Op ACHILLEAN is a large-scale operation which sees amphibious assault ship HMS Albion lead HMS Defender, RFA Argus and RFA Mounts Bay to the Mediterranean.

RFA Argus is fitted with an extensive and fully functional hospital to assume the additional role of Primary Casualty Receiving Ship. Due to remain in service beyond 2030, in July 2022, it was reported that Argus would assume the future UK Littoral Strike Role after a refit to convert her to this role.

HMS Albion tweeted which ships will make up Littoral Response Group (North).

Under plans announced in the recent defence review, there will eventually be two Littoral Response Groups regularly deployed in regions of strategic importance to the UK, one with a focus on European waters and the other looking to the east and south of the Suez Canal.

They are designed to put the UK’s commando forces in forward positions, where they will be able to react quickly to any crises but also continually work with allies.

The Ryal Navy say that this is part of the Future Commando Force modernisation, which returns Royal Marines to raiders from the sea, equips them for a new era of combat and places them in forward positions important to UK security.

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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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Paul.P
Paul.P
1 year ago

“forward positions, where they will be able to react quickly to any crises …… positions important to UK security”…..Libya, Lebanon?

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul.P
Jim
Jim
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul.P

One will be based in the UK, the other will be either based in Singapore or Bahrain.

Ben
Ben
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim

I thought Duqm in Oman was being built up as a base for LRG(S)?

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben

Yes LRG south will be based in Duqm.

Jim
Jim
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben

Sorry I was wrong.

Craig
Craig
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben

Correct, Duqm will be base for LRG(S)

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim

LRG (N) is UK. Other is Duqm.

Jarek Maliszewski
Jarek Maliszewski
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul.P

To support Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 year ago

So we can expect to see them in the Black Sea?

Jarek
Jarek
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul.P

That is quite complicated. Because of the Montreux Convention of 1936 there is a limit of how many ships and what kind a non-Black Sea country can send through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles. There is also limit how many war ships can pass at a time, so Russia keeps a ship there at all times to further limit the traffic. No aircraft carriers and no subs are allowed. But… if and when the time comes, military goals will have to be achieved and this is when the conventions will go on the second plan. Littoral Response unit will have little… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 year ago
Reply to  Jarek

Interesting. Thx.

Kizzy p
Kizzy p
1 year ago

Surely it should have a T23 with it ?

Jonny
Jonny
1 year ago
Reply to  Kizzy p

I was gonna say, there aren’t any harpoon-equipped ships here.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonny

They could always put Harpoon/other LA/AShMs on all the T45s but I think only a few have the former when needed. Pretty wasteful for a capital ship like this and in absence of a T23, plus with an updated sonar and dipping sonars on the Wildcats, could all be way more useful. UAVs are good. Maybe they’ll add in 1-2 T31s into these groups later on.

Oscar Zulu
Oscar Zulu
1 year ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Interesting to compare the capabilities and missions of the RN’s LRG with an RAN Amphibious Ready Unit (ARU). While the LRG is configured as forward deployed rapid response/raiding force, an ARU generates a larger, heavier littoral combat capability with one less hull. A comparable RAN ARU would comprise a Canberra class LHD, a Bay class LPD, a Hobart class AWD and a Supply class AOR. Combat force: An ARU (Canberra + Bay) embarks 1400 troops almost double the LRG’s 760 (Albion + Bay). Vehicle capacity direct comparisons are more difficult and dependent on types embarked but a Canberra can carry… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 year ago
Reply to  Oscar Zulu

Great reply OZ, yes, different deployment structures to suit the type of deployment, threat assessment and geography. It’s good that 🇦🇺 is building up its navy and the Hobart AAWs and Hunter T26s will be quite a force with the Canberra’s. Let’s hope for some additional subs pretty soon and maybe Hobart’s.
Being a Brit originally I’m always hoping for a stronger RN too. Ships, subs, planes, helicopters, UAVs, carriers, LHDs, the lot!The Western world and our freedoms are worth defending and fighting for and honouring all those who’ve gone before us. QD 🇬🇧 🇦🇺 🇳🇿

Dern
Dern
1 year ago
Reply to  Oscar Zulu

A few things to add;
1) the LRG is in it’s intermediate stage, Aviation will improve once the LSS conversion is done (unfortunately I think it’ll be on Argus >:( )
2) The ARU is pretty much Australia’s big punch, while for the RN the LRG is just a forward deployed task force, that can be reinforced with a CSG if necessary.

Oscar Zulu
Oscar Zulu
1 year ago
Reply to  Dern

Not quite. The ‘big punch’ is the RAN’s full Amphibious Ready Group which brings the second Canberra class into play and takes the embarked forces to 2,440 troops. This is slightly more than the RN could embark based on current capacity – 3 Bays, 2 Albions, 1 QE in helicopter carrier role provides a total embarked force of around 2,140 troops. The RAN’s amphibious force is also still evolving with Project Sea 2200 set to replace the current Bay class LPD with two Joint Support Ships (JSS). The JSS will be LPDs with a well dock, multi-spot flight deck, hangar… Read more »

Dern
Dern
1 year ago
Reply to  Oscar Zulu

I wasn’t talking about the embarked force, but rather the ability to project sea power. You talk a lot about Hobart v T-45, Tiger attack Helicopters (while ignoring the AAC can and has deployed Apache into action of RN ships) etc, which is all fine. I’m just pointing out that at the end of the day the RN can just say “Fine here’s a carrier strike group with 5th Gen fighters attached to the LRG” while Australia’s ARG is it. Just pointing out that you’re comparing the RAN’s chief warfighting capability to what the RN considers a “nice to have”… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Dern
Craig
Craig
1 year ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

My understanding is our Wildcats currently have neither dipping sonar nor sonobuoys, a glaring gap which needs addressing ASAP.

I suspect LRG(S) will end up with a T31 instead of a T45 in future – except for times of heightened threat.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 year ago
Reply to  Craig

I think the LRGs will need more than one T31/32s! Maybe 2-3 and some land attack ability.

Oscar Zulu
Oscar Zulu
1 year ago
Reply to  Craig

RAN currently has 23 Seahawk Romeos with dipping sonars (one airframe was withdrawn from service after being damaged in a high sea state accident inside the hangar of an ANZAC frigate). Another 12 Romeos have just been ordered to take the RAN fleet to 35 anti submarine warfare helos. The last order for Seahawks was filled in record time with the USN giving some production slots. If the current order follows the pattern the full fleet could be operational within 3 to 4 years. One interesting conops put forward is to load up a Canberra class LHD with Romeos as… Read more »

Dern
Dern
1 year ago
Reply to  Craig

Correct, the Wildcats are baisically gun trucks for the Merlins. Merlin dips, Wildcat drops Stingray.

Matt
Matt
1 year ago
Reply to  Kizzy p

And I was gonna say.. then a vintage submarine comes along and sinks the lot!
Sorry… Couldn’t resist. I know it’s a peacetime Op and we’re not at war but… “To react quickly to any crisis” I would still like to see a dedicated anti-sub escort in the group. Nevertheless this is a great training opportunity and gives the Littoral Response Group chance to flex it’s muscles. Would love to see some more photos from the Op too. Have a nice evening all!
Cheers
M@

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 year ago
Reply to  Kizzy p

Shows how short we are 😮

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago
Reply to  Kizzy p

We will probably find once the ships are in an area they will have nato allies joining in. Also Lancaster is floating about somewhere and Montrose is in the gulf.

Challenger
Challenger
1 year ago
Reply to  Kizzy p

Ideally yes but it could be that other NATO partners have agreed to provide ASW coverage if the T23 fleet is stretched. Plus there could well be an Astute lurking in the area.

Matt C
Matt C
1 year ago
Reply to  Challenger

Bit of a waste to use an Astute for escort.

The frigate fleet is stretched yes but don’t forget, some of these peacetime presence ops can be easily dropped when the balloon goes up. Portland, I think, is playing around with NATO at this time, and can be attached here if necessary.

Jim
Jim
1 year ago
Reply to  Kizzy p

Queen Elizabeth is operating with a T23 and T45 off the East Coast of the USA at the moment. I believe they will soon sail to the Mediterranean to participate in exercise as well. Being able to have a carrier strike group and a littoral Response Group deployed at the same time is pretty impressive. The fact that it’s at a time of heightened tension with the Orcs even more so. I would rather keep back every T23 we could at the moment though in case. Training can wait a year.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim

Yes, was planning to remark in same vein. LRG is an interesting concept, in theory, but how many seriously believe one would be deployed in harm’s way, w/ significant percentage of RM aboard, w/out CAP provided by CVF, CVN, LHA or RAF/USAF landbased air cover? Don’t believe either HMG or Admiralty would withstand blowback from an op going seriously Tango Uniform. The days of sending battlegrounds w/out aircover presumably ended in December 1941 w/ a previous HMS PoW and (Repulse?). RIP.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
1 year ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

. .battlegroup…I swear this *!?;* autocorrect feature is out to sabotage me!

Frank62
Frank62
1 year ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Autocorrect: Mans worst enemy.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank62

😁, thanks, needed that! There are rumors abroad in the land that some have successfully negotiated the edit function. Forsooth, and whatever else Will Shakespeare might have exclaimed (clearly not an English Lit. major).

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
1 year ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Ahem…before Op Achillean kicks off in the Med, please allow me to propose a side trip to the Carribean for some HADR tasking. Hurricane Fiona has already devastated PR, DR and the Turks and Caicos Islands and Bermuda is in the gunsight for later this week as Fiona strengthens to a Cat. 4 storm. Know that HMS Medway is in theater, but this would appear to be a nearly ideal HADR flotilla. Then, after situation stabilized, proceed to Med for wargames. Just a suggestion to the Admiralty. 🤔

Jon
Jon
1 year ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Interesting idea. Do the war games have to happen in the Med? I guess we’d been lucky up until now and it had seemed to be a quiet season in the Caribbean (assuming I just haven’t missed hearing about it due to other news). Medway and Protector aren’t the best suited and won’t be able to provide as much help as with a Bay or even a Wave from previous years. Sending Mounts Bay alone would be a big help. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lizzy doesn’t pitch in on the way to the Med, but she’s due in New… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Jon
Jon
Jon
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon

Just read that RFA Tideforce is out there too so there’s something with a helicopter, hangar and a lot of capacity.

David Barry
David Barry
1 year ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Proceed to wargames. After what Putin has said today, it’ll be full on nuclear war, if looses any more of his marbles.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
1 year ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Could now add HADR tasking to support Cayman Islands, tagged recently by Hurricane Ian.

DoubtingDick
DoubtingDick
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank62

Don’t you mean ‘Autocorrect: Man’s worst enema’?

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
1 year ago
Reply to  DoubtingDick

🤣😂😁

Jim
Jim
1 year ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Yeah only in a fairly benign environment like a Sierra Leone style intervention or an humanitarian crisis.

AlexS
AlexS
1 year ago
Reply to  Kizzy p

Yeah, no ASW ship in sight.

Jon
Jon
1 year ago
Reply to  Kizzy p

I think the LRG(S) will be Anglo-Dutch. Was that just the marines side? maybe they’ll be providing a frigate too.

farouk
farouk
1 year ago

So left to right:
HMS Defender
HMS Albion
One of the tide ships
RFA Argus
RFA Mounts Bay
Regards the latter,do they still use chinese crews, or did that end when Hong Kong was handed over?

Last edited 1 year ago by farouk
David Steeper
David Steeper
1 year ago
Reply to  farouk

Do you mean Dhobies ? I think these days it’s ex Gurkhas.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 year ago
Reply to  farouk

I thought that was the Sir’s, not these.

Steve M
Steve M
1 year ago

Can Argus act as a tug?

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago

First time I’ve noticed that a UAV is in the picture of deployed assets. Puma. It needs a new name as we already have a puma helicopter.
Maybe insect names could be used for UAV.
Most cat names are already used.
I’m still not keen on this Argus refit proposal. Just get a new ship or ship from trade to refit. That’s how Argus came into service in the first place.

Trevor
Trevor
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Re Argus, exactly. Just hope that a comprehensive structural & equipment survey (including d/d) had been done before arriving at this decision.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Trevor

It will have been. Now there are good class standards in place the old ‘that’ ll do’ approach is gone as it ‘don’t say that otherwise she will be for the scrappers’ …..

Argus was surprisingly well built.

I’m amazed the engineering spaces are thought ready to hold up! Mind you she won’t have been sprinting around much recently……

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago

That may well be the case but the ship is still over 40 years old. There are better solutions out there. Guess it’s a case of money. I would prefer Argus stayed in the current role as the hospital, helicopter carrier for as long as possible. I think a newer ship from trade or a purpose built commercial standards ship would be better and more importantly will last longer than the few years Argus has got left in her. Then another can be ordered so both groups have a ship. Converting Argus doesn’t fix the problem of a north and… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I totally agree with your clear logic.

It is also an issue of cranking up domestic ship building capacity after all the Brown/Blair/Cameron naval investment……not…..at least Doris ordered the T31’s and T26 B2.

Jim
Jim
1 year ago

Having two littoral response groups with one east of suez seems like an amazing ambition however it all still seems very pie in the sky at the moment. Much keeps being boosted off such as littoral strike ships but little ever seems to materialise.

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim

It’s certainly doable, the only concern is escort availability-but the navy’s working hard recently to get the hulls and crews out there.

Steve
Steve
1 year ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Escorts is a major problem. If war ever broke out and say 2/3rd availability. It would mean 4 destroyers, of which all 4 would need to be assigned to the carrier’s (2 each as bare min). I am not sure how many frigates we actually have left, but even if it was all 13 that would leave 9 available. you would want at least 3 per carrier, ideally more, leaving 3 to do other stuff, such as guarding supply ships etc. We wouldn’t have much if anything for any other activities.

Louis
Louis
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

It would be unlikely both carriers would be available for such war.
The MOD has begun to realise this which is why T26 can provide limited air defence. It is also why Type 83 will replace T45 with a presumed increase in ASW capability.

Steve
Steve
1 year ago
Reply to  Louis

True, but equally I doubt 2xt45 and 3xt23 could really defend a carrier against sustained attacks, especially subsurface where you need as big a net as you can create to have any chance of stopping attacking subs. Since we are only going to have 8 t26, I would guess all the available ones would be needed to defend a single carrier task force.

Sean
Sean
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

The Astutes are the Royal Navy’s primary anti-submarine force. You can be sure on each mission a carrier will have at least one Astute present.

Steve
Steve
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

The issue is again numbers, it’s a big ocean and subs normally operate ahead of a taskforce leaving the sides and rears exposed, assuming the attacking subs can get past the astutues, which is why you also need the frigates / helicopters to put down a net around the taskforce. As we saw in the Falklands a ww2 era sub was cable of getting past a much bigger net than we could now put together.

Louis
Louis
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

We will only have 7 astutes though and they are needed for many other roles as they are also our primary anti ship and land attack capability for the navy. Hopefully when there are enough F35s and full weapons integration has occurred it will take some pressure off of the stretched SSN fleet.

Louis
Louis
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

I think once T45 has 48 aster 30 and 24 sea ceptor it will be good enough to protect the carrier group. I agree though in a war we would want as many ships as possible protecting the carrier but I think two T45 would be adequate but the maximum amount of ASW frigates would be preferable.

Steve
Steve
1 year ago
Reply to  Louis

2 would be risky as it would result in a blind spot. The carrier is higher than the t45 and doesnt have as powerful radar, meaning it will cause an angle of blind spot (admittedly a pretty small gap). If you wanted to guarantee coverage you would want 3, this would also allow overlaps in case one of them was temp out of action for whatever reason.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve
Louis
Louis
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

Of course but when T32 is built, it has the role of protecting LRG’s so the main escort role of the T45 will then be the carrier.

Steve
Steve
1 year ago
Reply to  Louis

I would be worried if I was in a LRG, only being protected by a t32. The LRG by definition doesn’t have the f35b to provide top cover and will be by definition operating close to enemy shores where it will be targeted by land and air based missiles. The t32 just doesn’t have the missile numbers to defend anything against a sustained attack. It would do ok defending supply lines where they are out at range and air-to-air tankers would be needed to attack them but not close to shore where it will be rapidly saturated.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

No LRG would be sent into theatre without air cover at least equal to the threat whether sea or land based. Plus we don’t know for sure the number of Sea Ceptor to be carried by Type 31’s never mind 32’s. It’s like critiquing the weapons available to an Infantry Battalion without considering it would be part of a Brigade or even a division.

Steve
Steve
1 year ago
Reply to  David Steeper

At which point your saying it should just be integrated into the carrier task force and having it seperate is just a PR stunt, and couldn’t really be deployed solo. Fair point of the t32 but no reason to believe they won’t just be even more cut down versions of the t31, as no extra money has been made available.

The US version has their wasp class, providing actual air cover in a smaller number than a full carrier taskforce but still capable.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

The USN/USMC are in a world of their own generally but especially in this kind of warfare. We’ll never come close to their capability. LRG could be deployed solo but only in a low threat environment but it has to be remembered that low threat describes the littoral environment for most of the world so as limited as it is it will still be a very usefull asset to HMG. Out of all the parts of our armed forces i’d be willing to bet that this piece will prove to be the busiest.

Steve
Steve
1 year ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Not sure that really is true, most countries in the world have some form of land based anti ship missiles. But when your operating close to land, you open yourself up to less advanced methods of attack.

Louis
Louis
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

The role of harriers aboard the wasp class was to provide extremely limited air defence, but mainly to provide air support to the marines. The MOD have said that an LRG and the carrier strike group could be merged when needed to form an expeditionary strike group.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 year ago
Reply to  David Steeper

I wonder CAMM will ever be put on the Albion and RFAs? Even a basic 12 pack!

Louis
Louis
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

Two type 32 with 24 sea ceptor each would be good. The navy is a bit late in the trend of moving to over the horizon amphibious assaults. We definitely need a faster LCU to replace the mk 10, preferably an LCAC. We should also consider a helicopter with a longer range(I’m not suggesting MV22). We could of course wait for the US as they are replacing Blackhawk and apache with the same airframe and replace aw149, apache and merlin with that far off into the future.

Last edited 1 year ago by Louis
Steve
Steve
1 year ago
Reply to  Louis

Weren’t we meant to be buying a extended range version of the Chinook, although I have no idea what happened with that as the order was delayed due to affordability and wouldn’t be surprised if now quietly canned.

Dern
Dern
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

Um, nobody knows anything about the T32 design.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 year ago
Reply to  Louis

There should be the the option of adding a few more T31 ASW, even some T31 AAW types into the fleet prior to T32 and T83 and alongside the T26. As others have mentioned even a fleet of 4 diesel subs and some increase in ASW helicopter, P-8 and UAV numbers. The potential for an incremental and hopefully affordable and doable increase is there and so is heightened tension with Russia right now!

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 year ago
Reply to  Louis

My rant, apologies in advance. IMHO they could make the T45s even better by incorporating MK41s, even and up to 32-48 CAMM in side silos. Not to mention. AShMs and other stuff. Anyway new evolved Aster and CAMM is welcome. I’d even like see a “T45 type set up” incorporated into a couple of T31s. The Danish navy IHs seem to be able to handle a multitude of roles including AAW and our T83s are a decade away.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

A bit of a case here for some extra amd more affordable ASW/AAW capable T31/32s to beef up the CSG. Even an additional T26 would be useful. Every extra ship, sub, plane, helicopter, uav will be useful!!

Pomeroy
Pomeroy
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

You won’t be caught fighting alone 🇺🇸

Jim
Jim
1 year ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Escorts are the concern at the moment and I agree the government is taking steps to fix that however I see little if any chance that we can get 3 FSS and 6 Multi Role Support ships built in the UK in anything like the required time to replace the Bays, Argus, Albion’s and the Forts. We literally need a new yard to start knocking one out every year and all the yards on the Clyde, Barrow and Rosyth are full for years now. If we don’t replace these ships then there is no chance to maintain two littoral groups.… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim

There’s land at Barrow and importantly, muscle memory from the Albions…

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim

.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim

A littoral force can only be of use if it comes with air cover. I will probably get shot down ( pun intended ) for saying this but in a real conflict this group would be gone in minutes. By all means lets carry out trial deployments but let us all get it into our heads that to do the job properly we need a complete set of working ships, properly armed and equipped.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

With whom?

The Orcs have proved themselves so incompetent they couldn’t even defend a capital ship in their backyard?

Who has got the assets to do better: bearing in mind they all buy Russian tech…

Pongoglo
Pongoglo
1 year ago

Agreed – hoorah. The Orks have proven their worth – which is not much.

BobA
BobA
1 year ago

Was talking to the father of one of my mates about this; he was a full Col SBS and Falklands vet. He said they’d all be dead before they hit the beach and he thinks the whole future commando force is a complete waste of time. Pretty damning conversation to be honest!

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
1 year ago
Reply to  BobA

There’s truth in what you say Bob , at least in part. The days of storming beaches are long gone. We are now into infiltration and over the horizon suppression. The move to the Littoral ships is probably right but should they be flat tops? Should they have some air superiority capability? Should they have deep strike missiles? I’m concerned that as they are they are very vulnerable.

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
1 year ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

A return to helicopter carriers would be ideal but is far far out of our budget and priority ATM. The navy’s priorities with what it’s got are escorts and find money for the anti ship missile’s which surely must be number 1 on the list going forward. I suppose the littoral strike spread over 2-3 vessels makes the group more survivable in an attack?

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
1 year ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Your probably right about new flat tops. Use the carriers as more of a hybrid vessel? Say twenty F35’s plus drones (?) and a long range helicopter or the Osprey or similar. The LSS with the attack helicopters and high speed boats. Whichever way we go serious suppression fire has to be part of it. HIMARS at sea?

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
1 year ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

HIMARS should fit in a container then navy pods would have that covered, it’ll be great to have but I don’t think tbh they would probably want when in theory F35 on beast mode and Apache would cover precision fire and close to shore the navy’s still got it’s guns lol. Osprey would be a dream purchase but is so, so expensive is probably never coming over here sadly.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  BobA

I did think that TBH

I’m not so sure now.

We have unbelievably effective weapons at suppressing most things. What the littoral ships would need are very large numbers missiles like a hybrid Sea Ceptor / NLAWS that could take out the threats to the force with ease from 40 miles out.

With the right top cover from F35 / Apache too combined and probably chinook dropped I can see it working. But maybe not charging up the beach on day 1 hour 1!

BobA
BobA
1 year ago

Bad choice of words from me, I know no-one is talking about actually storming a beach. But that wasn’t his point, his point was that you can’t be covert in the way that they intend to infiltrate. Helis are inherently vulnerable, we don’t have the shipping to truly support over the horizon strike. Also Supportive Bloke, I might be wrong, but pretty sure when I was commanding support Coy that NLAW had a range of 400m not 40 miles. It’s a last ditch close in weapon – you don’t rely on it to neutralise threats. I think the concept is… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  BobA

Bad choice of words on my part.

I was suggesting that we need weapons like a hybrid Sea Ceptor (for range) with something like an NLAWS warhead.

So guided into an area cued by GPS / radar etc then using the NLAWS sensors to the target.

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
1 year ago

Perhaps a navalised version of Himars or MLRS would be a useful addition to the LSS concept?

Jon
Jon
1 year ago

If only CAMM-ER had a land attack function and could travel five times the speed of an NLAW.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
1 year ago

If “with whom” is your opinion why do we need a defence budget at all? Presumably we are not going to war with anybody!

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

That is not what I am saying.

I am in favour of an increased defence budget.

My ‘with whom’ comment is more about whom can overmatch our naval outputs given the tech and trading gaps that the Ukrainian war has exposed.

Yes, we need to ramp up as the world is a dangerous place and the crazies got the wrong idea post Afghan and Iraqi humiliations. These destroyed the post Falklands / Sierra Leone geometry of UK projecting force very effectively.

geoff.Roach
geoff.Roach
1 year ago

Fair enough SB. Despite the criticism I get from some of my wanting “fantasy fleets” my only concern is that our people get the kit they need so that they are well protected going into harms way.
The answer to who is of course China but if we ever get involved that it’ll be akin to a world war so pray it never happens. Beyond that probably more Sierra Leone like conflict and I suppose a Falklands type operation? Either way we still need to have our own 100 per cent integrated capability.

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
1 year ago

Round 2 is about to start let’s see if they make the same mistakes before passing judgement.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Round #2 – would that be the tactical nuclear option? If so and if Mad Vlad used one and say Patriot or Sky Sabre shot it down how would strong would Mad Vlad look then? OK you have uranium (no big deal) or plutonium (very toxic nasty) contamination to deal with. If Mad Vlad starts down the tactical nukes route you can assume that a) he will have zero friends as even the Chinese won’t sit on their hands b) he is probably signing his own death warrant c) reduce themselves from nuclear power to laughing stock. I do think… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
1 year ago

Round 2, if a single tactical nuke, could be detonated to maximize EMP. Everyone would be afforded an opportunity to learn the adequacy of the shielding of electronics; this may be followed by a wave of nukes to destroy Ukrainian armor and infantry formations. Would be interesting to know what the level of DEFCON/King’s Order/French designation would result as a consequence.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

All NATO electronics is EMP tested.

As was, bizarrely, all West German Hi/Fi!!

Colin Evans
Colin Evans
1 year ago

What a waste of time and money, there is no combat power apart from a company of marines. Our OP vessels are showing the flag in the South, good job. We are only just waking up thanks to Ukraine. Billions on a crap vehicle, out of date already. The military are so slow, 4X4s seem to do the job. UAVs off the self, send M207 for a multimillion-pound upgrade it’s not the vehicle that does the damage it’s the missile; it’s the same as the AS90. As we have seen too much gold Brade

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 year ago

Any Merlin ASW with the group or are they all Merlin CHF?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I’ve never read of the HM2 deploying on anything other than the carriers or a T23 SSF.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 year ago

Just a thought. The T45s have a bow sonar I think. Wildcat carries Stingray and depth charges. HM2 is the ‘flying frigate’ ?

Deep32
Deep32
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Yes T45 do have a bow sonar, its a modified mine detection set, and arguably not that good. Perhaps of more importance is the fact that the T45’s dont carry any ASW ratings to man the sonar system. They were disbursed to other assets (T23) due to manpower issues several years ago. I don’t believe that trend has been reversed yet.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 year ago
Reply to  Deep32

So, if the sonar were updated, and the crewing issue addressed and we found a couple more Merlin HM2s you would have a credible ASW Mediterranean capability?

Deep32
Deep32
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Alternatively, add a ASW T23 to the group!!

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 year ago
Reply to  Deep32

T26 instead of T45 would be the way to go, no?
48 Sea Ceptor, ASW, 5in for NGS, Mk41s loaded with land attack and AShM.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul.P

T45 isn’t the quietest hull out there so would have to creep or sprint and drift to use sonar.

Then there is the issue of internal machinery noise.

Merlin + UAV sonar is much more likely to be the answer. Hull sonars are only any real use in active mode.

RobW
RobW
1 year ago

Putin really has gone nuts. 3% of GDP on defence has never looked more likely.

How does the west and NATO proceed from here? Carry on as we are? The trouble is Putin seems to believe what he says and a large proportion of Russians agree.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 year ago
Reply to  RobW

by mobilising 300,000 reserves he either intends to invade somewhere else or try to overwhelm Ukraine. Either way a good proportion of the reserves called up are going to end up dead fighting for Putin’s mad arse war of conquest. These reserves wont change anything as it is piss poor training, a complete lack of combined arms tactics, a complete lack of air superiority and a complete lack of leadership that is leading to Russia’s defeat.

RobW
RobW
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

I’m sure you are right in all that. The 300k will not have a major impact on the war, at least not any time soon.

I wasn’t clear with my post. I was (trying) to refer to Putin’s threats to use nukes on western nations if they help them retake further areas of Ukraine. It just shows how paranoid and delusional he has become.

Jon
Jon
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Where else could he invade? Moldova? Kyrgyzstan? (I can barely spell it much less think of a reason to invade it). The other reason is to support (aka intimidate) one of his mates (aka underlings) in Belorus or Khazakstan.

But no. I think he’s trying to into intimidate Ukraine to the negotiating table, so he can declare a “win”, because without a win he’ll have to double down to survive.

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
1 year ago
Reply to  RobW

Russia planning referendums in occupied territories and threatening to defend them by ‘any means’ gave me a thought: Ukraine should hold a referendum on joining Poland. Checkmate Putin.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago
Reply to  RobW

I think all that can be done is keeping the screws on sanctions turned tight and get off Russian energy products ASAP. Keep nato countries building up and investing in forces around Europe. Also let him know that things can get easier for Russia as soon as he pulls back to 2014 lines in Ukraine and stops attacking over those lines. Obviously a complete withdrawal from all Ukraine territory (crimea) can be sorted after that as I don’t think putin will go for that just now. Really though that is Ukraine’s call. Finally support Ukraine in every way possible. They… Read more »

RobW
RobW
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Toning down the rhetoric that plays into Putin’s hands would also be a good idea. Anything that he can use to his advantage must be avoided, I.e Russia must pay/be defeated, as that gets twisted into his delusions of the west knocking at the gates of Moscow.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago
Reply to  RobW

I’ve never heard any nato member saying we must destroy Russia etc but the Russian leadership love to say it.

RobW
RobW
1 year ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

“Destroy” no, make them pay and be defeated yes. Language that can all to easily be used within Russia for propaganda to enforce views they already hold.

Our own MPs have made such statements, which is more to do with politics here and being seen to be strong. There are ways of explaining what we are doing without playing to the Russian’s worst fears that will only maintain support for Putin and his invasion.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago
Reply to  RobW

I don’t think most Russians actually believe nato were planning to take over Russia through Ukraine. If that was the case that’s what Russia invested so much in all its nukes for. Or that’s what it tells it’s public.
If Russian press are going to manipulate the truth it doesn’t matter what is said really.
Main thing is to be consistent with what is said.
Russia must be punished for invading a country and until it withdraws it will continue to be punished. Simple statement with a clear meaning.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 year ago

I agree with Geoffrey. I’d support the LRG concept if the air assets and other fast ship to shore movers beyond the usual LCVP/LCU existed. Their lack just exposes it for me. RRC,RIB,ORC, all useful for SF and raiding, yes, but they need to get within range to deploy. Where are the air assets to deploy OTH beyond the handful of deployable Merlin in the CHF with 845 and 846 NAS? Are we talking about 3 or 4 Merlin at most? And 2 Wildcat? Any RAF Chinook present? No Hanger on the LPD and a temporary one on the Bay.… Read more »

Steve M
Steve M
1 year ago

Agree, If we are not going ‘over the beach’ then LRG needs better (long range/fast) transport ie: MV-22/LCAC to be able to sit well over the horizon and get tropps ashore quickly. meaning being in deeper water so better ASW and AAW protection required. the fact that non of the VLS can be reloaded at sea means we need ships with high numbers of VLS to allow them to survive more than 1 or 2 major attacks if the nearest reload is thousands of miles away.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve M

Agree I’ve seen some of the DCS combat simulations, which are great fun on YouTube and highly recommended waste of 20 minutes. However what is evident is that against a Chinese threat with their plethora and massed attacks using hundreds of anti ship cruise and hypersonic missiles any carrier strike group that does not have literally hundreds of air defence missiles in VLS systems is going to get sunk. We should really look to increasing our hull numbers with some extreme urgency and bring into service a dozen corvettes or type 31/32s asap- eg in the next 3-5 years. Fit… Read more »

Jonathans
Jonathans
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

To be honest there are only 2 realistic scenarios in regards to a U.K. conflict with China. 1) A general war (US and allies against China +/- allies) in this case any RN ships in the Pacific would be operating as part of a US fleet and not as a stand alone fleet. 2) A dispute between the U.K. and China (without wider support) over resources in Africa, Middle East, South America, South Atlantic, Antarctic. In this cases what is important is who can get the most stuff 1000s of miles from home and the RN still wins hands down… Read more »

Steve M
Steve M
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathans

I agree we are unlikely to fight China in South China Sea, but do we have ability to rearm away from UK? the complex weapons facities are at Glen mallan/Pompey & Devonport. Can we make up 200 Aster30 and 1000 Sea Ceptors plus any future surface attack weapon and transport them and reload escorts at sea? If so great but if not the only secure harbours around Africa for example where it might be doable are GIb, BIOT or Mare Harbour, which are between 2-4000 miles from Africa 🙁 10 H-6 can carry 6 AShM and fire them outside of… Read more »

Jonathans
Jonathans
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve M

Indeed, modern warships do seem to have that intrinsic limitation and there is probably little answer to rearm complex weapons at sea. Which is one reason we should be levering the hell out of Seaceptor to increase the numbers on each ship. I also think there is a real need to ensure you have effective weapon systems that the can rearm at sea. I know a lot of people are dismissive of medium cal navel guns as anything other than useful for NGFS, but infant once the ship has fired its 8 or so anti ship missiles ( which a… Read more »

Steve M
Steve M
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathans

Yep, think should fit always surface ships with 40mm with 3p ammo, pref in addition to 30mm but as min in place of, it would simplify logistics

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

The T31 does have an AAW variant which could fit your bill nicely. If there’s no will, money, capacity to build say 2 more T45s v.2, then 2-4 of T31 AAW might be an affordable goer. And, you’re just 1mm out, Bofors is a 57mm…lol. The could also at a pinch convert/upgrade some of the T31s first batch coming online!

Richard
Richard
1 year ago

I’m hoping now that there is a a real impetus to increase the the defence budget, there will also be a ‘fresh(er)’ look at FCF to ensure that it is set up and equipped the right way. There are many elements missing from what is ultimately desired by the RM & the RN but there is also a lot of cross training and integration with the USMC which is not generally talked about or is publicly known. The LSG’s are intended to work hand in glove with the much heavier forces of the USMC, especially in the north. Simplified they… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard

Ah Richard. Nice to see you post. A fascinating explanation, thank you. I deffer to you, obviously, in all things RM.

I’m interested to read that 1 Rifles time with 3 Cdo was considered a failure. Did many of them not pass the AACC?

A question. What has become of “Vanguard Company” and do you know if it is newly stood up or just a strike company taken from one of 40 or 45?

Richard
Richard
1 year ago

Good morning mate. Yeh, it was a pretty short lived thing, very few attended the AACC, and from that there were even fewer that passed. I have a recollection that the numbers who passed didn’t get into double figures. In fairness to the rifles I’m not 100% confident that the whole concept/idea was universally embraced by the army, It’s quite a thing to have a course like that dumped on a unit especially at the pace of change that was expected. I’m sure if it had been a more ‘permanent’ order there would’ve been a lot more that would have… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard

Yes, thank you. 😀

Jonathans
Jonathans
1 year ago

Well Russia has really cranked up the rhetoric, saying the West is effectively at war with Russia and has essentially invaded and taken over Ukraine as a way to attack Russia. With lots of rhetoric around using all weapons ( nuclear ) to defend Russian soil. Its all hot air at present, but hot air has a way of sparking flames that can become real. What is really a worry is how does this madman think about Crimea and other areas that have now become defacto parts of the Russian state. worrying time indeed. The West really now needs to… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathans

Have to disagree Russia is in no state to widen a war they’re already losing in Ukraine. The mobilisation is about replacing the enormous casualties they’ve suffered so far. They have no means of replacing their catastrophic losses in equipment.

Steve M
Steve M
1 year ago
Reply to  David Steeper

think Korea when the Chinese just marched k’s of troops with know care about how many lived or died, Russians did it in WW2 as well, some people have no respect for other human life. the west has move to try and be surgical and minimise casulaties the mad ork doesn’t give a toss

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve M

Moden Russia isn’t the same as WW2 USSR that’s probably what frightens Putin the most. There’s huge opposition to mobilisation among the young men who’d be the ones sent to the slaughter in Ukraine. It’s extremely hard to find independent information about public opinion in Russia but the best one i’ve found is called 1420 on youtube. By coincedence they’ve just released a new one today about exactly this subject. It’s well worth a view.

Jonathans
Jonathans
1 year ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Unfortunately David, rationality has very little to do with authoritarian dictators. They all end up going down the same irrational rabbit hole. At the movement Putin is effectively saying he will use nuclear weapons to defend Russian territory according to his world view that now includes Crimea and may soon include Donbas. Ukraine has made it very clear it intends to liberate its entire county including Crimea, this will be with western aid and weapons. Putin has already stated that the west is using Ukraine to attack Russian. You have to remember such rhetoric develops a life of its own,… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Jonathans
David Steeper
David Steeper
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathans

Agree we should be concerned about his nuclear threats but it could just be a weak. frightened man trying to sound tough and brave. Plus hopefully there’s someone close to him who isn’t willingto see Russia annihilated to serve the vanity of one man.

Last edited 1 year ago by David Steeper
Jonathans
Jonathans
1 year ago
Reply to  David Steeper

I’m always hopeful that some groups will be willing and able to remove him from power. But all the open source analysis from people who know Russia are pretty clear that’s unlikely to happen barring catastrophe. The sad truth is like all these monsters he’s tapped into the fear of the general population and has majority support.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathans

You’re as likely to be right as I am but I think should he ever give the order to use a nuclear weapon someone and it only needs one will take matters into their own hands and end the piece of shit. Optimistic maybe but the universal lesson of all dictatorships is that they all seem impregnable untill they collapse.

Jonathans
Jonathans
1 year ago
Reply to  David Steeper

To be honest I think one of the few ways out of this mess is if someone or some group are able to remove Putin. Unfortunately the true brutes generate so much terror and control they generally have to be removed by an external force and a lot of blood ( look at Hitler and Stalin, the only difference was one lost a war and was removed by the winning side coming for him..the other just kept on killing till old age took him).

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathans

You’re a pessimist i’m an optimist. 👍

Jonathans
Jonathans
1 year ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Indeed, and from experience I have found the truth tends to land somewhere in the middle.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
1 year ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Unfortunately, the failure of the plot to eliminate Hitler immediately comes to mind.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathans

Methinks it is high time to return HMS Vanguard to the fleet as soon as feasible, and purchase ABM system(s) on an expedited basis, even if the purchase doesn’t support the British military-industrial complex. Just a suggestion, mind you, in case the ballistic missiles are inbound near term. 🤔😳 Mad Vlad may choose to do his level best to earn the moniker; could easily envision him deciding to take the rest of the world down w/ him.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathans

Hope that Ukraine forces can keep surging ahead and further cut-off Russia ability to re-supply, refuel and replenish their troops. Can’t see how Russia even has the road/rail transport and fighting vehicles to handle 300,000 extra troops on the battlefield. What a lying bastards Putin, Lavrov, Medvedev are to their people and the poor buggers being coerced into fighting a war campaign that they know is wrong, that could cost them their lives and that they don’t really want to be in. Strength, success and quick speed to Ukrainian 🇺🇦 Forces!

Jonathans
Jonathans
1 year ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

And fingers crossed someone or some group in Russia has the power or will to remove him. The army must be at the end of its tether by now.

David Barry
David Barry
1 year ago

We are in incredibly dangerous times at the moment. Should he go completely off the rails, humanity will cease to exist.

At the moment, I’d hope the threat level was set high and, quietly, we are preparing for a major war.

I wonder what time is on the Doomsday clock.

Jonathans
Jonathans
1 year ago

I watched Putins broadcast, he really looked like a man who meant it when he side he would use nuclear weapons. I thought the fact he came out and accused the West of using nuclear blackmail and threatening the use of nuclear weapons was chilling, this is a man preparing the way and developing the lie to give a reason to his population why nuclear weapons were used. I’m almost moving to a thought that “nuclear weapons are more likely to be used than not” if Ukraine starts to remove Russian troops from some key areas like Crimea or Donbas.… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathans

Unterview on BBC Radio 4, he is not threatening to use in the Ukraine, he will attack a NATO country.

Jonathans
Jonathans
1 year ago
Reply to  David Barry

I’m old enough to have been an adult during the Cold War and I’ve never felt so close to the possibility of nuclear war. The old USSR in the 1970s and 1980s were never so lose with the threat of using nuclear weapons. Today I was even considering how to seal my house from dust ingression.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathans

It’s good that Ukraine’s advances and weapons to hand are not being as publicised as much as they were previously in the media. Must be a bloody awful business but hope to god that Ukraine can out muscle, out-smart and out-manoeuvre the Russian’s as quickly as possible even in the absolutely fake “annexed territories”. Not sure how the West will frighten Putin and his cohorts enough to bring them to heel and an absolute defeat. An overwhelmingly against and protesting Russian population might be a significant enough distraction to cause Putin to look behind himself more often. He needs to… Read more »

Robert McKay
Robert McKay
1 year ago

Might the fleet be bomb bursting and scattering as a response to Mr Putin’s latest nuclear threat to the world? Sensible to do so.

Smoochy
Smoochy
1 year ago

3 RFA & 2 RN. Says it all really

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 year ago
Reply to  Smoochy

Tell you what really p****s me off, none of the RFA vessels have got their CIWS on board, probably their 30mm are absent too. Hypothetical, but if this group turn up like this and the T45 get torpedoed or taken out by coastal missile,(or breaks down…lol), I can’t see the rest of these lasting that long. Surely time to speed up the T31/32, even a T26 and bulk up the LRG with some harder hitting “lethality” that we keep hearing about.