HMS Trent is bound for the waters of the Gulf of Guinea, say the Royal Navy.

It is understood that the vessel is to undertake security patrols to support allies in West Africa.

The Royal Navy say here that the River-class Batch 2 patrol ship is on an enduring deployment to the Mediterranean that has seen her operate as far east as the Black Sea since she left the UK six months ago.

“HMS Trent is now turning her attentions south to the tropical waters of the Gulf of Guinea for the next three months as she becomes the first Royal Navy ship to sail to the region in three years. With Royal Marines of 42 Commando on board, the ship will carry out a range of joint exercises and training to strengthen ties and develop plans for future operations in the region.

Trent will visit Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Gambia and Cape Verde, and will take part in French-led multinational exercises that will bring together international partners in the area, known as Exercise Grand African Nemo. She will also conduct security patrols and support partner navies by helping to develop key maritime skills.”

Commanding Officer of HMS Trent, Commander Tom Knott, said in a news releae:

“We are extremely proud and excited to commence this deployment to what is an exciting new region for HMS Trent. We are looking forward to working with regional partners and also engaging with local communities in an effort to strengthen security.”

The Royal Navy add that HMS Trent carries on board a 17-strong contingent from 42 Commando, which will train partner forces in skills like boarding and searching of suspicious vessels, as well as evidence handling and medical skills.

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Coll
Coll
6 days ago

Is there any River classes left in the UK waters? lol

Goldilocks
Goldilocks
6 days ago
Reply to  Coll

Yes three of them 🙂

Paul.P
Paul.P
6 days ago

Excellent; piracy is a problem off West Africa. A Type 31 and a helo would be better. A littoral support ship better still. Do we have any plans for a ‘Ranger battalion’ in any of the Gulf (of Guinea) states?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Nobody knows as yet, apart from MoD.

Paul.P
Paul.P
6 days ago

Hi Daniele. Thx. Watch this space then I guess.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
6 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P
Paul.P
Paul.P
6 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

The RN have evaluated surveillance drones. Have they settled on which ones to buy?

Steve
Steve
6 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

My guess lack of finance is delaying the decison, however I doubt they will be the solution for policing operations. Adding range to survalliancd is a good addition but the key role that the helicopter provides is the ability to intercept the craft, when the host boat is too far away or too slow to do itself, plus providing top coverage for the boating party.

They need uav that are armed with something more practical than missiles (too expensive for warning shots), like a machine gun and a big load speaker.

Paul.P
Paul.P
6 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Yes, I agree. Trent is perfectly suited to the role.

Pete
Pete
6 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Good to know where the targets are and which direction they are going ! Recon UAV allows over horizon search and discreet tracking. Would be a massive asset.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
5 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Hi Paul, not to my knowledge, but the future is looking a little bit brighter in this regard!

Steve
Steve
6 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I was reading an article that highlighted it’s odd that the conversion of the bay class has gone completely quiet since it was announced. Indicating there might be financial limitations delaying the forming of the new littoral units.

Paul.P
Paul.P
6 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Well the northern one was based around an LPD for reinforcement of Norway so that should be ok; that said the US I think has forces permanently based in Norway which lets face it is a more realistic and practical strategy. For West Africa, East Africa or Asia they are probably good enough as they are. A R2, add a Bay, add a T23 with all their helos and RM make a graduated littoral response group for humanitarian aid and small scale insertions and rescue missions. If and when the frigate gets the interim missile and with Wildcat it would… Read more »

JohninMK
JohninMK
6 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I’m pretty sure that the US forces based in Norway are Marines operating in land based mode without much in the sea.

Paul.P
Paul.P
6 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Yeh, my point is that if you are already on the land you don’t have to worry about the delay, size and risk of an amphibious assault. You need only a handful of US troops present to deter Soviet agression.

JohninMK
JohninMK
6 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

You’re right, as operators for all those ready to go tanks are just a C-17 away. Its pure Russian aggression now the Soviets don’t exist.

andy a
andy a
6 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

think 30mm cannon, gpmg and mini guns plus commandos can handle pirates! dont need frigate

Paul.P
Paul.P
5 days ago
Reply to  andy a

Yeh, you are right. I’m getting ahead of myself into littoral response territory.

farouk
farouk
6 days ago

Just had a butchers at the main picture, the River Class is much bigger than I presumed, as those 9 blokes on the front are really small

Last edited 6 days ago by farouk
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Yes, it is a big lump.

With a simple fitout to maximise time on station.

Trouble with the whistles and bells brigade is that erodes deployed time and makes it too complex for local support and very expensive as tech teams need to be flown out to maintain or fix things.

I’d prefer to see T31 uparmed and/or more T31/2 purchased than mess about recreating a T21.

Steve M
Steve M
6 days ago

With T31 based on IverH design they could have kept the stanflex design making it easy to and/remove numbers of weapons. But the these won’t even be FFBNW. i know i’ve said before but i think Absolm is really good patrol/relief design but could not armed enough to provide a good task group additional hull

Challenger
Challenger
6 days ago

Absolutely! The River’s are perfectly good for low-level security ops and defence engagement off of West Africa and around The West Indies. The only semi permanent addition I’d look to make is a containerized UAV which would massively increase their surveillance capability.

With a decent gun fit to counter fast attack craft, a large mission bay / flight-deck and hopefully 24 CAMM the T31’s won’t need many more bells and whistle’s to fill the more demanding deployments East of Suez. Fingers crossed they get the interim AShM’s as the T23’s retire too!

DP
DP
6 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

👍

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

And everything else that can be drone or modular. Loads of space an power.

Personally I see T31 as being amazing assets.

1, 2, 3 need to add XYZ

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
3 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

Challenger the River batch2 with 30mm ds30m2 canon onboard are capable of engaging rhibs, speedboats, fast attack craft etc out to about 4km range.

Reap
Reap
6 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Ww2 destroyer size. Would be an ok corvette sized vessel today, put a telescopic hangar on ect

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
6 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Hi farouk,

Just to compare. The B2 River Class displace 2,000tons. The Leander Class GP frigates displaced 2,350tons.

This gives the Rivers considerable flexbility in the patrol, presence and relief roles. Their size also allows them to stay on station for extended periods and gives them considerable operational range.

Great assets.

Cheers CR

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Rename them Frigates!!! Added to the T32’s that gives us 29!

Happy days! 😂

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
6 days ago

Hi Daniele, You could I suppose. 🙂 but I was just giving an illustrated answer to the original question rather than suggesting they are frigates, or should be up armed… In fact, I think they have just the right level of ‘visible’ capability. I think they represent a half way house between full on hard power (frigates / CSG) and soft power. The extra accomodation below the flight deck can, I believe, support up to 50 Royal Marines for short periods. This, along with the possibility of operating quad copter drones, for example, represents a significant ‘surge’ capability if needed… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

The pitfalls of text rather than spoken! I didn’t think for a moment you were suggesting they were mate.

I’m a big fan of these too, I’d buy more if the cash were available.

Up arming nice to have with no money issues, but totally unnecessary.

It’s the Scheibal UAV copter I’d like to see on these.

Lusty
Lusty
5 days ago

Hey, that’s my idea!

(Boris has listened to it and he’s reserving it for when he needs spin!)

Last edited 5 days ago by Lusty
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

😘

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago

In all seriousness I had no idea tonnage wise they are close to Leander’s. Impressive and good looking vessels.

Lusty
Lusty
5 days ago

Yes, most impressive. You wouldn’t have thought they’re as big as they are, but they are! Arguably closer in displacement to the earlier Type 12 models and much heavier than the Blackwood frigates. although they’re a similar length. Of course, I have suggested the reclassification with a healthy dose of jest, but the pedigree is certainly there and the vessels themselves are more than capable of carrying a heavier armament. It honestly wouldn’t surprise me if they were upgraded in the future (40mm, 2x 30mm, Martlet, UAV rotorcraft/patrol boats) in the name of spin. It’s an ‘easy’ way of claiming… Read more »

Last edited 5 days ago by Lusty
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Agreed mate. Spend it on T31.

But get the Scheibal.

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
6 days ago

Going back in history a little bit (always a dangerous thing sometimes) the UK government spent 2% of GDP and half the Royal Navy budget on the West African squadron charged with eliminating African-on-African as well as Arab-on-African slavery for export to the US and South America. Does make you think that those extreme left wing people demolishing monuments and berating Britain for so-called historical injustices (of course not modern day China or Russia) do seem to be completely nuts or is it just me? I do wish left wing people would once in a while actually read history and… Read more »

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
6 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

They have as they claim ‘their own facts’ and that means excluding anything that counts against the story they wish to tell. Sadly, our national media have swallowed one of these and there is no prize for guessing which one that is.

Reaper
Reaper
6 days ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

They never mention the good white europeans have done. Or bad Coloured folk have done, strange, it’s always white man bad.

Klonkie
Klonkie
6 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

You make a valid point. God forbid we point out how the Islamic Arabs profited from the slave trades in West Africa.

AV
AV
6 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Or how indigenous Africans sold other rival indigenous tribes to the Europeans…the woke brigade would have a melt down.

AV
AV
6 days ago
Reply to  AV

* the truth works both ways

AlexS
AlexS
6 days ago
Reply to  AV

The last slave to America named Cudjo Lewis was captured by an unit of “people with v*gin*s” from the Slave Kingdom of Dahomey.
There were several kingdoms in Africa which their main economy was slavery.

And today neither Hollywood or BBC made a film about the Royal Navy Anti-Slavery patrols…

And what about the reason for the Marines attack in Tripoli?

Last edited 6 days ago by AlexS
Pete
Pete
6 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

May want to check out this Spielberg movie.. remember watching it when it came out back in the day.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amistad_(film)

AlexS
AlexS
5 days ago
Reply to  Pete

Thanks. I had forgotten about it.

Tommo
Tommo
5 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Klonkie Long before Europeans ventured down west Africa round the horn up the East Coast mainly by the Portuguese, Timbuktu west Africa Dar es Salam East Afica had been Slavery hubs by Arabs for Hundreds of years prior too the arrival of white colonialists We unfortunately purchased a commodity bad taste I know , We didn’t go out hunting for those poor wretches Arab or other tribes did that themselves

AV
AV
6 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Yes indeed…an often overlooked part of history is that coloured Africans actually sold rival tribe prisoners into slavery…

David
David
6 days ago
Reply to  AV

Absolutely – there were black slave owners back in the day but that fact gets quickly glossed over and brushed under the carpet. Hush-hush now. Not to get off topic but I once meet an acquaintance who was black and part of the Black African American Society at university. The purpose she told me, was that it allows her to celebrate her black culture. Fine. Now I did think to myself, would I be allowed to set up a White Caucasian Society so I could celebrate my white culture? Hmmm…. not bloody likely! Complete double standard… but you’re racist if… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
6 days ago
Reply to  David

“Absolutely – there were black slave owners back in the day “

There were not just black slave owners.
There were African kingdoms like Kingdom of Congo, Kingdom of Dahomey that one of their major economic activity was slavery.

We should keep in mind that slavery might not be even the worst thing depending in what the slave job was. There were human sacrifices for religious/political reasons, servants were buried alive with suzerain when he died…etc.
Those times were hard and human lives were of very low value or even nothing.

andy a
andy a
6 days ago
Reply to  AV

Yes whites owned the overall business but did very little of the hands on dirty work, Slavery was in process before we even came to Africa, we just industrialised it

AlexS
AlexS
5 days ago
Reply to  andy a

Read on Imbalangas to know how much depravity could occur there.

Caribbean
Caribbean
3 days ago
Reply to  AV

I remember as a small child being driven past a house in central Lagos (around the time of Nigerian independence) and my father telling me that the biggest slave trader in West Africa lived there – it was a very large house – she was clearly a very wealthy woman.

AlexS
AlexS
6 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

It is not white they are after: white is just a proxy for Free Market Capitalism and Free Speech.

David
David
6 days ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

The Biased Broadcasting Corporation??

Paul.P
Paul.P
6 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

The men who worked for the abolition of the slave trade were Quakers, Evangelical Christians and/or motivated by enlightenment values on the rights of man. The key dates in that period are 1807, abolition of the slave trade; 1832 the Representation of the People Act and 1833 Abolition of Slavery in all parts of the British Empire. The Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade was mainly run by women in non conformist sects, Quakers and Unitarians who were unable to be elected to parliament so worked through sympathetic Anglicans and Evangelicals like William Wilberforce. Radicals and Chartists… Read more »

Pete
Pete
6 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

The role of William the conqueror and the anti slavery dictates in the doomsday book in the 11th century were a catalyst for the change in the mindset …

Paul.P
Paul.P
6 days ago
Reply to  Pete

There is a rumour that on his deathbed he said he
confessed his regret for the cruelty he inflicted on the English….No doubt he received absolution.
Let’s think +ve. It will soon be 2066 and we already have a couple of elected metropolitan mayors; the English are taking back control of our country. Whatever next; maybe regional health authorities for Mercia, Wessex and Anglia….?

Jonathan
Jonathan
6 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

It’s always a bit grey when you look at history, truth is the this country made a whole lot of money from slavery, way after it had made it illegal in this country. But at the same time it was a nation that truly imbraced the war against the transatlantic slave trade. The true of the British empire is a mixture of great benefit and great suffering as with all the great empires. It’s very true to say the British empire created the modern world and for all its fault the modern world is better that a lot of history.… Read more »

Damo
Damo
6 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Well put

Damo
Damo
6 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

You’re clearly fishing. The responses you’ve had fill most bingo cards for this type of post lol. Woke, coloured, islamic, “blacks also bad”, whataboutery etc. Guessing the reverse card would include boomer, gammon, racist, tory, white lives also matter etc

Like looking at Twitter replies to sky news posts…. 😖😖🍻

geoff
geoff
6 days ago
Reply to  Damo

Well Damo the truth is in my opinion well summed up by Rod McKuen-
“There is no wrong side nor right side, No side of the Angels and none that Devils can call their very own…”
In essence I suppose many shades of grey-little in Black or White.

Last edited 6 days ago by geoff
Pete
Pete
6 days ago
Reply to  geoff

I agree Geoff. There is little that sits conveniently into one bucket. The history people often review is either the one they were taught (often selective) or the one that fits their value Stream or their experience. No doubt the UK anti slavery stance changed the values of many nations and individuals across the globe and contributed massively to the reduction of the abhorrent trade (I won’t say eradication). Meanwhile you go to some other parts of the world and into certain communities and you meet people who have a different perspective of Britain. Cultural memory of colonial heavy handedness,… Read more »

dave12
dave12
6 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

I was a center left once , but this woke culture have gone mad , starmer wants a women as the next James bond , madness!! but then again I cant say that Borris is doing much better, if you are going to leave the EU at least prepare for it lol.
Time for center politics with common sense to enter the stage.

AlexS
AlexS
6 days ago
Reply to  dave12

From time to time new generations build new values usually inspired from disaffected old people to wrestle the power from older generations.

How do you break the existing connections and alliances that block your ambition? You create a new value system. It is irrelevant what is it as long as it appeals to some basic human instinct.

dave12
dave12
5 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

leaders on both sides 10-15 years ago at least could do the basics right and have some common sense I’m not confident with the new generation.

Bill
Bill
6 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

They read the selective history that fits their anti-Britain, anti-empire mantras.

geoff
geoff
6 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

Good post Andrew but it would appear that much of the left wing and indeed many of the peoples of Africa and elsewhere will never recognise the good that Britain has done over recent centuries in this planet of ours. Not so long ago an(incidentally) white political leader here in South Africa had the temerity to suggest that not all that colonialism brought to Africa was bad-refering of course to modern medicine, infrastructure,lights,clean water,motor vehicles, air travel,Johnny Walker Blue(much loved by the local ANC politicos at over R1000 per bottle-viva socialism!!!),the internet etc etc etc.. She was almost hounded out… Read more »

Last edited 6 days ago by geoff
Klonkie
Klonkie
5 days ago
Reply to  geoff

very good Geoff – circa 1977- great tune ! Good point on colonialism .I wish those on the left would pause and reflect to have a balanced view on society.

geoff
geoff
5 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Cheers Klonkie. Are you old enough to remember Dyllis Stevens and the Cyclones from Salisbury Southern Rhodesia??

klonkie
klonkie
5 days ago
Reply to  geoff

a wee bit before my time mate, I was 13 in 1977

Andy P
Andy P
6 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

I don’t buy into the whole ‘loony Left’ thing, there are blinkered people everywhere. I know what you mean though and the whole ‘woke’ thing doesn’t do anyone any favours, its basically a cult to peoples own egos.

Slavery still exists, Mauritania is a prime example but I guess Facebook etc haven’t got round to feeling outraged about it yet. Maybe not enough rap songs about it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_Mauritania

Damo
Damo
6 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

Yeah. Social media and 24 hour news gives people a platform. There’s as much loony left as there is loony right in my opinion. Just that media deservedly doesn’t give racist crackpots the air time. So you’re left with “controversy” and “outrage” articles designed yo trigger, watch and click. How money is made

AlexS
AlexS
6 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

They are not loony, that is the biggest mistake people do.

The objective is to create a power structure and they achieved it.

andy a
andy a
5 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

But when do the middle or the road masses stand up and say enough woke madness!!

DaveyB
DaveyB
5 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

Bizarre country. Flew for a good 8 hours in a Chinook and didn’t see a soul. Then crested a dune to find a whole tribe sat on another crest waving at us. There wasn’t any habitation for miles. So where did they come from? Along the West coast, there are loads of “modernish” shipwrecks (fating from the war to the present). Then as you skim over the tops of them, you notice the waters around them are full of sharks. Not a place I’d like to be stuck in a rubber raft, bobbing around waiting for a rescue! There is… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
6 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

The RN is a force for good in this world. I would like to see more regular mainstream press reporting of their routine work in anti piracy, drug interceptions, humanitarian relief, diplomacy etc
The deployment of Trent with a short reference to the history of the West Africa squadron and some current affairs of the region would make an interesting and uplifting news feature.
Kudos to UKDJ who are doing their bit with +ve news.

Bill
Bill
6 days ago

I wish these vessels had a bigger and better weapons array.

David Steeper
David Steeper
6 days ago
Reply to  Bill

Why ? What weapons do you think are needed in West Africa and West Indies ?

Bill
Bill
6 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Just in general. A couple of more teeth wouldn’t go amiss.

Dern
Dern
6 days ago
Reply to  Bill

More expensive though, requires more crew, fewer days between resupply, more time in port for maintenance…

JohninMK
JohninMK
6 days ago
Reply to  Bill

Often the most useful bit of offensive kit on a Royal Navy ship will be the ensign they fly.

Bill
Bill
6 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Hmmm….a jolly old gunboat.

Klonkie
Klonkie
6 days ago
Reply to  Bill

I think they are adequate for their tasks. I’d rather see the money invested in the fighting ships

AV
AV
6 days ago

I’m starting to believe the River 2’s will end up being like the RAF Buccaneers…..didnt want them…but ended up loving them.

Jon
Jon
6 days ago
Reply to  AV

I started out loving them, except for the permanent FlyCo space, which I still don’t understand given the infrequent use of helicopters. Presumably they can repurpose it for UAV control.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
6 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Hi Jon,

These ships are capable of carryin 2 or 3 ISO containers and still have a sizable flight deck. So a range of capabilities could be carried and deployed in the form of autonomous vehicles. I would not be surprised if at some point in the future the RN starts to wish it had more River B2’s.

Low intensity ops against pirates and people / drug smugglers are going to be on going for as long as I can see into the future.

Cheers CR

Jon
Jon
6 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Thanks. I’d read somewhere up to six 20ft containers, but that was based on really old information and might have been sacrificing the flight deck.

I’d hope the B3s, if there are any, would be sized to the new PODS, which look very similar. B1s will be getting long in the tooth about the end of the decade, so there might be another batch ordered.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
6 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Hi Jon,

Likewise, another batch towards the end of the decade would be nice… Also, I read up on the PODS after an earlier post from yourself I believe and the PODS are based on ISO container sizes, so yeh they would fit.

Exciting, potential with the PODS system.

Cheers CR

Dern
Dern
5 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Yes, I hope for a Batch 3.
At the moment no plans however. The B2’s where originally meant to replace the B1’s so the replacement plan for them has technically been scuppered.

Dern
Dern
5 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

IIRC the ISO containers go to the left and right of the Flyco, just aft of the Rib Davits, so they don’t impinge on the flight deck at all (and if you are operating drones can serve as a hangar of sorts.

I think the 6 ISO container figure may be for the Batch 1’s which have a large open area at the stern, but no HLS.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
5 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Thanks Dern, that’s very helpful.

CR

Dern
Dern
5 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Hi CR,

I meant to attach and image to that post and forgot, so better late than never:

OPV-395-sm (1).jpg
ChariotRider
ChariotRider
5 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Thanks Dern, shows the aft arrangement of the B2 very well. Clearly they had the idea of two ISO’s from the beginning…

One thing and I know its only a model so more out of curiosity really, but the helicopter doesn’t look as if its quite in the right place. Shouldn’t it be directly over the ‘mesh’ visible under the tail rotor i.e. hooked on and held down – or have I missunderstood what I am looking at?

Finaly, am I right in thinking Flyco is the ‘bay window’ like arrangement on the super structure?

Cheers CR

Dern
Dern
4 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Hi CR,

Yes, that bay window is the Flyco, seems a bit low to me, but I guess it works.

I think you’re right that the Helicopter may be slightly too far fwd, but possibly it’s because the flight deck is designed to take a Merlin so maybe it’s just that the Wildcat looks small?
At anyrate I’m not sure what the ‘mesh’ is but in actual photos it doesn’t seem to be a mesh (perhaps an access hatch?)

HMS-Medway-Flight-Deck.jpg
Jim
Jim
6 days ago

I see no one is mentioning the RN new pods concept, which in theory could mean a River Class could become many things, incuding reconnaissance, deep strike or UAV platform etc. Anyone else find this new container concept fascinating?

Jon
Jon
5 days ago
Reply to  Jim

I was expecting, like Stanflex, the PODS would need to be plugged in to a power/data/control interface that links to the ship’s backbone. Even if, as ChariotRider suggests, the dimensions are those of a 20′ ISO container, the ships would still need to have plug points at the carry spots. I suppose data connection could be wireless, but would that be sufficiently hardened for the military? If the wiring is a major job they might not retro-fit the B2 Rivers for a considerable time. On the other hand, the PODS may be totally stand alone. The concept is great, but… Read more »

Last edited 5 days ago by Jon
Jon
Jon
5 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Just to add: the MoD RFI for it’s heavy lift drones require a minimum lift capacity of 200kg. If that determines the PODS weight limit, even a single medium (200 kg class) VTOL recon drone, such as S-100/AW Hero/Skeldar is unlikely to fit, along with a 30 kg radar payload and all its control equipment.

(Maybe if they leave out the IKEA furniture.)

With the FSSS heavy replenishment at sea requirement ditched, perhaps a second PODS classification for heavyweight port installations would expand options.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
5 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Hi Jon,

You may have seen this article on Navy Lookout from 2019 which gives a very interesting and balance assessment of set of upgrade options for the River Class, including a discussion of containerised capabilities.

https://www.navylookout.com/enhancing-the-royal-navys-batch-ii-opvs/

Cheers CR

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
5 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Hi Jon, Yeh, I saw some pictures of the DSEI PODS displays as well and share your disappointment. However, two things spring to mind in the RN / MoD’s defence. Firstly, they have achieved quite a lot on very stretched budgets so I think that the rather basic ideas (and IKEA) furniture that were in the mockups possibly reflect a lack of funding for the displays rather than a lack of imagination (it may also reflect budgetary restraints of the programme as well, of course). Secondly, and probably more telling is that the MoD is very risk averse. Just remember… Read more »

Jon
Jon
4 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I caught the hint at budget limits, and I hope you are right about it being a failure of the display funding/time. I think the aspiration to deliver PODS using 200kg lift drones alone would be incompatible with the aspiration to repurpose a ship, upgrade it, or even to swap out equipment for maintenance. A Chinook can lift 12 tons and could probably transfer containerised CAMM. (I just use that as a weighty example. I’m not in favour of upgunning Rivers in their current role.) Also the pretty pictures suggested surface drone delivery too. That’s why I’d have liked to… Read more »

Last edited 4 days ago by Jon
Ron Stateside
Ron Stateside
6 days ago

This is a perfect role for the Batch II Rivers.

As far as freeing up more hulls, one thing I never hear discussed is replacing the Towed Array Patrol ships with something cheaper than a T23/26. In the future, couldn’t it be done with XLUUVs and Halcyon or Project Wilton boats? What about something smaller than a T31 with a towed array, like the Venator 110? I know the TAP ships have specialist capabilities but I’m assuming they could be fitted to other vessels.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
6 days ago
Reply to  Ron Stateside

Hi Ron, Autonomous vehicles do occassionally get discussed when they are in the news but we will never hear everything about these platforms for obvious reasons so less opportunity to discuss on what is a news related resource. You are right autonomous vehicles could be used for many application, some of which we probably haven’t dreamed up yet. I think that having a sensor only autonomous vehicle lurking around certain choke points would a good initial use, for example. Intelligence is a key enabler particularly in these increasingly dangerous times. Whether we like it or not we are in another… Read more »

Ron Stateside
Ron Stateside
5 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Thanks Chariot. Agreed.

James
James
6 days ago

There is massive depletion of fish stocks in the area of the Gulf of Guinea by a large Chinese fishing fleet. They are regulars inside territorial waters of several nations and fish with impunity. Several African Fishing Monitors have dissapeared off the boats while monitoring their catch in the last few years, and the Chinese claim no knowledge of what happeened to them. I think Trent will be doing some fisheries protection work here which is bound to aggrevate the Chinese who respect no one.

OldSchool
OldSchool
6 days ago

A good vid on the historical RN’s West African Squadron

Anti-Slavery Patrols – The West Africa Squadron – YouTube

Last edited 6 days ago by OldSchool
Gunbuster
Gunbuster
6 days ago

I was deployed on a T23 doing a Falklands trip and for the 1999-2000 Christmas to new year millennium we where alongside in Cape town( What a Run! Test Cricket, 14 rand to the pound and a great bunch of locals to party with….oh and the Stellenbosch … love SA wines!) Anyway I digress… The way back was basically almost every nation with a coast in West Africa. Nigeria, Ghana or Gambia (cannot remember which) Senegal and Cape Verde where all visited along with Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Ivory Coast, and Sierra Leone In Sierra Leone we hosted some of the… Read more »

geoff
geoff
6 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Thanks GB-Great post as always from ‘the horses mouth’! Western Cape is beautiful part of the world!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago

I note the Captain is a Commander, no doubt due to the embarked RM, complex mission and distance from the home port. Would the CO otherwise be a Lt?

Ian M
Ian M
6 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Is that a “Lootenant” or a “Leftenant”? 🙂

Klonkie
Klonkie
5 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

definitely a “Lefttenant”
“Tenant: in the army ands “left” their brains on civy street. That’s what the rank and file called us in my day. Wen I was a Candidate Officer, this was the order of things:
Lt berates the Sgt
Sgt takes it out on the troop
Troop kicks the dog
Dog bites the Candidate Officer!

Jon
Jon
6 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore
  • HMS Forth: Cdr Chris Hollingworth RN (but previously Lt Cdr Munns)
  • HMS Medway: Lt Cdr Jim Blythe
  • HMS Trent: Cdr Tom Knott (since March so not for this deployment only)
  • HMS Spey: Lt Cdr Ben Evans
  • HMS Tamar: Cdr Teilo Elliot-Smith since August (but previously Lt Cdr Huchinson)
Last edited 6 days ago by Jon
Bob Wilde
Bob Wilde
6 days ago

It would be good if they helped stop the illegal Chinese trawling off the Gambian coast which has destroyed fish stocks for poor local fishermen.