A report advocates for the Royal Navy to embrace the concept of the ‘arsenal ship’, a vessel capable of firing huge volumes of missiles.

This powerful asset, carrying a large number of missiles, is being seriously considered by naval powers such as the United States and Australia.

According to ‘A More Lethal Royal Navy: Sharpening Britain’s Naval Power‘ by William Freer and Dr. Emma Salisbury, it is time for the UK to accelerate its exploration of this concept.

“The arsenal ship, the idea of a platform which carries a large number of missiles and little else, has been around for some time but is now starting to make real progress,” the report states.

The US Navy’s exploration of Large Unmanned Surface Vessels (LUSVs) and Large Optionally Crewed Surface Vessels (LOSVs) is proof of this progress.

After years of experimentation, the US plans to order up to nine LUSVs/LOSVs between 2025 and 2028, each expected to cost approximately $250 million (£195 million). These vessels will displace around 1,800-2,000 tonnes and carry 16-32 Vertical Launch System (VLS) cells. The Australian Navy, following its 2024 Surface Fleet Review, also plans to procure up to six LOSVs based on US designs.

The theory behind these vessels is to “provide a greater number of missiles and distribute these missiles across more platforms, minimising the consequences of losing one to enemy action. They will be semi-autonomous, with instructions and sensor capabilities coming either from motherships or ashore,” the report elaborates.

The primary advantage of arsenal ships lies in their ability to disperse a large number of missiles across multiple platforms, reducing the risk associated with the loss of a single vessel to enemy action and enhancing fleet survivability. These semi-autonomous vessels, controlled by motherships or shore-based facilities, add flexibility.

However, “arsenal ships are not without limitation,” the report cautions. “First and foremost, they would lose the flexibility which naval platforms bring. A Type 31 frigate may be more expensive, but it can undertake a much wider range of missions due to the larger crew.”

Additionally, these vessels depend on external communications for autonomous operations, making them vulnerable to electronic warfare (EW) threats, as “these signals can be interfered with.”

Another significant concern is the potential for mission creep during procurement.

“There could be an urge to push for the vessel to have its own point defences, then its own radar to detect threats and act more autonomously – all of which would require it to be larger. This process could go on until the design has simply become an optionally-crewed frigate,” the report warns.

To address these challenges, the report recommends that the UK accelerate its exploration of the arsenal ship concept by procuring a single LOSV as soon as feasible.

“This could be based on the proven River class OPV hull (stripped of everything apart from minimal crew quarters and packed with VLS), to act as a testbed platform. This will allow for the Royal Navy to evaluate the utility of arsenal ships. If the extra VLS capacity is evaluated to be more beneficial than the loss of flexibility, the Royal Navy can acquire more – potentially multiplying the effort by following the Australian approach and replicating the US design.”

The strategic context driving this recommendation is clear. The report underscores that the UK, as a maritime nation, faces growing threats at sea, including Russia’s naval modernisation and China’s substantial naval expansion.

To counter these threats and achieve its strategic objectives in the Euro-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific regions, the Royal Navy must enhance its lethality, survivability, and operational mass.

Investing in arsenal ships is presented as a cost-effective means to increase missile capacity and distribute firepower across more platforms. This approach, combined with other strategic investments such as additional F35B Lightning II combat aircraft, improved carrier defences, and accelerated destroyer and submarine programmes, could significantly boost the Royal Navy’s combat flexibility.

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Lisa has a degree in Media & Communication from Glasgow Caledonian University and works with industry news, sifting through press releases in addition to moderating website comments.
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Micki
Micki (@guest_828521)
19 days ago

Britain needs more ships, tanks, aircraft etc etc but unfortunately with these political traitors will have few.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_828535)
19 days ago
Reply to  Micki

And submarines.

ADA
ADA (@guest_828562)
19 days ago
Reply to  Micki

Literally 13 new frigates in the next 9 years.

We don’t even have capacity in the shipyards to do this for the next decade.

You’ll also feel better when the CSG next year is delayed with 24 F-35B (not even the US deploy 24 5th gen).

Filip
Filip (@guest_828616)
19 days ago
Reply to  ADA

Because we closed them down just a few years ago, keeping just shipyards in Scotland; one of the short-sighted decisions we have made.

James
James (@guest_828631)
18 days ago
Reply to  Filip

I believe that was more appeasing the SNP, another stupid decision by the current and previous governments.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_828610)
19 days ago
Reply to  Micki

Another set of political traitors ont he way, unless you believe in miracles.

Val
Val (@guest_828636)
18 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

If everyone uses the heads, they will vote Reform!

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_828641)
18 days ago
Reply to  Val

…and end up with a Labour government. Brilliant.

Apoplectix
Apoplectix (@guest_828647)
18 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

You’re going to get a labour government anyway, better to vote reform and get it established as the opposition in a position to win in the future.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_828658)
18 days ago
Reply to  Apoplectix

The forecast is that at best Reform will win srven seats and NF will not be elected so how is it going to happen? If we had the prospect of a Conservative/Reform Alliance Party ot vice versa. I might well be interested.

andy a
andy a (@guest_829412)
16 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

You will never get away from the two party system until people start voting for others like reform. “oh its a wasted vote” thats whats led to all the other parties in 50 years failing and dissappearing. If they get 10 MPs then they have shown they are a force to be reckoned with at 2028/9 election

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_829414)
16 days ago
Reply to  andy a

Strangely enough Andy, I do see your point. If the Tories and Reform could do a deal now I would back it because we do need a realignment. My worry is, if Labour get in 😱 they will make sure they govern for ten, fifteen, twenty years. Just reducing the voting age to sixteen would secure dozens of seats all over the country. The only other option now.. If Labour are second to the Tory, vote Tory; if Reform has a good chance vote Reform. Cynical certainly but for the first time in my life I am genuinely fearful of… Read more »

Andy A
Andy A (@guest_829415)
16 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

I totally agree. I just think even though I dislike NF as a person our political classes have lost their way.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_829472)
15 days ago
Reply to  Andy A

I actually met him, must be a good twenty years ago,maybe more. UKIP offfices were on a business park next to my building. I was in the car park and one of the girls who worked there introduced me to this chap…Nigel Farage. Didn’t know him from adam. thought he seemed a decent sort of bloke and that was that. The rest, as they say, is history. These days I would agree with you. Too over the top. 😏

Andy A
Andy A (@guest_829492)
15 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Willing to give him chance as totally sick of the rest. Think most people think the same

Pleiades
Pleiades (@guest_830203)
13 days ago
Reply to  Andy A

You think wrong then because “most people” aren’t reactionary neo-fascist imbeciles, which you’re about to find out to your detriment 👌🏾

Andy A
Andy A (@guest_830247)
13 days ago
Reply to  Pleiades

No right thinking person thinks farage is a neo fascist. If you think in any way they compare to 1930’s Germany that’s extremely sad. People sling words about not really thinking about what they are saying. He may not be your cup of tea. He isn’t mine. I’ve voted labour liberal and conservative over the years and like many I’m sick of the lot.
Show me one policy of there’s that is in any way fascist?

Jason Hartley
Jason Hartley (@guest_829225)
17 days ago
Reply to  Apoplectix

Exactly 💯

Paul Walker
Paul Walker (@guest_829124)
17 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

We are getting a labour government anyway, the conservatives are a spent force that will be lucky to get 50 MPs, time for change time for Reform.
My postal vote is winging its way with my vote for Reform already done.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_829159)
17 days ago
Reply to  Paul Walker

You don’t appear to have read my post. Have another go.

Jason Hartley
Jason Hartley (@guest_829224)
17 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

No you vote reform to get reform , a vote for reform is a vote for reform..a vote for the other three is just a vote for the status quo.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_829261)
16 days ago
Reply to  Jason Hartley

How many times does this have to be explained. Voting Reform gets you a Labour government, potentially for the next ten to fifteen years. Is that really what you want ?

Dern
Dern (@guest_828675)
18 days ago
Reply to  Val

Great idea, vote for the modern Mosley. 🙄

Concerned
Concerned (@guest_828771)
18 days ago
Reply to  Dern

While I don’t like Reform the comparison to Oswald is too far

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_828820)
18 days ago
Reply to  Concerned

After the recent interview where he was basically noshing off putin? Want to revise that?

General Grievance
General Grievance (@guest_829082)
17 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Don’t make things up. He said he is no fan of Putin and Putin started the war but NATO/EU strategy over the last 10 years provoked him. I’m 100% Ukraine and I can’t argue with that assessment.

Dern
Dern (@guest_829209)
17 days ago
Reply to  Concerned

He’s worked for Russia today, taken millions in funding directly from Moscow, is a known friend of Putin, recently blamed Ukraine on the West, has done his best to undermine Western Institutions… you’re right, the Comparison to Oswald isn’t fair, Oswald wasn’t as bad as Farage.

Pleiades
Pleiades (@guest_830204)
13 days ago
Reply to  Dern

The right trash useful idiots like Fartage and his knuckle dragging cohorts are amusing to behold if nothing else 😁👌🏾

Actually, definitely nothing else 😂

Mike
Mike (@guest_828672)
18 days ago
Reply to  Micki

And RFA’s to keep them at sea and to move the army and RM’s.

Concerned
Concerned (@guest_828772)
18 days ago
Reply to  Mike

This is the more important thing that people tend to forget about

Phil
Phil (@guest_828788)
18 days ago
Reply to  Micki

The problems are numerous but first every government finds it easy to cut defence funds cos nobody protests , second since then of the first cold war, this being the second, the politicians and military brass have never really worked out what they want our forces to do or be as a result we have a colonial police force more aking to the army prior to the Boer war . To re arm and that’s what it requires those in charge will have to set new objectives, this would need a decision about heavy armour ,artillery , an airforce designed… Read more »

Bertram j
Bertram j (@guest_829417)
16 days ago
Reply to  Micki

We looked at Arsenal ships 20 years ago. Semisubmersible variants were examined to enable profile and signature reduction. Two problems to address, how many would be required to fulfil the military requirement and with all your missiles in one basket vulnerability (sensor jamming) and survivability losing one asset would cost an entire inventory. That’s two, anyone for other major issues tennis.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell (@guest_828522)
19 days ago

Everyone agrees we need a larger and more lethal navy. However Id much rather the RN had enough frigate and destroyers in service first (at least 26) before considering an arsenal ship programme. The LSV costing £250 million for 32 VLS cells isn’t particularly good value for money and really isnt very adaptable a design. More type 31s, type 26s and push into service the type 32 design. We have to get above the 26 hull threshold to return some semblance of fighting power and attritional reserve to the RN. Over to the next government (labour we hope and pray)… Read more »

Baker
Baker (@guest_828592)
19 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

What F32 design ?

David
David (@guest_828624)
19 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

I agree Mr Bell, that the Tories have made a pig’s ear of defence during their tenure in office and to me, aren’t Conservatives any more but if Labour get in (which appears all but certain), they will be equally inept and useless. They will take a year to do their ‘defence review’ just to see ‘what’s needed’ before they make any decisions! Meanwhile, the world becomes more dangerous and we get left further and further behind.

Apoplectix
Apoplectix (@guest_828648)
18 days ago
Reply to  David

Not sure why it takes a year, we have recently had a number of defence reviews so it’s just a case of cut and paste. How much has changed since the last defence review 2021 refreshed in 2023.

David
David (@guest_828671)
18 days ago
Reply to  Apoplectix

Totally – just an excuse to kick the defence can down the road…..

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral (@guest_828526)
19 days ago

I can understand the concept for all out war, but what would be the utility otherwise? We could buy 4 ships, and what would they do in peacetime? Would say 4 ships be at the expense of 4 ordinary OPV or frigates. Would a modified river be any use as an OPV. Any such arsenal ship surely has to have adequate defences, radar and all the rest of it rather than being a remotely controlled tanker…drone defences and so on. How about as a radical idea, just upping the vls count on our existing ships? Perhaps the mrss could have… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_828532)
19 days ago

With the T31s getting 4 MK41s and some allocated for land attack why not get a few more of these cheaper ships for starters plus the benefit of them being able to do other roles?

Last edited 19 days ago by Quentin D63
Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_828539)
19 days ago

Totally AA. Maximise what exists and what’s coming. They could be putting 2 MK41s on the T45s or at least the ExLS for up to 48 CAMM. And the carriers, you’ve said it. Even
GBAD needed to cover bases, ports, army, isn’t that a greater priority? Even order more TLAMs in the interim? This might be silly, but could they or other land strike even be fired from 1-2 converted (youngest) Vanguards once Dreadnought come into service?

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_828543)
19 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Unless they increase crew numbers they won’t be able to keep retiring vanguards around. Ignoring their extreme age.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_828603)
19 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

Submarine hulls have a maximum number of dive cycles.

The stresses are on descending and ascending. That add up.

Unless you are Russian and you don’t care a play roulette with the crew and sub.

That and the antiquity of some of the parts. Never mind the reactor fuelling.

The USA has a different problem set as they have many more subs so keeping a spare line warm costs less per sub.

Coll
Coll (@guest_828573)
19 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

So will they be having MK41 and Sylver VLSs?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_828587)
19 days ago
Reply to  Coll

I’m not sure Coll on the final CAMM vls type for T45. Various posters here were commenting on whether the CAMM fitout on the T26s will be the six pack silos x4x2 or ExLS x4x6x2, both for 48? If it’s the later will these also go on the T45s if they’re wanting extra missile capacity?

David
David (@guest_828626)
19 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Current plan for the Type 45 is 24 x standard CAMM in the mushroom farm configuration akin to the Type 23s.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_828635)
18 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

The ExLS for T26 I saw was a 1×6 (x4 missiles per cell) in front of the mk41 and another in the rear silo for 24 CAMM each.
Either way, with the same number and a similar space available they should do the same arrangement for both T26 and T45.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_828844)
18 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Hi SB, yours sounds like the ExLS set up on the Canadian T26s, 2 rows of 3 cells x4 CAMM but put side by side acrossways. 48 is quite a decent load out and not even using any of the MK41s. We’ll have to wait for some future drone shots.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_828853)
18 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Hehe… CAMM-SR will have its time in the end!

David
David (@guest_828625)
19 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Totally agree – significantly uparm what we have/will have; more Type 31s and bring in the Type 32.

Rob Young
Rob Young (@guest_828545)
19 days ago

The main function of a navy is to fight a war. Everything else are simply optional extras…

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_828551)
19 days ago
Reply to  Rob Young

It’s not really optional extras because unless your ships can prove useful during peacetime rather than sitting alongside they’re going to get cut.

Rob Young
Rob Young (@guest_828557)
19 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

Like our nuclear deterrent? How many alternative uses does a tank have? Sure, you need ships to show the flag, or to catch drug smugglers, or coordinate aid operations. But they’re not the REASON for a strong navy. The key word is ‘defence’ – and if you cut out a good fighting ship and replace it with something that can’t do that job… your fleet won’t last long when the shooting starts.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_828605)
19 days ago
Reply to  Rob Young

Which is why I don’t love the Rivers – good peacetime fix to cut costs but useless in a hot zone.

Wasp snorter
Wasp snorter (@guest_828614)
19 days ago

But if 3 new Rivers were arsenal ships designed to accompany a CSG then I would start to love them.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_828617)
19 days ago
Reply to  Wasp snorter

A River isn’t big enough for a VLS farm.

If you want arsenal ships think of very, very big tubs.

As there are no crew for DC they will have to very very, very large and highly compartmented.

Wasp snorter
Wasp snorter (@guest_828629)
18 days ago

You are right of course, but do like the idea of instead of a big tub with 200 missiles, you have 4 river sized ships each with 50, controlled and flanking the carrier, with them tapped into the carrier radar and acting as sentry ships for both air drone and swarm attacks, but I maybe losing my mind and need to get back to reality.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_828634)
18 days ago
Reply to  Wasp snorter

I’d rather the political focus was on having enough VLS slots and top end radars in what is being built ATM.

Oh, and a big missile stockpile!!

Rob Young
Rob Young (@guest_828622)
19 days ago

They have their uses. Point is, having them shouldn’t be an excuse to reduce the teeth element. Personally, I would like more of them – just not at the expense of the shooty part of the navy!

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_828628)
19 days ago
Reply to  Rob Young

They are useful as part of the training for ranks.

Commanding smaller ships was always part of the sequence.

Problem is they are not fighty ships. If they had an ASW role I’d have a different view.

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_828632)
18 days ago

They’re OPVs. There is no point in arming them because they’ll never have enough armaments to be useful.

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_828633)
18 days ago
Reply to  Rob Young

Name an example of a useless ship the navy has? If you wanna complain about ships not fit for purpose go chase the F125 Frigates.

Rob Young
Rob Young (@guest_828643)
18 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

? – ‘Personally, I would like more of them’ – didn’t say they were useless, actually said they do have a place in the navy. They come under the optional extras – ‘having them shouldn’t be an excuse to reduce the teeth element.’ The main function is to fight a war! – other elements are more civil functions. Smuggling? – police work. Humanitarian aid? – social services. etc. Useful, but at best paramilitary rather than military.

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_828649)
18 days ago
Reply to  Rob Young

Ignoring the extortionate price they were at, you still wouldn’t have been able to get much fighting ability let alone ships if you didn’t have them.

Dern
Dern (@guest_828667)
18 days ago
Reply to  Rob Young

Tanks have uses in peace keeping operations. Look: if you park a Challenger on a street corner it has a way of enforcing compliance. Its just an expensive way of doing it.
Equally a CR regiment can be dismounted for humanitarian and COIN roles.

Fraser
Fraser (@guest_828529)
19 days ago

Could you just put a few containerized launch cells on a cargo ship deck. That would be ‘arsenal ship’. Just focus of procuring containerized missile cells, you could share them with army and navy. Forget the ships, any cargo ship will do.

Ben
Ben (@guest_828558)
19 days ago
Reply to  Fraser

Yeah, if we aren’t going the USV route or the “Build a type 31 without a hanger or heli-deck and replace it with a mass of VLS cells” then containers on a cargo ship would be the next best. The only main issues are that it becomes a single large (And slow) target, rather than a few smaller ships that can keep speed with the fleet and hold the same amount of VLS distributed among a few. Then there is the possibility that its not actually something we would want to do, because it may lead an adversary to view… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_828567)
19 days ago
Reply to  Fraser

The weaponizing of cargo ships is a worry. I think they’ll then cease being classified as “cargo” ships and become combatants.

Elio
Elio (@guest_828583)
19 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Rather than 6x 16000 ton MRSS how about 8x 12000 ton for additional flexibility and then when needed add the containerised missiles cells to one or two of them. Lean into the multi role support ship concept

Fraser
Fraser (@guest_828591)
19 days ago
Reply to  Elio

The key is to develope the capability to flexibly deploy systems in container size packages like the army and airforce does. If you stick it on the back of a truck you can stick it on the back of ship. In a war situation you won’t be able to build custom vessels fast enough and pre war military vessels will quickly attrition. If you can focus on building the missiles, radars, and helicopters that would be more straight forward, then just stick it on any cargo ship with a large enough deck, which is most cargo ships today. Avoid the… Read more »

Rob Young
Rob Young (@guest_828654)
18 days ago
Reply to  Fraser

Quite serious about this… it’s strangely really really nice to see someone else who spells develop with a ‘e’ on the end. Done it all my life and have to make a conscious effort to stop myself!

DaveyB
DaveyB (@guest_828615)
19 days ago
Reply to  Elio

I’ve always been a firm believer in that amphibious support ships, should be able to not only defend themselves. But just as importantly provide fire support for troops on the ground. Previously as per the Falklands, Sierra Leone and to an extent the Gulf Wars. It was provided by frigates with naval gunfire support. Today with the plethora of fairly long range ATGMs and coastal batteries of anti-ship missiles. A large amphib must stay hidden beyond the horizon from the coast. Even then with increasing numbers of drones, even this is still a large risk. I feel the days of… Read more »

Last edited 19 days ago by DaveyB
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_828620)
19 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

I’ve suggested containerised CAMM on here for the Albions for the very reasons you outline.

Very doable.

TR
TR (@guest_829445)
15 days ago
Reply to  Elio

The MRSS’s have been talked about for 24 years so yeah why not…

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_828618)
19 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

In ‘82 how much difference did that make for STUFT – none at all.

If it was in The Task Force it was targeted.

If Atlantic Conveyor had been equipped with a modular Sea Wolf (OK it didn’t really exist then) the war would have been shorter and lives saved by virtue of the Chinooks if nothing else.

TR
TR (@guest_829447)
15 days ago

Phalanx could have been bolted on the deck and would have done the job..

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_829450)
15 days ago
Reply to  TR

Phalanx, as was in ‘82, didn’t work properly and was very unreliable.

It wasn’t until it got proper solid state electronics and a much revised Gatling gun that the units started to be highly reliable.

Honestly I was involved in testing an early Phalanx against a range of things and most of them were not actually terribly good once it came to ships motion and fast moving targets.

At the time full fat Sea Wolf was head and shoulders the best system out there. And it wasn’t even perfected then.

P Brace
P Brace (@guest_828662)
18 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Unlike at the time of the Falklands war, the merchant navy can not be relied upon as a platform for military operations (no longer being registered in the UK and not crewed by British citizens).

Fraser
Fraser (@guest_828665)
18 days ago
Reply to  P Brace

Could you just buy cargo ships on the open market like the Russians did with their ghost tanker fleet.

TR
TR (@guest_829448)
15 days ago
Reply to  P Brace

Pretty easy to charter a vessel and reflag it after that it’ usually just about paying enough

Oscar Zulu
Oscar Zulu (@guest_828816)
18 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Armed merchant vessels are not new and are always difficult to differentiate from unarmed cargo vessels.

During WWII the cruiser HMAS Sydney was lost with all hands when it approached too closely to the German armed merchant Kormoran.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_828818)
18 days ago
Reply to  Oscar Zulu

Afternoon OZ, yes, thanks for the reminder of that. I think a bit of HMAS Sydney’s bow is mounted down under the Sydney Harbour Bridge foreshore. I’ll have to look again, it’s just 15 mins walk from my place.
Can you imagine the likes of China arming some of their commercial cargo fleet? Of course the West and others can do the same.

Fraser
Fraser (@guest_829466)
15 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Cargo ships are also very quick to build, the escort carriers in ww2 were built at an incredible pace. In 2 years they built so many that you could host more aircraft on the escort carrier fleet than the actual carrier fleet.

Patrick Anthony Goff
Patrick Anthony Goff (@guest_828530)
19 days ago

I have long commented on how under provided with defences RN ships are. Just 48 missile load is already causing deployment problems against the Houthi attack drones, and is totally inadequate faced with a peer attack force. This makes sense – or alternatively add extra missile launchers and missiles to the destroyer/frigate fleet

Oscar Zulu
Oscar Zulu (@guest_828593)
19 days ago

In addition to the RANs proposed optionally crewed ‘arsenal’ ships BAE has developed a proposal for an upgunned Hunter Class (T26) which would reconfigure the mission bay to accommodate more VLS ahead of the helicopter hangar. This would see the addition of an extra 64 cells taking the total VLS cells to 96. Given RAN ships already can quad pack ESSMs into the Mk41 VLS a typical Hunter loadout could exceed 144 missiles. The proposal also sees the number of NSM deck mounted canister launchers increased from 8 to 16 increasing total practical missile loadouts to 160 or beyond (depending… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_828819)
18 days ago
Reply to  Oscar Zulu

OZ, Klonkie, I’ve been very curious as to why NZ has never bulked up its AShMs on its two Anzac’s. Do you know if they have plans for adopting NSM’s even if FFBNW? It’s none of my “official” business of course… Lol 😁 🇦🇺 🇳🇿

Last edited 18 days ago by Quentin D63
SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_828901)
18 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

What’s going on here, this is the UK defence journal I’ll have you know!
You need to do the same thing I suggested to FormerUSAF; get George to lend you some money and a website to set up the Australian defence journal.

Fraser
Fraser (@guest_828598)
19 days ago

I’m not sure the best reaction to dealing with 50 grand drones is loading up on 300-500 grand missiles. Feels like we are being lead down a loosing strategy. We need something more economic.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_828621)
19 days ago
Reply to  Fraser

57mm guns maybe?

Augmented with some fierce EW.

Fraser
Fraser (@guest_828630)
18 days ago

Yeah fierce ew would be a good approach, I suspect at one point we will need to hunt drones with drones. A drone with a machine gun or a drone with another small fast kamikaze drone.

TR
TR (@guest_829449)
15 days ago
Reply to  Fraser

It’s not the 50,000 drone you’re destroying it’s the millions of $ of cargo and ship that you’re protecting

Fraser
Fraser (@guest_829464)
15 days ago
Reply to  TR

When your missiles cost 100s of thousands and there drones 10s of thousands each interception is pyrik. At that point they are trying to intercept your aa missiles not your ships. This is an issue in ukraine, empty missile arsenals leaving defences thin for the proper strikes.

Jim
Jim (@guest_828538)
19 days ago

There is a very good reason no one has ever built an arsenal ship, they are too vulnerable to attack and if you loose it then you loosing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of missiles. If you put sufficient defences on the ship then you end up with something very much like a destroyer or a cruiser. If you want to launch a large number of cruise missiles for anti ship work or land attack then it’s much better dropping them out a plane. The UK not only has a large transport fleet of aircraft able to do this… Read more »

Marked
Marked (@guest_828541)
19 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Just keep them tight, no problem.

Brom
Brom (@guest_828586)
19 days ago
Reply to  Jim

That’s why they shouldnt build massive arsenal ships but lots of smaller more agile ships manned or unmanned

Chris G
Chris G (@guest_828720)
18 days ago
Reply to  Brom

I’m no navy guy but what you wrote is what I’ve said since the Falklands war… Small identical seeming craft with varied abilities and independent movement ability might well avoid modern drone swarms, now they’re a thing…
Throw in lurking drone boats that Ukrainians use to great effect and big boats won’t survive let alone complete their missions…

Fraser
Fraser (@guest_828600)
19 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Yeah I agree we need to be wary of piling too many eggs into too few baskets. We could spread the missiles out across a fleet/convoy of cargo ships. Maybe mount decoy systems on the ships as well to keep the enemy guessing. More resilient to hits getting through.

DaveyB
DaveyB (@guest_828619)
19 days ago
Reply to  Jim

It’s not so big since we binned the Hercs!

Jim
Jim (@guest_828655)
18 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

It’s bigger than any other fleet we have outside of FJ’s, it’s still one of the largest in the world.

Fraser
Fraser (@guest_828668)
18 days ago
Reply to  Jim

What’s FJ

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_828540)
19 days ago

I am not sure about these concepts that come up around stripped down profoundly focused warships that cannot operate in any wider context. These silver bullet concepts have popped up through navel history and at best they become a niche asset at worse a failure and resource drain. The simple fact is missiles are not cheap and stacking loads of them on platforms that cannot undertake the normal missions of warships and need protecting by other warships is probably a completely flawed concept. Far better to spend the cash on actual warships and up arm them…once we have all the… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_828552)
19 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

This comes from the same people who thought it would be a good idea to build a singular arsenal submarine……

Type 32 would be more useful as would containerised CAMM etc – as you correctly state.

I’d prioritise missile stockpiles and T32 over this daft idea.

Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts (@guest_828544)
19 days ago

Forget this concept. Take a long hard look at the Chinese type 55 destroyer, and design/build something that can match its firepower.

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_828555)
19 days ago

T83 will be better armed than T45 but its still unlikely to match a Burke if we want to get any more than what we have now.

Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts (@guest_828561)
19 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

It wont be enough, the 055 are setting a new standard in volume of firepower.

Coll
Coll (@guest_828569)
19 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

According to an image on the link at the start of the article, the Type 45, post-refit, will have more cells than the Burke. Granted, per 1000 tonnes.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_828594)
19 days ago
Reply to  Coll

Yes, but that cheats by equating 1x CAMM with 1x mk41. An AB will realistically carry a number of cells with quad packed ESSM instead of a single larger missile. In real terms I doubt a T45 carries more missiles per tonne than a Burke, but it is a nice statistics that justifies to politicians why uparming is a good idea.

Coll
Coll (@guest_828645)
18 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

That’s true. I did hear that somewhere about what navy defines a cell.

Last edited 18 days ago by Coll
Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_828822)
18 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

But its not tubes its systems that count. Depending on which version of ESSM you have you may need to illuminate the target and let go with 2 missiles per target to up the Pk to an acceptable level. Same goes for SM2 missiles. A single active ASTER Pk is a lot higher than a semi active SM2. When you start needing to do salvo shots your available missile numbers drop dramatically. T45= 48 Tubes AB= 96 Tubes Now factor in the need to salvo shots, carry SM3 for ABM, ASROC and TLAM and your available missiles for AAW isn’t… Read more »

Jim
Jim (@guest_828582)
19 days ago

We already have something, it’s called an Astue class SSN 😀

Seriously packing loads of VLS on large surface warships and expecting them to duke out battles with each other will always be a failure.

If a warships ever gets into missile range of another warship something has probably gone wrong.

Submarines and aircraft will always be the best way to sink ships.

Chinese and US navy fanboys have become obsessive with rating ships by how many VLS they carry. It’s a misnomer in most situations.

Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts (@guest_828595)
19 days ago
Reply to  Jim

The sub has to get close enough to fire torpedoes,I dont think the 055s will be sailing without asw escorts.
.That leaves tomahawk, long range but neither fast or stealthy, possibly the RN variants are not configured for anti-ship roles.

Netking
Netking (@guest_828673)
18 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Somewhat agree but a very important metric nonetheless. VLS number is a great indicator of how long a ship can stay in the fight and among other things it also determines how flexible planners can be with loadouts and by extension what kind of mission the ship can perform.

Jon
Jon (@guest_828677)
18 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Agreed, but that not really why we want/need a large number of cells. The majority of missiles in the silos are defensive, there to defend the ship or other ships in the group from aerial attack, and the more you have, the longer you can last out. Until we can sort out reloading VLS at sea, running low on the missiles is effectively a mission kill against the ship.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_828823)
18 days ago
Reply to  Jim

In the pacific its going to be bombers with ASMs arriting the surface numbers first before anyone starts doing a Battle of the Coral Sea 2

Netking
Netking (@guest_829088)
17 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

And all sides will need loads of fully stocked VLS to defend all those ASMs flying in every direction.

Jerry
Jerry (@guest_828546)
19 days ago

We need much stronger navy to.srengthen our will to eye down aggressive counties trying to bully us has russia

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_828549)
19 days ago

Isn’t one of the biggest problems with this is that our potential adversaries will just do the same and maybe build even more of them for use against us? And on it goes. What’s the ultimate advantage then? Maybe there’s a need for some air launched bombers like the Raiders then?

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_828554)
19 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

How would bombers solve anything. Then the opponent will just build technology to find and destroy those bombers, just how the cycle goes.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_828556)
19 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

Quickly deployable, long range, targeted strike, reusable and hard to pinch! What’s not to like?! And bloody expensive too!!! Lol 😂

Last edited 19 days ago by Quentin D63
Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts (@guest_828559)
19 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Iran has already started converting oil tankers for military ops (IRIS Makran)
Given their large arsenal of missiles and small navy, i would not be surprised if they attempt to build an arsenal ship.

Coll
Coll (@guest_828566)
19 days ago

I think the converted tankers are for drones.

Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts (@guest_828599)
19 days ago
Reply to  Coll

Makran is an Expedition base it carries helicopters, assault boats and troops. It has been sen with mobile AA systems on board.

Coll
Coll (@guest_828640)
18 days ago

Ah yes. That’s right. I was thinking of the converted container Shahid Mahdavi. Same purpose but with UAV. I say that because the early images show what was going to be an angled deck, but the images of it seemed to have removed the overhang part.

Last edited 18 days ago by Coll
Tim
Tim (@guest_828755)
18 days ago

Warships are not covered by sanctions and by UN article 95 immune from action by any other state, so a very very big warship with a big fuel tank is Iran’s way of trading oil with Venezuela. If it carries the flag and a few weapons that’s enough for the loophole.

Andy
Andy (@guest_828560)
19 days ago

surely long range strike aircraft should be on the table…..RAF no longer capable since demise of canberra and victor etc !

DaveyB
DaveyB (@guest_828584)
19 days ago
Reply to  Andy

In some respects Tempest will fill this role. It’s going to be significantly bigger than the current Typhoon. Partly due to need for large internal weapons bays. But also due to the requirement to carry a shed load of internal fuel. They want to keep the aircraft stealthy, so no underwing stores. Unless it is flying in a permissive environment. There have been some rumors saying it will be of a similar size to the old F111. Admittedly even this large, does not make it a strategic bomber in the traditional sense. But with aerial refueling it will have a… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_828604)
19 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

“There have been some rumors saying it will be of a similar size to the old F111”. So something along the lines of a stealthy TSR2 then? 🙂

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_828825)
18 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Backfires are not Strategic bombers due to their unrefuelled range…Lets hope Tempest isnt that big!
I would as you say go for something F111 sized with stealth missiles.

DaveyB
DaveyB (@guest_828981)
18 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

If you take away the maritime strike version of Backfire and just look at the Russian Air Force (RuAF) version. They call it a strategic bomber. But with a full payload it has a combat radius of around 1000 miles on internal fuel only. Which doesn’t sound great for a strategic bomber. Though it can carry a 24,000kg payload, which is something not to be sniffed at. Because the Backfire’s replacement the Tu160 Blackjack is so expensive. They have kept the Backfires in service (do they actually properly retire any military kit?). But within the RuAF it is now primarily… Read more »

Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub (@guest_828563)
19 days ago

Surely this is the sort of concept that XV Patrick Blackett was built to test?

elyh
elyh (@guest_828564)
19 days ago

Define large number of missiles? Currently there are many destroyers that can carry 100vls that seems like more than enough…

Also it would be a really expensive ship to arm considering missiles have a relatively short shelf life.

More intresting is subs with a large number of VLS.

Peter S
Peter S (@guest_828565)
19 days ago

The driving force behind this idea is the problem of reloading at sea. Once a warship has fired its missiles, it is out of the fight and has to return to port. Having an arsenal ship with up to 500 missiles is one way to overcome the problem. The US conversion of 4 Ohio class SSBNs is a partial solution. The idea of a simple surface vessel with a single role isn’t new. Monitors and rocket firing landing craft were used in WW2 to augment firepower for land attack. But today they would be very vulnerable to PGMs. A submarine… Read more »

Fraser
Fraser (@guest_829470)
15 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

Instead of rearming ships at sea just mount containerised batteries on a cargo ship, when you are out of missiles send the ship back to port, transfer crew to next cargo ship coming in with a load of missiles and back to the fight.

Bazza
Bazza (@guest_828568)
19 days ago

As you can tell by the age of the drawing in the thumbnail, this is an old idea that never took off for very sensible reasons.

Great on paper, but probably wouldn’t survive the real world. Unless you are going to claim modern data linking technology makes all of this ideas weaknesses go away, then it is redundant to bring it up.

DaveyB
DaveyB (@guest_828588)
19 days ago
Reply to  Bazza

It kind of depends how these ships would be operated. If as the write up proposes that these ships could operate semi-autonomously. Then yes i would agree they would be susceptible to hacking and jamming. Perhaps even capture by specialist teams.

However, if the idea is the idea is that they operate within a strike group or as a “loyal wingman”. Where they are always kept within line of sight of a control ship. Then there is significantly less risk.

Bazza
Bazza (@guest_828656)
18 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

In my opinion, there are too many instances where a ship must survive solely off it’s own merit for it to be worth commiting so many resources to such a vulnerable ship. You aren’t wrong, if they are only used as a ‘loyal wingman’ type ship then it does massively reduce the risk. However, I think it is inevitble that through budget cuts/combat losses we will eventually end up with them operating independantly, just so the available escort fleet can be in more places at once. There is also always going to be chokepoints where ships have to rely solely… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB (@guest_828982)
18 days ago
Reply to  Bazza

Agreed. I can’t imagine an autonomous ship being used in the Straights of Hormuz. Iran has proven on a number of occasions of messing with the USN’s sail drone boats.

For something larger like their Sea Hunter. How would you implement Rules of Engagement (RoE) to stop the ship being taken over/captured?

I do feel the loyal wingman type would be better initially. Where it would be used to work out the operational concept. But also to develop an AI such a vessel would need, if needed to operate alone.

Henry Lamb
Henry Lamb (@guest_828570)
19 days ago

16-32 VLS?? I wouldn’t really call that an Arsenal ship. The Type 26 and by the sounds of it, the T31 will have that many in form of Mk41s.

Similar to the US littoral ships, I can see this being scrapped.

Last edited 19 days ago by Henry Lamb
Patrick C
Patrick C (@guest_828580)
19 days ago
Reply to  Henry Lamb

in the US navy’s instance they are simple, ‘cheap’, large unmanned ships that tag along with carrier groups and are networked into their systems- basically just acting as extra VLS for the AEGIS ships and planes using CEC (cooperative engagement capability)- so they don’t need a lot of crew or radars, sensors etc. they help address the problem of reloading VLS at sea which isn’t really feasible. they can use their munitions then remotely head to a nearby port to get reloaded and rejoin the group ensuring they maintain plenty of AA missiles. like in the instance of patrolling the… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_828590)
19 days ago
Reply to  Patrick C

I wonder if reloading a block of cells (say 4 or even 8?) has been tried using a gantry/spreader type device to hold multiples rather than just the one single cell?

Oscar Zulu
Oscar Zulu (@guest_828602)
19 days ago
Reply to  Patrick C

The RAN conops for arsenal ships would also most likely operate as the equivalent of a ‘loyal wingman’ in close proximity to crewed ships which would provide sensors and targeting data, rather than as vulnerable autonomous platforms.

The current Hobart class and future Hunter class employ Aegis combat system with the same cooperative engagement capability (CEC) as the USN. The Hobarts have already demonstrated CEC capability.

Hence the RANs stated intention to buy variants of the USN arsenal ship designs.

Fraser
Fraser (@guest_829469)
15 days ago
Reply to  Patrick C

In that case could you just blonk a bunch of containerised silos on the deck of a cargo ship. Just grab the batteries the army uses. No custom ship, crew would be the usual civilian compliment of around 40. You could even spread the batteries across multiple cargo ships seeing they are so inexpensive and widely available, eggs spread across more baskets. No need to commission and build new ships, off the shelf as much as possible

Patrick C
Patrick C (@guest_829518)
15 days ago
Reply to  Fraser

i could be wrong but i don’t think regular cargo ships have the speed to keep up with carrier groups- which will often travel at over 30 knots… i imagine that could be the biggest constraint there. i suppose you could modify something like the Spearhead class fast-transports. these can actually do 35-45 knots which would mean speed to leave and reload would be quicker…

Jon
Jon (@guest_828571)
19 days ago

This is a longish report and I agree with a lot of what it has to say. However, this article has headlined one area I disagree with. We don’t need to spend money on specialist arsenal ships, and certainly not ones based on the B2 Rivers. The priority needs to be making sure our escorts have sufficient VLS. 24 cells for quadpacked CAMM variants is not an outrageous baseline for our frigates, although it’s twice the number on order for the Type 26. With an equal number of Mk41 cells, both Types 26 and 31 would have a strong starting… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_828577)
19 days ago
Reply to  Jon

More important are guns to down cheap drones or UK risks being without missiles fast in any combat..

Any combatant should have 1×57 or 5″ with AA capability and 2 Bofors.

Last edited 19 days ago by AlexS
Jon
Jon (@guest_828623)
19 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

I’m pretty sure T26 and T31 will have the guns you suggest. Replacing the Mk8 4.5″ with a 76mm (or even a 57mm) is on a few people’s list, as many have speculated it has no real anti-air capability, but I wonder if it would be cheaper and easier to keep the gun and fix its lack of anti-air. That would equally deal with the same lack on the T23s as the T45s. If that’s a software upgrade, it could be a lot cheaper and easier. Whether the fuzed rounds are up to snuff, I don’t know. Perhaps a sabot-based… Read more »

Dern
Dern (@guest_828669)
18 days ago
Reply to  Jon

It would be way cheaper to fix the lack of AA on the mk8 4.5. It uses to *have* that capability. It was discontinued as a cost cutting measure.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_828829)
18 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Its not a Mk8 issue .
Its a GSA issue.
AA was discontinued because of Base Bleed rounds and that AA at the time (decades ago) would not needed anymore on a MR gun.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_828828)
18 days ago
Reply to  Jon

It’s not the gun that is the issue. It’s the gun control GSA8 system and the ammo. You can track air targets with the GSA8 system EO director. You slew the EO onto a track using the command system, get it to search and it can then detect and track the aircraft using some clever algorithms. You can have the Mk8 on the end of it moving as directed by the EO tracker. I used to do it all the time on T23. However there is no predictor for AA in the GSA system modded as it is for the… Read more »

Coll
Coll (@guest_828574)
19 days ago

A batch 3 type 26, or a rapid dragon system for A400M (for land attack). Or a cost-effective hull with smaller crews with more emphasis on automation with a lot of cells. I won’t want to put so many missiles in one basket.

As someone else said on here, read the report first.

Last edited 19 days ago by Coll
JOHN MELLING
JOHN MELLING (@guest_828576)
19 days ago

This was a concept thought up years and years ago and nothing happened!

Ian
Ian (@guest_828581)
19 days ago

You’d then need to buy huge numbers of missiles to put on them, and have the industrial capacity to replenish stocks. You also need the ISTAR assets to tell you what to shoot at and where it is.

Deep32
Deep32 (@guest_828659)
18 days ago
Reply to  Ian

And their in lies the real problem – the actual cost of all the missiles.
There is an article over on TDZ about the costs of US missiles in their navy Typically SAMs range in price from $1million for a Searam to some $4.4million for a Sam 6, to between $14.5-28million for the Sam 3 variants. A fully equipped/loaded AB comes in at approx $420 million just for its missiles fit. Don’t really believe it’s a viable option that we could live with money wise.

Donaldson
Donaldson (@guest_828814)
18 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Yes, If the Royal Navy fired the amount of missiles the USN have done since Oct 7th they’d be forced to sell PoW!

Deep32
Deep32 (@guest_828839)
18 days ago
Reply to  Donaldson

There is a lot to be said for a proper layered defensive/offensive weapons fit. T83 should have something along those lines from the start if we are serious about defence. FFBNW or any other version is foolish and doesn’t save any£ long term. The bean counters need to put up or bog off and go play elsewhere.

Brom
Brom (@guest_828585)
19 days ago

If you want to go down this route you would be better off with several opv or smaller sized vessels, unmanned reducing their complexity, 20-30 launch tubes on each however they might be packed. These would be available to all ships in the fleet and god forbid we lost a frigate another vessel could take over.

Unmanned distributed munitions, radars and the like are the way forwards in the modern world

“Edit read the report first is a good idea haha

Last edited 19 days ago by Brom
Coll
Coll (@guest_828642)
18 days ago
Reply to  Brom

I did the same. Came to a similar conclusion. Plus asking for a rapid dragon system as well for RAF support on the land attack ability.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_828589)
19 days ago

I can see the advantage of these platforms for high end warefare. Operating with a T45 or the future T83. And could provide excellent fleet defence as part of the air dominace system of systems. But as the article states. What do they do for the other 99% of the time.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_828637)
18 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Better off just buying and running some type 31s with mk41 silos to increase your capacity as part of a task group…at least when they are not doing that they can do all the other jobs escorts do…like escorting stuff and keeping sealanes open… which is let’s be honest the absolute primary job of the RN.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_828663)
18 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I think a half way house solution could be found. A very well armed Frigate, highly automated systems, but with a small crew of less than 50. Designed so damage control can be more easily managed. But still useful for the many day to day operations the RN undertakes.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_828681)
18 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Well yes, you could look at say a T32 patrol frigate…potentially you could remove the small ship flight and replace it with an autonomous air system for surveillance to reduce crew, focus on automation and have a lot of sealed spaces with inert gas..essentially you replace your crew needed for damage control with lots compartments that are essentially inert sealed cells…using the principles that make ships prepared for a sinkex so able to withstand damage. You then give it a large MK41 silo bank instead of mission bays. You don’t even need to fill it up it’s silos for normal… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_828704)
18 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Bang on.Let’s do it. 😆👌

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_828846)
18 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Love it! Sorted! You two… Lol 😁

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_828855)
18 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

😆👍

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_828596)
19 days ago

I think the arsenal ship is a good idea and goes a long way to solving the problem of replenishing missiles at sea. If you have a low cost vessel with vertical launch tubes and nothing else. The ship can exhaust its supply of missiles and be replaced by a fresh ship while the controlling asset stays on station.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_828597)
19 days ago

What all these reports say to me is that we badly need a fresh NON TREASURY led strategic defensive review. That needs to be implemented not be yet another tick box exercise that is ignored or tinkered with.
I was heartened by Starmers comment that defensive is the governments no 1 priority and money will be found.
I will not hold my breath to see if words are turned into action.

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_828606)
19 days ago

What was that thing about putting all your eggs in one basket?

TypewriterMonkey
TypewriterMonkey (@guest_828607)
19 days ago

The US Navy looked at this decades ago. The Navy simply couldn’t afford to realistically keep them stocked up. That was the simple fact behind the demise of the concept.

SteveM
SteveM (@guest_828608)
19 days ago

need to develop drop in container system with VLS and communication system, lots of small coastal freighters with large open holds that you could easily drop lots of tubes into in time of war. a couple to sit between T-45 and carrier and be additional (1st missiles) for the T-45 to launch.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_828609)
19 days ago

Not a ctas’ chance in hell.😼

Tomartyr
Tomartyr (@guest_828638)
18 days ago

i can’t say i agree with an entirely bespoke class and especially if total hulls stay the same.
however if the t31 order were increased with some being ffbnw that may make sense.

Apoplectix
Apoplectix (@guest_828644)
18 days ago

What’s the point of arsenal ships that can’t be used for anything else? Might make sense for the US but makes no sense for the Royal Navy, surely it would be better to properly arm the ships we do have.

Patrick
Patrick (@guest_828650)
18 days ago

Can afford the missiles or the ship, not both.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_828651)
18 days ago

As I said with the last article about the proposals of these two, I’ll have what they’re drinking!

Dern
Dern (@guest_828670)
18 days ago

I always question how data link will work in a contested EW space with these things. Surely if we are blasting enough EW signature out to control an arsenal ships missiles, we’re essentially holding up a ‘please shoot here ‘ sign?

There’s a reason land forces practice op minimise and use com scheds.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_828741)
18 days ago
Reply to  Dern

“Com scheds”?

Dern
Dern (@guest_828745)
18 days ago

“At 0700 turn your radio on, I’ll hike to a hill top, burst a big update of what’s happened in the last 24 hours and what I want you to do next, then we turn our radios off and scarper before enemy EW triangulates our positions and calls drones/artillery on us. 6/12/24 hours later we will do it again.”

That’s a Com Sched.

Last edited 18 days ago by Dern
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_828793)
18 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Ok. As in schedule? Ta.

Dern
Dern (@guest_828989)
18 days ago

Yes, it’s actually quite discomforting for Coy and Btn commanders since you have minimal oversight over your guys, but if you use data rather than voice you can really burst a lot of information like that now.

Literally can brief a platoon or section on a planned company attack via a data drop now, no “look into the model pit” required.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_828993)
18 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Thanks. Yes, I get the need to “squirt” the maximum info in the shortest time to avoid being DFd.
On a totally different subject, have you seen the footage of the Russian, or supposed Russian, shooting one of his own after he was hit by a FPV?
The responses I read range from, mercy killing, to, WTF why no attempt at Medevac, to that the guy in question was a “blocker” whose role is to despatch conscripts who attempt to flee. Like a modern day NKVD not a step back. Jesus.
Your view?

GlynH
GlynH (@guest_828661)
18 days ago

Dreadful idea. Reminds me of the original vision for the Forts and Type 23s. Utter insanity.

Peter
Peter (@guest_828666)
18 days ago

I think the UK should invest in a cheaper alternative such as purchasing container style ships that can box launched missiles which could be housed in container style boxes… They would then travel under the protection of other ships, no need to over complicate it.

Tommo
Tommo (@guest_828674)
18 days ago

Served on the DLG Hms London with the mk 1 seaslug .The Ready use mag ( winged and finned) missiles and including those missiles in their crates was over half the length the ship . I take it these Arsenal ships would have missiles in vertical silos ,and would be of a size a lot smaller than the old seaslug

Adrian
Adrian (@guest_828676)
18 days ago

It’s ok for the US but the UK doesn’t have enough missiles to fully equip the existing ships plus there is more space on the new frigates and the type 45 destroyers for more weapons, pack these ships out first before we worry about building more ships with empty vertical launchers

Cj
Cj (@guest_828680)
18 days ago

Would have thought it would be the size of a tanker to get as many missiles as possible so all allied forces could use it.?

Steve
Steve (@guest_828682)
18 days ago

Where does most of the cost of a new ship relate to? Hull, sensors, weapons, etc?

I’m curious if something like this would actually be much cheaper but I don’t know the economics of ship building.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_828691)
18 days ago

Random thought: The RN is extremely resource constrained at this point, in fact multi-billion £s in the red, over the ten year equipment plan. Further, principal UK shipyards will be at or near capacity for that timeframe. Suggest some minimal participation during development and testing of the arsenal ship program via cooperation w/ RAN and/or USN. After being granted full access to test results, make an informed decision whether to invest. Opportunity cost: minimal time delay, which may not even be capable of being effectively utilized, given current shipbuilding schedule. Potential benefit: cost avoidance on an ineffective concept. Remember, USN… Read more »

criss whicker
criss whicker (@guest_828777)
18 days ago

perhaps. just perhaps, a brand new modern futuristic advanced robotic computerised [ phew] super ship yard
capable of building 6-8 ships at a time. Plus subs, yes. it may cost millions to build, , but where theirs a will, their is a way.
just saying like, just saying???

Phil
Phil (@guest_828786)
18 days ago

Then just build a battleship

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_828797)
18 days ago

Arsenal ships? Why not West Ham or Spurs ships?

Oscar Zulu
Oscar Zulu (@guest_828817)
18 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Because then you would need an Australian in charge!

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_828830)
18 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Imagine a ship going all Spursy on you…targets inbound, strength many and then it throws a hissy fit and lets everything through…

Donaldson
Donaldson (@guest_828813)
18 days ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvXU7Ow9OwY&ab_channel=NavalNews

How many disused oil rigs have we got up in Scotland 🙄

T.S
T.S (@guest_828841)
18 days ago

What about the idea of fitting the carriers with Sampson radar and having 3 or 4 arsenal ships escorting it instead of several fully loaded destroyers? Frees them up for other missions. Or would the radar strength affect flight ops?

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst (@guest_829069)
17 days ago

Good idea!

I have previously also argued here for “Missile Warehouse” aircraft. Say a converted airliner with large quantities of long-range air-to-air missiles all linked to AWACS or forward fighters, or carrying long-ragedrones/ ballistic or cruise missiles for attack.

Not sure if any of the the old (brand new) BA Jumbos are still around?

TR
TR (@guest_829444)
15 days ago

Arsenal ships are only useful if you have secure areas to operate them in they’re dependent on other platforms sensors and protection the UK doesn’t thane enough warships to guarantee this otherwise they’re just a big and expensive target, given that most RN warships have small VLS capacities putting decent numbers of VLS cells on the warships we DO build would be a start.