According to a joint statement from both nations, the UK and Netherlands are exploring opportunities to develop a future littoral strike platform, providing future capability to both nations’ Commando Forces.

The image above is merely a file photo of a Damen LPD design, it is not indicative of any choices.

Signed by UK Defence Minister James Cartlidge and Dutch Defence Minister Kajse Ollongren in Den Helder, on the 50th anniversary of the Joint Amphibious Force, both nations also agreed to further collaboration on amphibious exercises and training in future.

“Future UK Multi Role Support Ships (MRSS) will be equipped with a sea to land strike capability, designed to operate in amphibious task groups – known as Littoral Response Groups – helping highly-trained Marines to deploy to crises globally, fully equipped with their vehicles, boats, aircraft, and weaponry.

Today’s Statement of Intent will see the partner nations working together to understand respective joint requirements and expected timelines for the UK MRSS and Dutch Landing Platform, to help assess whether a collaborative procurement programme would be mutually beneficial.”

Minister for Defence Procurement, James Cartlidge, was quoted as saying:

“To remain a truly global military, we must procure the right equipment at the right time for our Armed Forces. The future Multi Role Support Ships will ensure the Royal Marines can continue to deploy overseas fully equipped at short notice. We are very proud to be working closely with our Dutch allies on assessing future procurement options, as well as building on the strong foundation of our 50-year partnership to enhance our collective readiness.”

First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Ben Key, said:

“This year is a particularly special one to be in Den Helder alongside our Dutch friends, celebrating both Navy Days and the signing 50 years ago of an agreement that has enabled our amphibious forces to train, exercise and deploy together. It has resulted in our closest and most significant amphibious relationship.  I am delighted that our nations have today signed an agreement to deepen this through further exercises and training but most significantly, to pursue the next generation of littoral strike ships, setting the stage for the next 50 years of our cooperation.”

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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. He also previously worked for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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David Owen
David Owen
4 months ago

It would be nice to see a couple of these ships for the Royal navy and marines ,working in partnership will pay dividends for all ,one at sea one at home ,hopefully a ship apart from helicopter operations and amphibious capabilities,launch f35b fighters but let’s just wait and see,but pray to God they do happen

RobW
RobW
4 months ago
Reply to  David Owen

I think it’s to replace the Albion and Bay classes, so we should get 6.

shreyas
shreyas
4 months ago
Reply to  RobW

6 is unlikely i think. 3 or 4 is more likely.

RobW
RobW
4 months ago
Reply to  shreyas

3 Bays, 2 Albions and Argus are being replaced by MRSS. I sincerely hope it’s 6.

Paul42
Paul42
4 months ago
Reply to  RobW

We need to replace our LPDs with an LPH along the lines of Mistral/Wasp design

Nick C
Nick C
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

I was about to post the same idea! However I’m not sure that something the size of a Wasp , at 30k+ tons is what is needed. How about a ship bigger than the Italian San Giorgio, but smaller than the Australian Canberra, say 15/17 k tons. Both have a clear deck and a dock, and it should be possible to build in a lot of versatility. The Albions are only 22 years old, but both have spent some years in reserve so have a good amount of life left, with an OOS date in the 2030’s. And has been… Read more »

Jim
Jim
4 months ago
Reply to  Nick C

We have Navantia building ships at H&W so why not just get a couple of Canberra’s after they finish FSSS. Juan Carlos only cost $280 million.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
4 months ago
Reply to  Nick C

By her OSD she will be older than anyone in a blue suit!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago

In contrast:
The Army’s FV432s (whether upgraded to Bulldog or not) are now past their 60th year, the CVR(T)s are all well into their 50s, Warriors over 35 years old, AS90 are over 30 years old, Challys over 25 years old.
Why is there such a lot of old kit in service!

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

As we have discussed before – it does need to be updated.

There has been funding in place a few times historically to do quite a lot of it but for whatever reason……..

jon
jon
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Due to the amount ordered, they don’t get worn out, Tracked vehicles tend to damage there tubs, so get retired.

they are engineered to last, look around the world Bedford TKs are still working

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  jon

‘tubs’ – what does that mean?

Chris
Chris
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I think Jon means the actual vehicle chassis that forms the core of the vehicle which everything else is bolted on to.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  Chris

The hull.

I have never heard that hulls of AFVs ‘get worn out’.
The issue is that welds can crack after many years of aggressive use (but they can be re-welded) and that in time the armour protection is less able to withstand penetration from improving anti tank weapons or from better landmines.

Jon
Jon
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Warrior’s Hulls and in the end Weld on weld does not provide the same Protection, and they can warp out of shape. so the Hull/Tub is retired. and metal does become thin. much like a hull on a ship,

Jon
Jon
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Chassis of a tank its shell is called a tub. Warrior tended to Crack at the seams in the end.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  Jon

In my 34 years in REME I never heard an AFV hull being called a tub. That term is used in F1 car construction though to mean the drivers compartment!

During Base Overhaul in service (which always used to be about every 7 or so years for AFVs) all hull welds are checked and rewelding done as required. Very straightforward, and not a drama.

Pacman27
Pacman27
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

The Karel doorman is a pretty spectacular multi role ship imo. it can hanger 6 Merlin’s, holds a shed load of stores and has a steel beach and some lcvps. (We probably don’t have enough helos for these). Using KD as a starting point, maybe taking some pointers from the Canadian G-LAM design can give us something truly wonderful. do we need a dock or can we go with a steel beach and S2S connectors? Can we build up around the RAS masts for additional facilities and a master ops room for RAS/air on the top floor? can we add… Read more »

Mickey
Mickey
4 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Davie shipbuilding has been pushing hard on the G-LAM to the Canadian gov. Canada does need to have at least 3 or 4 of these built as there is a gap in the RCN (armed forces in general) for this ability.

The RCN was waiting for the Protecteur class to be built to do part of these tasks but these ships will be very busy once completed.

Pacman27
Pacman27
4 months ago
Reply to  Mickey

Tbh I like bits of GLAM, Damen crossover and KDoorman

I think the key is the middle section with the replen rigs as most want these open and I would build up around them to have more mission space.

Between all of these there must be an optimal configuration that takes the best of each and makes a remarkable asset

I think it’s close already. Just a bit more tweaking and it’s there

David Owen
David Owen
4 months ago
Reply to  RobW

Rob,bang on with your comment ,6 would be fantastic,

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 months ago
Reply to  David Owen

Could an assault ship be big enough for F-35B operations, including hangaring and maintenance support?

Gareth
Gareth
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Could be enough for refuelling or a light weapon load.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The issue is more about maintaining them and the number of specialists you need to make that work.

If they are Invincible sized then it doesn’t really work as F35 is massively bigger than Harrier.

I’d rather not try and make them too Swiss knife but make them full fat in other areas with CAMM-ER and NSM fitted for offensive fire power.

Frank62
Frank62
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Of course it could. But then it would be too big & expensive. I’d stick with a modest LPH & get several of them.

Pacman27
Pacman27
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Yes, but I think we need to focus them on helicopters and stores. Both key strengths of the Karel Doorman design.

F35 is for carriers, best leave it there. But certainly 4 could be accommodated with big enough hanger if flexibility is required.

cost of improving deck for heat is the real limiting factor here I think

Jon
Jon
4 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Deck coating and its ongoing maintenance would be a issue, as they still havent got a good wear rate yet

Brom
Brom
4 months ago

I think something through deck would be best for adaptability’s sake but nice to see were at lease starting the planning

NorthernAlly
NorthernAlly
4 months ago

Wonder if the Germans will get involved as well since there marines are heavily integrated into the Dutch marines if I remember correctly.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
4 months ago

An excellent idea, particularly working with the Dutch. Three questions. How many? When? Does each country have sovereignty over it’s ship (if more than one) if they’re needed for a national task?

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 months ago

I would assume they would be looking at something in the 16-20 thousand tonne range landing dock, with hanger capacity ( 6 medium lift ) and an at sea replenishment role. Numbers wise I would imagine the Dutch would like 2 and the UK 6.

Peter S
Peter S
4 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

The image appears to be a Damen 8000, 133 m long so very much smaller than you are hoping for. It might be a suitable option if RM operations are to be limited to small scale raiding.
Projecting a larger force with armoured vehicles would need something much larger, al least Albion size.

R W
R W
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

In bold at the top of the article:
“The image above is merely a file photo of a Damen LPD design, it is not indicative of any choices.”

Last edited 4 months ago by R W
Peter S
Peter S
4 months ago
Reply to  R W

I didn’t miss that and am aware that the most modern LPD in the RNL is similar in size to the Albions. The Ellida design from BMT is also.similar in size.
I was merely speculating, given that RN plans for MRSS have been withdrawn, and MRSS is currently unfunded, whether something smaller, like the current Damen offerings, might be suitable to the changing role of the RM.
The US Marines are looking to lighter platforms to achieve better distribution of their forces. Should we be doing the same?

,

R W
R W
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

Apologies, misread your first comment.

You could be right but I think it would be a catastrophic mistake to lose the ability ability to land armoured vehicles so mabey a mix would be ideal. However we all know that won’t happen and certainly not in the numbers required, so probably best to go for a more conventional LPD which could fulfill both roles (although not as well).

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 months ago
Reply to  R W

I’m not sure it would be a catastrophe loss to lose the ability to land armour on a beach. The reality of our amphibious needs are around the northern flank are supporting the Nordic nations and that county is all about specialist light infantry. As well as stability operations in places like Africa. For that small is fine. If we ever need to deploy an armoured regiments that would always be done via a secure port using the Points, if we did not have a secure port we would not be landing…contested landings are not something you do. Larger scale… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Jonathan
Peter S
Peter S
4 months ago
Reply to  R W

Agreed. There is ambition for 2 littoral support groups but whether both need to have the ability to land MBTs and other heavy kit doesn’t seem to be clear. Maybe a mix of platforms, heavy and light is the solution.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

You may be right, after all the majority of our amphibious need is around the northern flank..which is essentially all about specialist light infantry. The other bit would be stabilising ops in places like Africa and again you’re not needed to dump an armoured regiment on a beach.

Bob
Bob
4 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

The Dutch have allready stated they want at least 6 ships.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 months ago
Reply to  Bob

Gosh that’s a very significant increase in their amphibious capabilities.

Louis
Louis
4 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

It’s because they plan for these ships to replace both their OPVs and their LPDs, with presumably a fairly small ship as a result.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Yes it’s interesting that they will be moving from 2 14,000-16,000 LPDs to something smaller. They are clearly going to keep the doorman as it’s only 7 years old and is being upgraded with RIM116 and a 76mm gun ( pretty hefty armament for an auxiliary). I’m surprised they are thinking of replacing the Hollands with this class…but the Dutch actually do some interesting stuff with there limited funding and are not scared of going curve ball…so using an amphibious ship as a patrol vessel why not. After all they up and sold almost all their doorman class frigates at… Read more »

Peter S
Peter S
4 months ago
Reply to  Bob

Ambitious given they can’t find crews for their frigates

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
4 months ago

Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilders would apparently be an adequate partner for H&W and/or CL in a cooperative project, though apparently conducting relatively minimal recent naval shipbuilding activity.

Mark
Mark
4 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Damen have been pushing hard for the Irish MRV order, either their Crossover design or a shrunk Karel Doorman

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
4 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Ummm…er… hmmm…amazing how current events intervene w/ an apparently reasonable post. Just read on Jane’s site that Damen closed a contract w/ Dutch government to build four ASW frigates, two each for the Dutch and Belgians. So…guess Damen should be rated higher than adequate …🤔😳🙄

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
4 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

I thought their frigate proposal for Greece looked markedly the strongest contender based on bang per buck but politics as usual intervened.

James
James
4 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

CL isn’t big enough to build large ships. Realistically the only places large ships can be built is H&W and Rosyth

Roy
Roy
4 months ago

Quote from the joint UK-Dutch statement: “Today’s Statement of Intent will see the partner nations working together to understand respective joint requirements and expected timelines for the UK MRSS and Dutch Landing Platform, to help assess whether a collaborative procurement programme would be mutually beneficial”.

That is a long way off from “developing a new assault ship” …

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
4 months ago
Reply to  Roy

Have to start somewhere though, similar terms were expressed regarding original Tempest collaborations I seem to remember.

Coll
Coll
4 months ago

Great news.

Joss
Joss
4 months ago

Will be useless if it doesn’t have strike length VLS, BMD, SAMPSON 2 and full ASW kit out. Typical MoD scrimping again.

Trevor G
Trevor G
4 months ago
Reply to  Joss

You forgot the cat & traps😃

R W
R W
4 months ago
Reply to  Trevor G

And 16″ superfiring turrets

David Barry
David Barry
4 months ago
Reply to  R W

Sean wrote get with the programme.

It’s photon torpedoes and warp drive or go back to sleep.

Jim
Jim
4 months ago
Reply to  Joss

Surely 16 inch guns for shore bombardment as well 😀

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago

Great news. And working with a fellow NATO and EU member in the Netherlands, they won’t be cut by Labour, judging by the Shadow S of S comments on renewed emphasis to all things European….

So 6 please Mr Healey. 3 for the Bays, 1 for Argus, 2 for the LPDs.
Better still, 7, to replace the Bay we stupidly sold to save a few million a year.

Adrian
Adrian
4 months ago

This is my worry too, multirole so they could do each ships role they’re replacing but it does need a 1 for 1 replacement, not 4 multirole ships doing 6 specialist ships jobs

Andrew D
Andrew D
4 months ago

👍

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
4 months ago

Worrying what the future holds? Could be the grass is always greener or better the devil you know😂😂

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I am, actually. I fear many people here with short memories of the period 97 to 2010 will be getting a shock.

David Barry
David Barry
4 months ago

Perhaps we need longer memories:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1957_Defence_White_Paper

Damn Labour pollies…

ChrisLondon
ChrisLondon
4 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Excuse me but weren’t the Torys in power from 50 to 64?

David Barry
David Barry
4 months ago
Reply to  ChrisLondon

Exactly. And look what Duncan Sandys did and didn’t do.

Labour took a knife to TSR1, but only after the Con horlicks.

ChrisLondon
ChrisLondon
4 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Sorry if I misunderstood. This site is usually such an extreme right echo chamber that I thought you were blaming Labour for Sandys.

David Barry
David Barry
4 months ago
Reply to  ChrisLondon

Apologies. Daniele will be here in a moment.

Expat
Expat
4 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

The 57 white paper was a bad move but it was based on the thinking at the time, a conventional war would very quickly turned nuclear and missiles would start being flung within 3 days of anything kicking off.

The 57 paper also kicked off projects like the TSR 2 as it was recognised the the V force would not survive. And of course one of Britain most iconic aircraft the Harrier.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
4 months ago

DM, possibly in a sotto voce intonation: ‘Please, Sir, I want some more.’ 😂😁👍👍

Ex_Service
Ex_Service
4 months ago

…Don’t you mean 8, to make good the loss of Ocean as well?

Though to be fair, a bigger deck (or two) would be more fit-for-purpose PLUS 6 of these ships for greater military effect.
– Think early 1970s RN amphibious numbers and post-Falkland losses everything else.

This would reverse the stupid Peace Dividend cuts that Blair and co embraced so enthusiastically.

Jim
Jim
4 months ago

Would be nice but I take labours European focus to mean more emphasis on the army. Big mistake in my mind however realistically there no new money for anything, it’s largely a ploy to get a better deal from the EU.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Yes, I know. I keep sounding alarm bells on it. Very convenient. A few thousand more Army personnel, vs RAF aircraft and helicopters, and RN ships, submarines. What do we think has more strategic effect in the UKs position? I’ve said before. The Army headline number makes no difference whatsoever if the number of deployable brigades stays the same and it lacks the kit and CS CSS. And concentrating just on that? Goodbye UK military expeditionary capability. Equals cuts to big ticket items. To be fair Healey also talks of the arctic and N Atlantic, he’ll probably say we only… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
4 months ago

Morning Daniele,

The simple fact is, (theoretically at least), it’s much cheaper to add a few thousand troops to the Army, than increase in the RAF and Navy.

Of course, that’s all empty rhetoric too, Army numbers continue to slide, Labour have no plan for turning this round.

As you say, without serious investment in equipment and reorganisation, an empty promise of increasing the size of the Army is pointless.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
4 months ago

Just caught up with you Daniele. Right on the button mate. All that the North Atlantic means to Healey is that he can wipe out ang global ambitions we have. There won’t be an increase in spend on the N.A. There will just be cuts. Bye bye Carriers; bye bye amphibious warfare. Beyond escorts probably bye bye navy.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim

The problem with the army Jim is that we couldn’t increase the size if we wanted to because it’s recruitment that’s holding the size down.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
4 months ago

Evening Daniele, That 7th, the Bay, now HMAS Choules, still looking good and down in Sydney harbour Garden Is naval base. Looks like it’s had a new coat of paint in think. Even the Phalanx radar hood’s are grey. I’ll try and get a photo soon and put on here. Not rubbbing this in, just reporting its whereabouts. Lol 😁

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
4 months ago

The problem is , if Labour do cut back to being European (again) we won’t have to worry about a navy at all so these will never be built as the RM’s will probably go. You may not be of my advanced years my friend but Labour in power: 1960’s. Navy cut; 1970’s Navy cut; 1990’s Navy cut. If we think the Tories are bad we ain’t seen nothing yet.😥

Louis
Louis
4 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Navy should be trying to sign T32 contract asap
Recent Labour RN cuts have been especially bad. Selling off of 3 T23, cutting half the T45 order, cancelling FASM thereby reducing the SSN fleet to 7 and cutting Sea Harriers etc.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
4 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Always bad. Absolutely agree with your point about contracts. The sooner the better. In an ideal world (?) we would have a look at the handful of aircraft it would take to bring AEW and ASW up to scratch for the RAF as well.

Louis
Louis
4 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

AEW won’t be the priority for getting contracts signed. Labour would love to increase the number to 5 because it would look good on them, whilst being very cheap considering the radars have already been ordered.

P8 increase and batch 2 F35 order would be the most important.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
4 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Yep, good point. Would love to see it but …? Time will as always tell.

Klonkie
Klonkie
4 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Hi Geoff, whilst you are spot on re Labours dismal defence cuts, the Tories can’t claim the high ground. Remember John Not in 1981 ( fortunately the Falklands stopped most of theses cuts). More recently, David Cameron’s 2010 cuts are unlikely to be reversed. My point is, I have little confidence in either of the two major parties.

Sadly, your prediction re Labour is likely to be 100% accurate. God help us.

Louis
Louis
4 months ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Those cuts are always overstated. The Amphibs were saved before the Falklands. What was going to be cut were very old escorts and HMS Invincible, whilst the SSN fleet would be increased.

HMS Endurance being withdrawn from the South Atlantic was the worst cut, but equally had Labour not cut CVA-01 and T82 then an invasion of the Falklands would’ve been less likely as well.

David Barry
David Barry
4 months ago
Reply to  Louis

T82 was very our dated.

More 42s along with 22s would have been nice.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
4 months ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Fair comment. Carriers in particular seem to be on the politicians hate list. My worry as things stand is that if we loose the carriers and quite possibly the Royals if they merge them into the army is that we will do away with the one service that can do us good around the world. That’s never stopped them in the past though.

David Barry
David Barry
4 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach
James
James
4 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Navy was left largely intact. The most damaging years for the Navy was during WW2 when pretty much all post war ships were cut, and the 1960s when Labour cut CVA-01.

Even just taking the 21st century alone Labour has cut FASM- reducing the SSN fleet from 12 to 7, cut 3 T23s, and halved the T45 order.

David Barry
David Barry
4 months ago
Reply to  James

Global economics is such a bugger; the Bear in the room is the NHS. politics live today, NHS is free at the point of care… well, except eye care and dentistry… hey ho… And now, this is difficult for all parties and really needs cross party consensus: If I Eat too many mars bars Drink too much beer Do no exercise Smoke Live a shit lifestyle eating burghers and chips Who should pay to keep me alive? At what point do we stop prescribing drugs to people who won’t take them because they are vitamins? If I identify as a… Read more »

Expat
Expat
4 months ago

But where will these be used in that new strategy? To launch an assault to reclaim Europe it from an invader that we would have already thrown the kitchen sink at? Again these are more useful for us to deploy further afield than Europe to global trouble spots. Europe is a focus but remember there’s the NATO test, do assault ships meet the NATO test? A Labour government, he will pledge, would conduct a Strategic Defence and Security Review within its first year in government, and carry out a “Nato test” on major projects during its first 100 days to… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  Expat

Reinforcement of Norway, if ports are out the LPD gives you options.

If Labour cut stuff due to their ideology I will be fuming as we should be able to project beyond Europe if necessary. One must have options.

Expat
Expat
4 months ago

Politicians only do ideology, forget logic and common sense.

David Barry
David Barry
4 months ago

The Cons, 13 years in power, have cut capability – go drink your horlicks.

Andrew D
Andrew D
4 months ago

Going off the Topic guys on MOD news 24/7 Army General has left or pushed for speaking out about the size of our Army and the cuts and the age of our AFV .Did see the statement which he made the other day and at the time I thought to myself he was brave for is speaking out .Know we’re not like the the Russia’s, but still let’s face it when people speak out this is one of there ways.Just food for thought guys ..Find it very sad 🙄

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Refreshing he speaks out.
Is it Torygraph exaggeration and speculation or fact? The Telegraph prefers army to anything RN or RAF.

RobW
RobW
4 months ago

Very refreshing. I’m not buying the narrative that he is being pushed aside. If that was the case it would be happening far sooner.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  RobW

Me neither. He’s been Com Strat Com for 3 years already.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

If someone in the top brass is speaking out like this then surely someone should be mature enough to listen and do something about it. No time for “silly buggers” as my old maths teacher use to say. Is it going to take a “real crisis” to get things moving? Seems like Army is not getting the “love” it deserves. Meanwhile armies elsewhere are getting lots of nice shiney new kit including afvs. I find it ironic that the armed forces are there to “serve” and protect the country and do, daily, have some “others” lost that focus and are… Read more »

Andrew D
Andrew D
4 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

👍 🇬🇧

Expat
Expat
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Did his bank account get closed also!

Patrick
Patrick
4 months ago

How about getting Albion and Bulwark back in service at the same time.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
4 months ago
Reply to  Patrick

My son in law has worked on the two. Not enough of anything to keep both at sea at the same time. Production lines would have to be re opened for the parts and equipment required.

Paul42
Paul42
4 months ago

Procure the right equipment at the right time…….the UK has a proven track record of being incapable of doing that so this is merely an idea going nowhere?

Louis
Louis
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

In fairness there is plenty of time until they need to enter service. It’s good we’re hearing about them so early considering the ships they’re replacing entered service between 2003 and 2007, with Albion and Bulwark having even more life left in them than usual due to being alternated in service.

Frank62
Frank62
4 months ago

I hope the Dutch will help the project get done in a timely & on budget fasion rather than the disease our warship building usually produces. Great news.
I’d hope for small LPH types.

Last edited 4 months ago by Frank62
Ron
Ron
4 months ago

Although the announcement is promising the question that I have is what are these ships meant to replace and what are they meant to do. So if they are to replace the Bays and Argus then the BMT Ellida or Damen Den Helder Combat Support Ship would do the job. Are they to replace the Waves and Forts, if so again the Ellida or Den Helder could do the job. If the ships are to land smallish Royal Marine forces say 120-250 Marines then the Damen Crossover types or a well designed T32 could do that. The issue comes in… Read more »

Esteban
Esteban
4 months ago
Reply to  Ron

Exactly how many Royal Marines are there right now and what is their equipment that could be launched ashore?

RobW
RobW
4 months ago
Reply to  Esteban

Not many and not much. 6,500 total inc reserves. They have the Viking and Jackal 2. But it is an expeditionary and raiding force these days. Having 6 MRSS types doesn’t seem overkill.

Ron
Ron
4 months ago
Reply to  Esteban

The Royal Marines are at Brigade strength so it is to be expected that they will number about 4,000 Commandos. The T32s and Ellida type ships is more than enough for the tasking and the needs for how the future Commando will operate. If you are wondering about the LHDs they are not for the Royal Marines but for the Army. People forget that we are an Island and that we need to get the Army ashore in combat ready formations. I will keep arguing for the point that the Army needs to form a large Brigade formed up from… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
4 months ago
Reply to  Ron

“A smaller, more agile and deployable force” was the tag line when the Army was reduced below 100,000, they did the reducing bit, nailed it in fact, but totally forgot about the equipment…..

The army is looking increasingly marginalised unfortunately…

Looking forward to seeing the Defence review refresh this month and the detail of Labours defence plan in the coming 12 months….

I fully expect both to be a fudge full of hot air, vague promises, tag lines and zero substance.

Ron
Ron
4 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Agreed on all points.

Airborne
Airborne
4 months ago
Reply to  Esteban

Mostly around your South American council house while you are away trying to climb into Texas!

Paul.P
Paul.P
4 months ago
Reply to  Ron

“No matter which way I turn it it still looks like the RN needs three possibly four types of ship.” Spot on.
Seems to me that what’s happening is that we are trying to find ways of minimising the number of designs, ships and cost without a clear understanding of strategic ( political) direction; and what we will able to afford. In the meantime pushing ahead with T31 ( 5in gun ?) and converting Argus to kind of Ocean ‘LHD’ replacement are affordable and pragmatic decisions. There’s life left in the LHDs and Bays.

Paul.P
Paul.P
4 months ago

Why not ask BAe to rework its proposal to convert MV Contender Argent to a LPH?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago

We do, Peter. 40 and 45 Commando plus their enablers. The RM do not operate at Brigade strength now WRT amphibious landings. Army units can be added as necessary, including Tanks, which continue to be landed in exercises at Brown Down to keep that capability alive.

Matt
Matt
4 months ago

Assuming we have some army units. 😁

Mike
Mike
4 months ago

Now lets build enough to replace Bulwark and Albion, RFA version to replace Bays and enough for the Dutch navy. Build on mass, one basic class same spares and reduced build cost due to numbers. If we are cleaver may be we can get them into service within 8 years and within budget!! May need to build in Holland for that.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Err they don’t build anything in Holland these days, not for 20 years. Damen owns a Romanian shipyard that does all the Shipbuilding, Sheldt just fits them out. And quite how that works at present being as it is on the Black Sea opposite Crimea I have no idea.

Mike
Mike
4 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

My point is we need new amphib ship now as LSDAs are getting old now and The LPDs are a few years older. It is a sensible idea to go in with the Dutch as we operate with them more than any other NATO member on amphib. Also if built with the Dutch you will get a better ship to operate

James
James
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike

They aren’t that old. Mid 2000s for all of those ships should keep them in service well into the 2030s and longer for the LPD’s considering ones in reserve at any one time.

geoff
geoff
4 months ago

Wonderful design in terms of looks( which are of course, important😉)

Matt
Matt
4 months ago

This seems sensible.

Especially if we can get a modular facility like some of the current NL ships.

Robert Stevenson
Robert Stevenson
4 months ago

Never unstand why the LPD are not armed with missle such as Fearless and Intrepid had 4 x 4 sets of seacat aa and used them in bomb alley ’82 especially as we dont have enough ships to protect them and it would be an ideal forse multiplier

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 months ago

Sea cat was utter shite. It was designed to be placed instead of a light gun like a 20-40mm..but was actually considerably more useless than said gun. Looking to now sticking a few soft launcher CAMM on our very expensive assets (say 6) …that would be common sense…considering how agnostic they are.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
4 months ago

Because they had Goalkeeper and latterly Phalanx ( and a couple of matelot proof Gamb01 20mms). You could also add whatever the RM AD troop had with them (Starstreak). All and I include the 20mm as well where better than Seacat and thats someone speaking who has worked and maintained all of the above systems.

David Hull
David Hull
4 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Yep,seacat shite! But nothings matelot proof!!🥴👍

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
4 months ago
Reply to  David Hull

GamB01 was/is as long as you ensured that the barrel was twisted and locked into the breech…if not round 1 and the barrel goes for a swim..
Happened to a 30mm during the Gulf War( same barrel lock system on 20 and 30mm Oerlikons) on an MCM. The maintainer wanted to fly home…funnily enough when the barrel went splash he was on the next helo out of the Gulf

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
4 months ago

I completely understand and applaud the logic of partnering up with the KM there is a long history of cooperation between our Marines especially in Norway. When we look at many Dutch ships it isn’t really surprising how alike theirs are to ours due to our similar operating conditions. But I am just very cautious about direct industrial cooperation with them. The track record isn’t exactly anything to shout about, in fact other than radars it is pretty dire really. Plus Damen haven’t actually built any significant ships themselves in the last 20 years the last being the Tromps. All… Read more »

Louis
Louis
4 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

CL could also definitely be transformed into a modern shipyard for large ships, there is lots of space but it would require something similar to what’s happening with H&W.

As for Damen, it all depends whether the new Frigates will be built in the Netherlands or not. The Romanian yard is owned by Damen so they do have the expertise.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
4 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Louis regarding CL, to duplicate what already exists and have already publicly funded is simply a massive waste of Tax Payers money. And there just aren’t the number of future builds to justify the £Billions needed to do so. For example the cost of just a single large dry dock able to accommodate a CV is over £1,000,0000,000. The RN has already looked at it and backed off. They looked at enlarging the CL dock, using Inchgreen, rebuilding the KGV dock at Southampton and building a new one at Portsmouth. They opted to use the Rosyth dock and seem to.… Read more »

Louis
Louis
4 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

There are 17 large ships in the RN and RFA including points but not including carriers or waves. On top of that there are 11 medium sized ships (MROSS, MCM motherships etc.). On top of that H&W has carbon neutral tugs and barges to build. Even at 2 years build time per ship that’s already too much for one yard. To ensure ships are replaced after 30 years at the very latest and allowing leeway in between different ship classes you’d have to build and launch a ship within 18 months. The medium sized ships can already be built by… Read more »

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
4 months ago
Reply to  Louis

I suggest you sit down and read about the National Ship Building Plan. And then realise that it isn’t about exports of built ships as we just cannot compete on price anymore. The plan is for providing every ship ref Government requires over the 25/30 year life of the vessels. It is based on scheduling a constant workflow so that we have the exact facilities we need to produce our ships. No more boom and bust. You can argue about CL until you are blue in the face but unless we were to double the size of the RN and… Read more »

Louis
Louis
4 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

We can’t compete on price because there are no shipyards capable of that. Babcocks shipyards is currently the only modern shipyard. Govan will be next. Both of those yards are only for military ships. 17 large and 11 medium ships alongside side projects are enough for two yards. Once H&W is modernised why wouldn’t it get non Government orders? H&W isn’t a huge yard, it’ll be running at full capacity with those orders. Government incentives for UK companies to have ships built here could also work. There are dozens of UK owned large Ro-Ro ferries and dozens of UK owned… Read more »

ChrisLondon
ChrisLondon
4 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Does anybody know why they decided to spend the money on H&W rather than CL given that there is a significant risk it will be part of RofI before the MRSS are actually built.

Louis
Louis
4 months ago
Reply to  ChrisLondon

Aside from the fact that Team Resolutes design is better, and consists of a shipyard that has built 6 ships of a similar size in the last 15 years, differences between H&W and Team UK’s facilities are huge. . Babcock would’ve assembled the ships, so little money would’ve been pumped into modernising CL as they would’ve only built some blocks for the ships. The issue for Babcock assembling the ships is the dry docks. Babcock has 3, but 1 dock has to be reserved for the carriers, and 2 dock is used for decommissioning nuclear subs. 1 dock is the… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Louis
Louis
Louis
4 months ago
Reply to  Louis

My mistake, H&W can actually assemble 4 FSSS sized ships at a time in the large dry dock.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
4 months ago

Firstly the question of “what do the RM need to do and deliver as part of a LSG” needs answering. Secondly “what do the RN need to do and deliver as part of a LSG” Once you know that then you can think about a design. LPH v LPD v Hybrid. LPH massive manpower with the air group embarked and its enablers and not a lot of equipment lift capability or sustainability. LPD less manpower but far greater lift and capability to sustain operations ashore. Hybrid all of the above with regards to lift but with less manpower. So best… Read more »

Nigel
Nigel
4 months ago

When I look at these Littoral ships, I can’t help but think what effect a few tanks and a few dozen soldiers disembarked will have on any military effort?
Don’t get me wrong, hats off to all those involved and i sincerely thank all for their service, but can someone tell me where my thoughts are going wrong pls.

John Hartley
John Hartley
4 months ago

I would have gone in with the Italians, as they want a pair of amphip mini carriers of just under 20,000 tons.

John Hartley
John Hartley
4 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

amphib

stevie
stevie
4 months ago

6 would be better but of course it will depend who in government at the time but it will also depend on the numbers of the royal marines in service if we still want to be a Global force in the world which would require more investment in our armed forces

jon
jon
4 months ago

How would that Work if we say 6 ships are required. to replace only 2 are RN crewed as the rest are RFA. we dont have the crew to man these ships and recruitment is falling rapidly

Geoffi
Geoffi
4 months ago

Interesting; I assume the line would end with Albion and Bulwark.