6 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

? I’ll plead the Fifth mate.

Jonathan
Jonathan
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

To be fair I’ve read books and books of opinion on this subject. But there are a couple of simple truths, for the English class is about your culture and we all pretty much instantly know each others class, as its about how we speak, act and interact. If your working class you can alway pretend to be one of the “smart” set, but they will know your not (of them) very quickly (you will use pronunciation in a way or use word like dinner in a specific context or any one of the thousands of combinations of differences in… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
6 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

You might be passionate about it Jonathan and your opinions are just as valid as anyone else’s on what is largely a very subjective matter but it really is just another way for people to define themselves and each other based on opinion and prejudice. I wonder how many people would be so proud of their ‘working classness’ if the term was changed to ‘lower class’. The scale seems a bit rigged to me, ‘upper’, ok, ‘middle’ ok, pretty neutral then….. ‘working’. Surely if you’re going to have a ‘working’ class then the next one should be something like ‘professional’… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

To be honest any social scaling needs to be justified in why you are using it. I only really bother with socio economic scales professionally because they are really helpful in things like public health, health determinate and impacts of health literacy. But these social economic scales tend to be very complex and not usable for tabloid like descriptions of class or discussions down the pub or on the internet. For me the whole working class, middle class and upper class thing is only really interesting In an academic study of our culture from an anthropological point for view of… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Jonathan
Derek
Derek
6 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Interesting debate on class. I was born in a Council house in a village on the South Yorkshire coalfield and all the men in my family worked at the pit. I didn’t. I went to Grammar School and University, I would be considered by an observer as ‘middle class professional’. I still give myself away with my flat vowels. Lol. I recommend Jilly Cooper’s book ‘Class’. Hilarious, cutting and a great read.

Herodotus
Herodotus
6 months ago
Reply to  Johan

A simplistic view of modern society and politics. Don’t give up the day job!

julian1
julian1
6 months ago
Reply to  dave12

i’ve actually heard more sense from keir starmer and the shadow defence secretary this review. It’s easier of course when you’re the opposition, but i really do think the era of the tories as the defence party are long gone.

dave12
dave12
6 months ago
Reply to  julian1

My thoughts exactly Julian I thought the shadow defiance secretary spoke well .

TrevorH
TrevorH
6 months ago
Reply to  julian1

Ha ha ha ha…

Paul C
Paul C
6 months ago
Reply to  julian1

But what would they be saying if they were in Wallace’s shoes? Almost certainly no more money and a good chance there would be less. So despite the positive waffle they would be announcing equivalent or more severe cuts. Neither team is the party of defence and will not fund it properly. So I cannot see any government being better re. defence than the current one, whatever they might claim in opposition or on the campaign trail.

Herodotus
Herodotus
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul C

But what would they be saying if they were in Wallace’s shoes?

More cheese Gromit?

Paul C
Paul C
6 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Labour is never short on cheese though . . . as full of holes as their policies!

TrevorH
TrevorH
6 months ago
Reply to  dave12

Cuts? The defence budget is going up significantly. Your talk and that of others is plainly silly.

Herodotus
Herodotus
6 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Yes cuts today for Jam tomorrow! Many of our politicians are akin to used car salesmen (particularly this lot)…Jam tomorrow is their way of softening the blow. Make a note of the promises and let’s see how many of them actually come to fruition! I suspect very few of them will materialise. A shed load of faux ambition backed by few, if any, orders!

TrevorH
TrevorH
6 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Increased spending is not ‘cuts’. The F35 is massively better than what came before. Tempest if it works will be massively better than Typhoon. British soldiers in Boxers after massively better than Mastiffs or WIMIKs.

Herodotus
Herodotus
6 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Yes, Cuts! F35…numbers cut. Tempest… Jam tomorrow…..it doesn’t exist and, given the history of military aircraft development in this country, probably never will. As for British soldiers in Boxers…..well, whatever your preference ducky. I hear they are better for your gonads than Y fronts!

TrevorH
TrevorH
6 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

You are plain prejudiced. You do not want to talk in relation to the real world. You want to live in fantasy. Your jam tomorrow mantra just shows you are a closed mind.

James
James
6 months ago
Reply to  dave12

If Corbyn had got in it would be an awful lot worse than what it is now, I know he didnt so I dont need the line of ‘he didnt so we will never know’ but if Labour had the forces would be decimated by now.

The current trained armed forces stand between 75 – 76,350 depending on sources, a reduction to 72,000 over the coming years is hardly a massive capability drop and simply allowing natural retirement to happen. Recruitment will no doubt begin within a few years at most to maintain a level of 72,000.

Herodotus
Herodotus
6 months ago
Reply to  James

Corbyn was as likely to become prime minister as my auntie Betty….no left-wing Labour leader ever has! The scare-mongering of the petty right is, at times, laughable!

Jon
Jon
6 months ago

I wondered if the catapults were meant for something like this. Now we know what the LSS will be based on, and the timescale fits. The question is, will the catapults?

Does the price seem low if it’s also to serve as a CATOBAR-enabled UAV ship?

The Big Man
The Big Man
6 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Would not have thought so as they would need a through deck for the take off weight they were specifying, not least for landing as well. Where’s the safety on a 20 tonne drone missing the arrestor wire. Also too slow for carrier style duty.

Jon
Jon
6 months ago
Reply to  The Big Man

It’s not really carrier-style duty though.

Through deck, yes. How integral is the forward superstructure? Rated speed of Bay is 18 knots. Rated speed of USS Wasp is 22 knots. I don’t think speed or wind over deck is necessarily key for launch. I wouldn’t have thought it was ideal, but it’s a big ship with a similar displacement to a Dokdo.

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 months ago
Reply to  Jon

LSS is for the RM not UAVs. CATOBAR is for the carriers.

Steve
Steve
6 months ago

I wonder if this is 3 of the 24 ships that was promised. Would start getting the numbers aligned if they were counted.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve

You can certainly guarantee that they will hype the numbers somehow to suggest that number has been reached even if it means buying an old P&O liner and call it a cruiser.. well it’s not a lie I guess. Let’s be honest they have paraded the increase in fighting ships for the past year and we now know that in fact there will be a decline until the late thirties when in theory it will rise a bit (and of course look more substantial due to the actual planned decline). Fact is the promised rise anyway is pure fluff anyway… Read more »

Little Unicorn
Little Unicorn
6 months ago

Type 45 replacement called Type 83.

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
6 months ago

Wow. They can’t even deliver on the LSS which was supposed to be a quick and cheap ship. Today Mark’s the end of Britian as a capable and serious player on the world stage.

dave12
dave12
6 months ago
Reply to  Harry Bulpit

Yep one British general has admitted if the falklands were invaded they can no longer be retaken. Little Britain it is then.

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
6 months ago
Reply to  dave12

Haven’t been able to since 2010.

julian1
julian1
6 months ago
Reply to  Harry Bulpit

just as a question, other than the US, is there any other country on earth which could invade the falklands? thought not

TrevorH
TrevorH
6 months ago
Reply to  julian1

Indeed.

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
6 months ago
Reply to  julian1

No. But where as every other country may not have as many capabilitys as us, at least they can truly use the cpapbiltys they do have. Where as all of ours are so finely spread that they have no usefulness.

Benjamin Rule
Benjamin Rule
6 months ago
Reply to  dave12

This statement is so obviously wrong. How wrong sort of depends on the scenario. Are we talking 2021 UK forces against 2021 Argentine forces? If so it’s hard to see how the islands would have been taken in the first place. But suppose they were. Almost no fast jets to fight. Whatever anyone might say about shortage of F35s on our side Argentina has virtually no A4s working at all and nothing that could fire anything like an Exocet. The Air Force has almost no refuelling tankers so it would be hard for them to reach the Falklands with the… Read more »

Steve
Steve
6 months ago
Reply to  Benjamin Rule

I think the question should be could we win a Falklands type war (probably not Falklands itself until similar setup). The sdsr is focused on distance warfare and on the navy. So could the navy today (or in 5 years) realistically attack and win a war against 20k plus defenders with near peer air coverage.

The Falklands itself isn’t at threat but it’s scenario is what we appear to be gearing for.

TrevorH
TrevorH
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve

So which other crown dependency is there being threatened?
Has anybody forgotten the UN?
Just what is there that is going to break international rules?

There is nothing but stupid hysteria here, not least from the sites tame tank commander.

Steve
Steve
6 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

It doesn’t have to be a crown dependency. We are focusing on Asia Pacific which is a region we have no real reason to be involved in as our key trade partners are more local. But never the less that is the focus and what is a military other than for fighting wars. We don’t need a military for peacetime policing roles, that could be done at a fraction of the cost and way more effectively with low spec ships in much higher numbers.

The question is can we still fight and win a war if we needed to.

Last edited 6 months ago by Steve
TrevorH
TrevorH
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve

The job of the military is to deter, not start wars, but to be in a suitable place to stop someone else starting a war. That’s why we should with local NATO partners be in the Baltic. It’s not our business to have 900 tanks in Germany or Poland. Although this Recce Brigade seems appropriate.

Steve
Steve
6 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Deterence only works if you can step up and actually fight if called on. So the question of whether you can win a war, is the same question of whether you have an viable deterence.

James
James
6 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

The UN is handy until the country being an aggressor has a veto or an ally with a veto then its all but useless.

It didnt exactly do a great deal to help in the Falklands either.

TrevorH
TrevorH
6 months ago
Reply to  James

Well in fact the UN did produce a resolution that suited us. It is one of the few diplomatic victories we have had in recent years.
The only aggressors on the security Council are Russia and China, and any such aggression is irrelevant in UN terms since we and NATO would be ignore the UN as well.

Jonathan
Jonathan
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve

It depends what you mean by air cover, if you are taking in the enemy’s immediate region ( say within a few hundred miles of its border. It’s safe to say nobody could do that. The tyranny of distance is still king. The US could do that with many nations but they don’t have any peers at present. But even then I suspect if you ask the US to undertake a contested amphibious landing close to China on its own ( say if China had taken Taiwan) the US would think more that twice about the understanding and make sure… Read more »

Steve
Steve
6 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

This is pretty close to the scenario of the falklands though. Argentina’s ground and airforce were operating at close to max stretch. If the falklands were closer to the mainland and the Argentiean air force had more time on station, the story could have been very different. I don’t however agree around power projection. I can’t see what our armed forces bring to the story that China doesn’t. Its navy is massively larger and so is its abiltiy to transport its ground forces. The only really thing its missing currently is the carriers, but if China is defending and using… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Steve
Jonathan
Jonathan
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Hi Steve I am taking about a confrontation away from both the UKs own region ( Europe, North Sea, Irish Sea, western approaches, Med) and China’s ( South China Sea, east Asia). So the falklands is not what I’m talking about. You have to remember that the Falkland Islands are literally Argentina’s front garden. The fact the the U.K. could have even undertaken a full amphibious operation against a regional power of any description 8-9000 miles away and in some of the most inhospitable conditions you can get was remarkable, winning was even more remarkable ( if you read the… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Jonathan
Steve
Steve
6 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Falklands are close to Argentina but for the day they were still a long way away. Argeninta jets could not freely operate, as they were on max fuel etc. If we had to fight in the asia pac region, chances are it would be the same, china or whoever we were proxy fighting would be on home terf or near it and we would need to be overcome it. The idea that 2 nations fighting over a remote island, where neither is the ‘home force’ is highly unlikely in post empire era.

Jonathan
Jonathan
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Hi Steve, to be honest we will probably end up in conflict over access to unexploited resources or accessing waterways. So a lot of flash points are going to be at the arse end our lovely planet.

We are not going to fighting in Asia Pacific region other than to add a very same token to a coalition. But we very well maybe having to defend our claims in the BAT etc if someone decides to just go ahead and drill.

John Stevens
John Stevens
6 months ago
Reply to  dave12

Falklands has a garrison of 1,000 plus personnel. Also FI defence force to add.. Typhoons, so on.. Well defended. Also to have Land Ceptor Air Defence. Don’t think it will be invaded anytime soon.

TrevorH
TrevorH
6 months ago
Reply to  dave12

We have an RAF airstrip. We have 2 65000t carriers.

It’s bad enough having to put up with some stupid general with you adding to it.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
6 months ago
Reply to  Harry Bulpit

Global Britain is going to be a damn big PR exercise which is probably where the extra funds will go, plenty of Tory supporting marketing companies to choose from no doubt. In reality mind and taking my cynicism into account, we simply can’t afford to be much of a real power anymore, can just about afford the cost of the smoke and mirrors to suggest to those who care and are gullible enough to still believe we are. From now on flags and pictures of the Queen will have to do much of the job to cover the weasel duplicitous… Read more »

TrevorH
TrevorH
6 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Silly

John Hartley
John Hartley
6 months ago

Will they fit something like the Israeli Harop?

AlexS
AlexS
6 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Well you can fit/fire Harop from a truck.

John Hartley
John Hartley
6 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

2 Feb, 2021. Navyrecognition said that IAI has sold Naval Harop to Asian countries. If you want supersonic ballistic, you could have IMI Trigon Extra (Rampage).

Richard B
Richard B
6 months ago

1SL’s accompanying statement clarifies that the Bay conversion will be a temporary stop gap, “before new ships are built specifically for littoral strike mission”. It reads like they want the converted Bay to be ready by 2023 for deployment to the Indian Ocean, perhaps accompanied by an OPV! Although the stated long-term goal is to assign T31s to the Littoral Response Groups. Presumably HMS Albion will be the core of the North European LRG that will form this year. There is no mention of direct replacements for Albion and Bulwark, so I fear that they are seen as legacy capability… Read more »

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 months ago
Reply to  Richard B

I disagree, I think the persistent capabilities are designed to not draw down on the war fighting core. So the LSS is designed to keep a persistent presence while the Albions will turn up with a BCT if required.

Paul C
Paul C
6 months ago
Reply to  Richard B

Navy Lookout is reporting that both the Bays and Albions are likely to be replaced by up to 6 Multi-Role Support Ships (MRSS) in the early 2030s. So one flexible design to perform multiple roles, a concept which has been lurking in the background for a few years now.

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul C

Yes – its in the shipbuilding section – but they will be reaching natural OSD by then anyway.

BB85
BB85
6 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

I think they want to get some sort of supply ship factory going a bit like the Frigates. Once the 3 MRSS ships are completed it will be time for the Bays and Albion class to be replaced followed by the wave tankers and the tide tankers. Add I a few research vessels and you have a steady order book to keep a yard churning up a large ship every 2 years.

Jack
Jack
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul C

Up to 6 ? That means 2 or 3 then.

Paul C
Paul C
6 months ago
Reply to  Jack

Maybe, but at least we are being realistic in terms of what is a workable solution within the budgetary constraints UK defence has to live with.

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 months ago

There are a few good things that might slip by. Upgrade of Type 45 air defence capability, design of new Type 82 destroyer replacement as well as Type 32 (this numbering suggests a multi-role carrier escort- not just air defence). New unmanned capabilities, new fires – guns and rockets – Spear 3 integrated on Typhoon – no reduction in fast jet sqns, new Chinook, new medium helicopter, direct energy and swarming drone weapons.

Herodotus
Herodotus
6 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

7.39 ‘the Army is retiring its oldest CH47 Chinooks’ This is not a typo as it is in the Army section….God help us!

julian1
julian1
6 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

the eldest choppers date back to 1980! they have been rebuilt since then but are they finally life expired? there is talk of further orders but i think there are already new chinook on order (CH47F – same as US army.) Are the further orders just restating the current unfulfilled orders on the books?

Herodotus
Herodotus
6 months ago
Reply to  julian1

Have they actually been ordered Julian….I know there was the intention of doing so…but did a pen touch the contract sheet?

Julian1
Julian1
6 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

That I don’t know and these new numbers could just be those restated

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Yes. It is easy to get carried away with the anguish of cuts.

TrevorH
TrevorH
6 months ago

CORRECT.

most the comments are plain rubbish.

Herodotus
Herodotus
6 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Save yours presumably…..nice to be so confident, especially when it comes to government promises!

Mark
Mark
6 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

‘No reduction in fast jet sqns’ but a reduction in numbers of fast jets, don’t figure? Can’t see 7 operational sqns of typhoons plus an OCU and TES from 107 jets not unless the nominal strength of 12 airframes per sqn is reduced.

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark

By 2030-35 each fast jet will be operating as a system with 2-3 Loyal Wingmen UCAVs – maybe sooner. I expect we will see squadrons begin to reflect this over time. Given the big £6.5 R&D budget and the £2Bn for tempest I suspect the LANCA drones will be in service before the core platform.

Steve
Steve
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark

Smoke and mirrors. same as cutting the army without cutting any of the caps, so that no PM / newspaper cries about cuts in historic regiments.

Steve P
Steve P
6 months ago

Oops can we buy back HMAS Choules please?!

Airborne
Airborne
6 months ago

Bit suspect this, not sure what it will mean in the long term, in regard to the other hulls?

Jason
Jason
6 months ago

I was looking forward to a couple of converted Ro-Ro vessels for the littoral role but never mind. Pity though. Having said that I can think of worse things than using a converted Bay to do the job. I assume that as there are supposed to be two “Littoral Response Groups” deployed in different parts of the world that it means two of the Bay class ships are going this way. if done right they could be quite formidable.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
6 months ago
Reply to  Jason

Or is the other one to be based at least nominally around PofW otherwise the carriers will be under utilised I suspect. Filling it with Helios, drones or/and hybrids will look like a tactical decision to the masses and cover the loss of F35 numbers a treat to avoid endless re vials of carriers with no aircraft. It’s unsuitability for the roll will be a minor hurdle to the powers that be I suspect.

Peter S
Peter S
6 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Wallace has said we will commit to more F35 but not when or how many. So for the next few years we are going to have carrier lite.

TrevorH
TrevorH
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

The US has still to sign off F35 full production. Our initial order has yet to be fulfilled.

At least given the airline industry is in the shite then there is no pressure of pilots leaving to join Ryan Air

john melling
john melling
6 months ago
Reply to  Jason

I think the Ro-Ro vessel / LOV idea is still in the early days. But with the DCP release is seems it’s still being looked at

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
6 months ago

Sorry “Bay Class” and “Agile strike”…….
Sounds a bit like an oxymoron.

I would guess adding a more permanent hanger and putting a couple of helo’s onboard and possibly some armed drones.

Pete
Pete
6 months ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

But what helicopters?…9 Chinook gone without replacement. No additional Merlin but additional naval hulls coming. Helos will be like hens teeth.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
6 months ago
Reply to  Pete

It mentions they want to rapidly develop a new medium lift helicopter to consolidate 4 platforms into 1. Also says they are investing alongside the US in developing a new longer range Chinook type. In 2018 the RAF agreed a deal for 16 new build extended range variants but that order hasnt been finalised yet.

Pete
Pete
6 months ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Thanks. I’m pretty sure if they intended to proceed with 16 new build they would have mentioned it as part of the ra ra ra of the paper. Pretty sure I saw one if the chiefs say the removal of airlift was a challenge that can be overcome…..ho hum. Happy to be surpriaed.

Pacman27
Pacman27
6 months ago

£188bn over 4 years = £47bn per year (stated as a 14% increase)

Pre Covid the 0.7% GNI (similar to GDP was stated by HMG as £15.2bn, so we are now at 2.2% at last and corrects the fallacy of us spending 2.1% previously

Paul Stewart
Paul Stewart
6 months ago

So will these ships retain their Mexeflote capability & if so how will they integrate it into the strike capability?

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 months ago

Did snyone notice this line ‘Multi-Role Support Ships (MRSS), to provide the platforms to deliver Littoral Strike, including Maritime Special Operations, in the early 2030s’

From the shipbuilding section – not the RN section.

Last edited 6 months ago by James Fennell
john melling
john melling
6 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

The idea of the Littoral Operation Vehicle perhaps based on the Point Class has been looked at recently.
Soit looks like they are now moving ahead with a few idea’s

Klonkie
Klonkie
6 months ago

does anyone know if a replacement for RFA Argus is planed beyond retirement circa 2024?

Gareth Ellis
Gareth Ellis
6 months ago

its almost like HMS Ocean was a good ship and should have been replaced….

Klonkie
Klonkie
6 months ago
Reply to  Gareth Ellis

Gareth – now there was a good idea if ever there was!

geoff
geoff
6 months ago

With regard to the size of the Army being smallest since 1715, we should put a context here-PER CAPITA, the UK’s Army is now smallest ever? If the population of the UK was 15 million in 1715 and the Army 70 000 then per capita we should have 280 000 today or todays Army is equivalent to about 17 500 of an eighteenth Century Army!!

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
6 months ago
Reply to  geoff

Or doing it this way in 1715 the Army had no Tanks, AFV, long range fires, automatic weapons etc.
So doing the math and making a direct comparison of then to now, the ARMY of today is quite literally infinitely more capable than it was in 1715…except in cavalry where in 1715 it obviously had more horses…. 🙂

Stats can be made to read whatever you want them to read.

geoff
geoff
6 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Hi Gunbuster. Hope you are well my friend. Back to the Latin “Ceteris Parabis”- All other things being equal!! What you say is true but then many of our enemies have the same upgrades in ability so a 1715 soldier is not the equivalent of a 2021 soldier but this applies universally(CP). I was not for one minute trying to compare the army of 1715 with that of today but if for example the PRO RATA rule applies then with 4 times the population, we would need 280 000 soldiers to make a comparison with regard to our hugely increased… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
6 months ago
Reply to  geoff

I wasn’t making comparisonsbeing flippant…. Probably! But just highlighting that like for like comparisons over a 300 year timeline are pretty meaningless… Unless you are in a Household Cavalary Regiment and you want more horses…

geoff
geoff
6 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

🙂 same page as you Gunbuster, just from a slightly different angle. Cheers!

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 months ago
Reply to  geoff

Automation reduces manpower needs – we also need to take that into account. Its not blokes with muskets anymore. Lethality is a horrible word but its a better metric than numbers of warm bodies.

geoff
geoff
6 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Hi Jim-per my post above. Cheers

Herodotus
Herodotus
6 months ago
Reply to  geoff

One thing is for sure Geoff, their recruitment campaign must have been seriously good!

geoff
geoff
6 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Haha Herodotus-the Kings Shilling!

Herodotus
Herodotus
6 months ago
Reply to  geoff

Probably still Queen Anne’s shilling….George arrived that very year. Ah those were the days!

expat
expat
6 months ago

So the Littoral Strike Ships that we all thought we additions to the fleet are conversions of the Bays.

captain p wash
captain p wash
6 months ago
Reply to  expat

Nope….. Just one Bay Conversion.

Jason
Jason
6 months ago

Interesting that the First Sea Lord mentioned in an interview yesterday the conversion of LSDAs, plural, before dedicated Littoral strike ships, again plural, would be built for the role.This would seem to indicate two, or more of the Bay class will be converted and two, or more dedicated Littoral strike vessels will replace them in time. Or am I reading too much in to this. He may have just misspoken.

Jason
Jason
6 months ago
Reply to  Jason

Here’s the interview

https://youtu.be/rhSoDYhHpZM

john melling
john melling
6 months ago
Reply to  Jason

Your right he did indeed say convert the Bay Class then be getting a new dedicated LSS

Perhaps based the point class design that’s been floating about the past couple of years!

The “converted” Bay class will be helpful in the new design for the LSS, exploring capability needs

Good news and that’s the word from the First Sea Lord