The Royal Navy will arm surface vessels with land attack missiles.

In a speech that can be read here, First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin said:

“The surface fleet will be armed with the latest weaponry and harness the latest technology including land attack and supersonic missiles for the surface fleet. Sea Viper air defence missiles will be upgraded and their stockpiles increased. And investment in Wildcat and Merlin helicopters will continue.”

Presumably this means that the Type 26 Frigate, which is to be fitted with the Mark 41 Vertical Launching System, will feature such missiles.

The Type 26, or City class, will be equipped with the Type 997 Artisan 3D search radar and Sea Ceptor air-defence missiles launched via a 48 cell vertical launching system positioned. The Sea Ceptor silo’s will be positioned on the bow and at the funnel of the vessel. An additional 24-cell Mark 41 “strike-length VLS” is positioned forward of the bridge capable of firing missiles such as the Tomahawk land-attack cruise missile or indeed a future anti-ship/cruise missile.

Currently, the Royal Navy has only the option of submarine-launched Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles.

Could this be SSGW?

The Ministry of Defence had last year notified bidders of its intention to purchase an interim anti-ship missile as current Harpoon stocks reach end of life and a replacement not being due until 2030.

The Ministry of Defence issued a Prior Information Notice (PIN) for a “Next Generation Surface Ship Guided Weapon (SSGW)” to equip Royal Navy vessels.

The notice is as follows:

“Short description of nature and scope of works or nature and quantity or value of supplies or services:

The Authority has a possible future requirement to procure a next generation ship launched anti-ship weapon system for use within training and operational roles with the Royal Navy. First delivery of the ship installed equipment would be required by December 2022 and first delivery of missiles would be required by December 2023. The potential contract will be for 4 years, with the potential of option years to follow (up to 9 more years), the potential contract would cover the following activities:

Manufacture and delivery of the weapon system to be delivered in Financial Year 2023/2024.

Installation of the weapon system onto Royal Navy ships. Provision and support of interface requirements to assist ships installation. Provision of train the trainer courses. Maintenance and technical support for the operational upkeep of the weapon system. Should this requirement proceed, a Contract Notice will be published in due course with more precise requirements and interested parties will be invited to complete an online pre-qualification questionnaire, which will be measured against selected criteria in terms of commercial and technical requirements.”

When Harpoon exits service in 2023 there will be a serious capability gap until the potential entry into service of FC/ASW programme in 2030 if this does not happen, warned a report published by the Defence Committee.

What could replace Harpoon?

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Little Unicorn
Little Unicorn
3 months ago

Well at least that’s a positive.

James Fennell
James Fennell
3 months ago

Suggests that FCASM will be procured in both supersonic anti-ship and very long range subsonic land attack version maybe?

Also that T32 might get VLS – we can live in hope! The interim anti-ship missile (which is likely to be fitted to T31 and T45 and maybe some T23) will also have a land attack capability.

Last edited 3 months ago by James Fennell
Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
3 months ago

Isn’t both Perseus and the proposed interim missile supposed to have ground attack capabilities?

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  Harry Bulpit

Yes but not necessary with 1000km of range for FASM/FMC, or something new I’ve didnt read ?

SCO
SCO
3 months ago
Reply to  Harry Bulpit

Alas, Perseus was just a concept done by the youth team at MBDA (search “Perseus” here https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmdfence/1071/1071.pdf).
Interim and the Anglo-French joint project it is.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
3 months ago
Reply to  SCO

“At regular intervals, MBDA launches a call for ideas on a specific topic to which teams of young employees from all the countries in which MBDA operates respond. Through an internal assessment process, an idea is selected – called a “concept vision” – which is presented at the Euronaval Fair and to which MBDA grants resources so that it can develop. In 2011, the project presented, named Perseus, was a supersonic, stealthy and highly manoeuvrable missile intended to replace the Harpoon and Exocet missiles as well as the SCALP/Storm Shadow. Perseus could no longer be compared to the system being… Read more »

expat
expat
3 months ago

I believe the Tomahawk is getting a new seeker and other upgrades and is to remain in production for the foreseeable future because simply there’s nothing else out there with the range. US is also considering putting more Tomahawks on subs as they feel China’s DF missiles make surface ships more vulnerable, sub can get within 1000 miles undetected to launch.

Martin
Martin
3 months ago
Reply to  expat

I suspect TLAM will end up like B52, faster and stealthier weapons will come and go but gigantic range will always be a winner especially as the weapon becomes smarter and smarter. S400 is all good and well but when you have 80 TLAM simultaneously fired at a target not much you can do.

BB85
BB85
3 months ago
Reply to  Martin

Exactly, if you can purchase 10 or 20 Tomahawk for the cost of a single hypersonic stealth cruise missile with 450km range, buy the Tomahawk.
They already have a very low RCS, follow terrain making them hard to detect and if you can launch multiple in a single target next to impossible to stop.
On the opening night of a conflict the US will launch hundreds in a a matter of hours decimating an enemies airfields and infrastructure.

Last edited 3 months ago by BB85
expat
expat
3 months ago
Reply to  BB85

Range also allows you to send the missile the long way round so you launch from one location but approach the target from different directions.

David
David
3 months ago

So does this mean the Type 45s will finally get the Mk41 VLS too? The FSL didn’t say only the frigates but the ‘surface fleet’, so hopefully yes. Hopefully they too will get the interim AShM but I doubt it. The Type 45s are fantastic ships but I just wish they were armed similarly to their peers in other navies.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago
Reply to  David

I’d imagine RN will prioritize new build, David. The T45 f’wrd silo voids acting as a useful ‘reserve’ option.
Notwithstanding, one assumes a Tomahawk buy would opt for Block V.

Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub
3 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Worth noting that FGS Sachsen has returned to sea after an overhaul without her Mk41vls. When a missile miss-fire wrecked the vls, the Germans ordered a replacement to be fitted during her time in dock but it was not ready in time. ‘A new 32-cell Mk 41 VLS in its latest version was ordered from Lockheed Martin after the damage assessment was completed, however it was not available in time for the overhaul period. According to BAAINBw spokesperson Soeren Schmelz, “A Mk 41 VLS is not a commercial off-the-shelf spare part which is stockpiled by the German Navy or the… Read more »

Rob N
Rob N
3 months ago
Reply to  David

The T45 is optimised for air defence. It makes sense to enhance this aspect as we only have 6 of these ships. Do not try to turn these into general duties frigates this is the job of the T26.

The best upgrade for the T45 will be updated ASTEr 30 block 1NT or Block 2, this would give ab ABM capability. I suspect a T45 upgrade would include a updated SAMSON radar. The addition of the extra 16 VLS cells would also be very desirable as you could add exte ASTER and Sea Ceptor.

Andy P
Andy P
3 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

When we have as few platforms as we do there is an inevitability that they will end up with some ‘general duties’. If that’s the case then we need to maximise the platform. They can still maintain a focus, T45 for AD and T26 for ASW. We’ve been quite happy to strap Harpoon on the front of whatever T23 is going to places where they’re needed and it doesn’t matter if they’re ASW or GP.

Just my take of course, and whatever is put on them some will find fault with.

BB85
BB85
3 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Now the carriers are here they will be primarily focused on protecting the CSG. So general duties will go to the Frigates. They are expensive destroyers to provide a very dedicated service but I’m guessing that’s why they where cut to 6.

Andy P
Andy P
3 months ago
Reply to  BB85

Yeah, in an ideal world mate but if one carrier is in refit/RAMP/lack of crew… whatever and the other one is sat alongside for a period of time, why wouldn’t you use one of our soon to be 17 escorts for other stuff. They can even deploy down to the Gulf now that the engines work. Its going to be a bit of a juggling act for a good few years before the numbers jump to 24.

John Stevens
John Stevens
3 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Hey Andy.. I noticed the details about escort numbers seemed to suggest the RN could have over 20 Destroyers/Frigates by the time we enter the 2030’s. Is that your take on the white paper details too?. If that is the case, could be a little bit more positive than I originally thought, when it came to escort numbers and build time, or might they hold on to a few of the Type 23’s for a little bit longer than planned.

Andy P
Andy P
3 months ago
Reply to  John Stevens

Morning John, it looks like we’ll eventually be up to 24 escorts but that’s down the line. At the moment its nominally 19 but it seems 2 are basically fenders so it looks like they’re scrapping platforms that are effectively worthless.

Long term it does seem promising but its going to take a while to get there. The navy seem to be the ‘favoured child’ at the moment and getting the most pocket money but as we’ve seen in the past, governments can promise stuff and it doesn’t always come to pass. Sorry for the cynicism.

John Stevens
John Stevens
3 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Hi Andy.. Thanks for the information. Yes, hope the government do back – up their promises as the decade moves on, if they do, things do actually look quite promising.

Fingers crossed !!!

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
3 months ago
Reply to  BB85

They were cut to 6 because of political interference. Original 12 forecast and planned making unit cost around £600 million. Most of the programme cost was the R+D that went into Sampson. Then hull numbers reduced to 8. Then 6 with the promise a reduction to 6 would accelerate the type 26 programme.
History then repeated itself with the type 26 programme. 13 reduces to 8.
We are continually promised brighter future if we just make a cut today only for further cuts to be added in the future. Sad state of affairs

Deep32
Deep32
3 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Everything you’ve said mate and more!

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
3 months ago

Brilliant news, that was a real blind spot relying exclusively on Astutes for land attack. Wishful thinking, or could this also mean Mk41 for T45?

Daveyb
Daveyb
3 months ago

Intrigued to see what the Sea Viper upgrade will be? We have been involved in the Aster Block 1NT program, so could we see these being bought for medium range ballistic missile defence? If so they will need the strike length Mk41 or the Sylver 70, as the booster is much longer. The other possibility that I’d like to see is a replacement for the current active seeker, with a newer AESA based one. Perhaps using the same one that Meteor is going to use. MBDA make the Meteor and Aster, I’m certain they will be looking at the performance… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Daveyb
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

My **guess** is that the Mk41 VLS will be fitted to T45 for the stern most ‘tubes’ can take the 1NT. I don’t think that 1NT will fit too much towards the bows due to length of the package. Once the VLS is there it can be stocked with other goodies. VLS is much more suitable for high threat as it is more battle damage resistant than canister launch. T45 is for high threat. Simplest solution. The intermediate AShM will almost certainly be canister launched as at present. But it is supposed to have a land attack mode. And the… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago

The specs on Type 31 are crystal clear.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Respectfully I don’t think they are that clear for the whole thing. 57mm & 40mm cannons are clear enough to but the missile fit is fuzzy to say the least. There is a lot of speculation based on some renders that look as if they were done by someone on work experience. I suspect we are about to find out more. We all know that T31 is big enough to be upgunned with better missiles and there have been very broad hints that it will be. There were previoudly very senior officers openly discussing upgunning RB2 but suspect this will… Read more »

Pete
Pete
3 months ago

Re the ‘proper warship hull’ remember that the BAE proposal for Type 31 was effectively a stretched RB2 and RB2 itself was engineered to a higher RN engineering standard relative to the earlier Brazilian and Thai versions. I do agree however that T31 should be first in line for additions…but any additions will follow commissioning. CAMM and the 3 x bofors is the fixed price contract scope. The Contract may have wriggle room for optional volumes of CAMM with a key milestone decision point and pre agreed option pricing for going from say 12 to 18 or 24 CAMM already… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  Pete

Fixed price contracts typically have no wiggle room. Any options for the builder to provide more for the same money whither pretty quickly. Try it in your personal life 🙂

Pete
Pete
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Read what I said Ron. Pre agreed option pricing to go from say 12 to 24. The price for T31 may be fixed at $10 and for $10 it comes cw 12 CAMM. The Contract may have an option provision that says, as an example, no later than a certain decision point (x days) after contract execution the Buyer may nominate to have the volume of CAMM increased from 12 to 24 in which case the total price for the T31 goes from $10 to $10.50. The decision to move from say 12 to 24 may then be a function… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  Pete

Read what I said. MoD contracts are not written like that. It’s ridiculous to think they are.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

You are wrong: MOD contracts (and just about every commercial contract) often had exercisable options in them. For instance for extending runs of munitions productions. There are often prices in them for follow on hot runs (line set up) cold runs (lines has to be set up) and small batch production. There will be gate dates after which exercising options becomes impossible/more expensive on for sure. You always add a list of agreed cost options to contracts when you negotiate it is always cheaper than going back afterwards and asking ‘what does it cost’. After signature it is what ever… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago

For ships, no.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Really Ron? Do you work in the contracts department? Given that this is the first fixed priced warship contact of this type entered into we can either assume; a) the MOD (DES) are idiots and allow themselves to become victims of a changing threat environment – a frequent convenient & lazy assumption that is usually not true and more down to what is forced on them; or b) that the MOD (DES) might have thought ‘let’s model this on a commercial contract’ with defined and costed options? Given that the Parker report does give models predecating option (b) I be… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago

Respectfully, there’s no fuzziness, there will be 8 CAMM in mushroom launchers. Half assed speculation and wishful thinking here and elsewhere will not change that.

Pete
Pete
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

8 or 12 ?

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  Pete

Thank you, 12.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

All the work experience renders either show 12 or 24 Ceptor and they won’t be mushroom cap as that was for a conversion on T23 so it could be fudged into the existing tubes. My point is that nobody official has confirmed **anything** about missile fit on the T31. Which is actually quite unusual. Given there are grown-up conversations going on about up arming, by people like 1SL and previous conversations about up arming RB2 from people senior enough to be in the loop – I would be amazed if T31 entered service with purely gun and Ceptor on it.… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago

Yes, DES, Thales and Babcock’s have confirmed the missile fit out. Sorry if your wishful thinking leaves you in denial.

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

12. Not 8 as I typoed previously.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

@Ron5

Well only time will tell.

Are you honestly saying you don’t think an AShM (maybe canister launched) will be fitted to T32 given 1SL’s announcement?

If I’m wrong I’m wrong…..I don’t think I will be.

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago

That’s a long way from your initial declaration that the specs were fuzzy. And no, the ships will not be delivered with AShMs.

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

PS I assume you meant Type 31.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 months ago

???
The unused silo space is aft of the current silo, fwd of the bridge and covered up on some T45s by the old Harpoon launchers from T22 B3.

For the RN we don’t need to have all of the tube below decks. On T23 and T45 the top of the silo is above 1 deck and surrounded by a dedicated walled silo structure. In effect you can put in as long a silo as you want…. Just build up above 1 deck to cover it

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

All true.

However, the AB variant of Viper is longer and too long for the existing launch tubes. Is precious CoG -> stability for radar mast given up to lengthen the whole Astor silo. Or is the small(er) Mk41 VLS fitted projecting from the deck more to fit the 70 length Astor or about the same as the existing Astor silo for the Standard?

hope that is a bit clearer.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 months ago

Most of the missile and silo weight would be low down and below the metacentric height so it would have ittle inpact on stability. The addition of the new DGs has already added some low down weight which is a positive to factor in as well

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

All good points.

Let’s see: things are clearly on the move in a positive manner and up arming T45 is one of the things RN can do that will bear fruit quite quickly.

ETH
ETH
3 months ago

It depends what variant of Aster you are talking about. Block 0 (currently in service), block 1 and block 1NT all share the same external dimensions and fit in the T45’s existing Sylver A50 cells.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  ETH

My bad.

For some reason I thought that 1NT was the A70 length. As I had believed that it needed an extra stage to work at the higher altitudes.

I stand corrected!

ETH
ETH
3 months ago

No worries, perhaps you are confusing it with Block 2? Block 1NT will only be valid as an interceptor in a ballistic missile’s final stage anyways due to using control surfaces as its primary means of manoeuvring.

The main upgrade that block 1NT receives over block 1 is an updated seeker in a higher frequency band and improved targeting+autopilot software.

Callum
Callum
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

The unused silo space is aft of the current silo, fwd of the bridge and covered up on some T45s by the old Harpoon launchers from T22 B3

No it’s not? The reserved space has been stated as being forward of the current VLS and behind the main gun. You can see it labelled in the diagram here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Royal-Navy-Type-Destroyer-Manual/dp/0857332406

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  Callum

@Callum

Thnx I thought I was having a bad day for a moment there.

Which is why I was commenting on the limited length spaces that are available. And why if those limited spaces are all that is there then something shorter needs to be used in the Mk41 (or whatever) VLS.

In all fairness to GunBuster I someone did tell me that the space was undertake recycled Harpoon racks.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago

The last sentence was supposed to read

In all fairness to GunBuster, someone did tell me that the space for the Mk41 VLS was underneath recycled Harpoon racks.”

Typing too fast

Paul T
Paul T
3 months ago
Reply to  Callum

You are Quoting the Haynes Manual – the Information in it might not be 100% correct.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Provided we remember that “assembly is the reverse of disassembly” what could possibly go wrong?

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 months ago

I do remember my dad clutching a Haynes manual in one hand and smacking the crap out of an Austin Maxi’s brakes with a sledge hammer ( all the while scream “ if I can fix a fucking jet I can fix this fucking (add more words) car” ) I’m not sure assembly would have been the reverse of that disassembly in that particular case.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 months ago
Reply to  Callum

Having stood in the silo Gym its definitely aft!

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Hi, G. We’ve had this discussion before, and I would not normally challenge someone with your background, of course. But my understanding is that there are two voids to port & starboard just forward of the Sylver silo. I don’t know personally, since the T45 came into service post my time, but a Prof Jonathan Gates, who worked on the design, has stated and subsequently confirmed it to be the case, since testing established that to install vertical launch missiles that close to the superstructure/Sampson mast risked serious damage to the vessel under certain launch conditions. Other factors over hull… Read more »

Rogbob
Rogbob
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Errr, the spare silo space is forward of the existing T45 silos between them and the gun (which would lose full arcs,l if they were fitted, as T23 is also restricted).

They couldnt be closer to the superstructure anyway due to blast effects on the bridge, hence why T23 also had a gap there for SSMs.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 months ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Blast effects on the bridge area from a Harpoon launch are considerably bigger than a Seawolf VL ever was!
The silo position determined the over the shoulder shot capability for VL Seawolf when engaging using the aft tracker. The missile needed to go up, do its tip over maneuver, and then the tracker needed to gather and guide it

For Ceptor with a cold launch and not needing a tracker the launch is a lot more straightforward. It goes up, booster fires and off it goes to a future intercept point. No gather required.

Rogbob
Rogbob
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Except they arent. Missile exhaust has a cone shaped blast area, bearing in mind we are also talking about failure cases and a range of sensitive antenna on the face and top of the bridge Harpoon exhaust goes rearwards across the deck and the cone is at deck edge before heading off over water. Hence why the missile tubes are arranged as they are. VLS exhaust cone is horizontal directly in front of the bridge hence the longitudinal seperation applied. Sea Ceptor is irrelevant because it was barely a figmant in tbe designers eye when T23 and Horizon/T45 were laid… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Actually we were all right & we were all wrong on this one. Let me explain now I have done a bit more research. The **original** design for the T45 have the A50 VLS and Mk42 VLS with the Mk41 VLS fitted astern of the A50 VLS (as GunBuster has correctly stated); and At some point in the design process the A50 was moved further astern to improve hull protection from mishaps (thanks to @ Gavin Gordon for pointing me in the right direction – you can figure this from the published images and various sources); and A further study… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 months ago

Thank god for that ….I was doubting my sanity for a moment. The big ( and it is big) empty space for additional silo tubes is a gym. I have stood in it and looked up a couple of decks!

Paul.P
Paul.P
3 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

I think Aster 30 Block 1 NT will fit into Sylver A50. If so in conjunction with I recall an already tested s/w upgrade to Sampson it would be a shoe in.
https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/uk-complex-weapons/sea-viper-aster/

Joe16
Joe16
3 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

I don’t suppose you know the cost difference between Sylver 50 and 70, and M41 strike length are? I know that’s a big ask- it’s difficult to get simple cost information for these systems.
I’d personally stick with Sylver (including on T26, but I think that ship has sailed), but I know there are arguments for Mk41.
I agree with you, radar improvements will ikely give better bang for the buck!

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

Astor can go into the Mk41 – according to MBDA’s website.

You cannot put say Harpoon or Tomahawk into Sylver.

The ABM version of Astor require the longer Sylver 70 tubes.

US official FMS information is readily available for this simple 4 unit contract for Mk41 sales.

https://www.dsca.mil/press-media/major-arms-sales/finland-mk-41-vertical-launching-systems

You can figure out most of what you need to figure out from that site as it has a lot of detail on it for this and other transactions. OK you need to read between the lines a bit but most of the info is there.

Joe16
Joe16
3 months ago

Yes, absolutely, they can from a physical and technical persepctive. But the integration hasn’t actually been done i.e. making sure that all of the software talks to each other, the missile geometry doesn’t catch on something unforeseen during launch, that it fails safe, all that kind of thing. That’s what we’d have to pay LM to have done for each weapon system we want to add to the Mk41 inventory. As long as Harpoon or Tomahawk physically fit (I’d imagine they’d need to be Sylver 70s if at all), then again you could integrate them. But most NATO navies, including… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

I agree with all that. The angled canister mount may well be more to do with ToF (Time of Flight) and TtE (Time to Engagement) as surface targets are not in the air! My point is more thinking is on the move here Previously doctrinal issues stumbled on the sunk cost fallacy and so clean paper thinking was out of the window. Now we seem to in an era of – this is what we need to achieve – this is what we need to achieve it – this is the cost of achieving it My main point is that… Read more »

ETH
ETH
3 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Block 1 NT has the same profile and dimensions as previous blocks. The upgrade can also be fitted to previous blocks. The upgrade also includes an upgraded seeker operating in a higher frequency band, though not quite the AESA seeker you have suggested.

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 months ago
Reply to  ETH

That’s good to know and may be what the MoD are talking about regarding hge Sea Viper upgrade.

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
3 months ago

Excellent news and another step forward after a sound, albeit not exciting, Defence Review. Type 26 for sure but there is also the possibility of fitting with Mk 41 VLS. There is space for 16 tubes.
It’s good to see that at long last there we are going to make the best of what we have as well as bringing on new ships.

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
3 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

Forgot to say….on the type 45…doh!

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

I can’t see them putting the VLS onto the T45s. Suspect they’ll focus on upgrading it’s AA capabilities – namely the radar and maybe newer Aster SAMs.These will then transfer to the T83, perhaps, as proven technology. Perhaps some EXLS cells as a stop gap on T45 and (at refit stage) the T31s.

If the VLS goes on anything else other than T26, it is more likely to be on the T32s. And might even be the the Mark 57 variant.

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Yes..may be Andy. Good point about the run through into the T83’s” . Is there a system from Bae? I read a story about some sort of bolt on SSM,, perhaps anti shipping. I can’t for the life of me think where I came across it.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

Not sure about a BAe SSM, but there are the usual suspects in play, many of which are Mk41/57 compatible…..

For SAMs – Aster is what the RN is heavily invested in as Area Defence, and some sort of upgrade is in the Command Paper. What that means is, of course, vague.

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Thanks Andy…I’ll dig around!

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
3 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
3 months ago

Thanks GHF…I was going to have a look in the morning. This is the one.

James Fennell
James Fennell
3 months ago
Daveyb
Daveyb
3 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

That’ll be the tie-in with the MoD’s RFI for a catapult and recovery system then.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Indeed it’s good to see some apparently enlightened forward looking studies coming about. As our carriers are deeply tied into F35 as things stand, some questions have to be asked about, firstly how far into the future these aircraft will be effective and secondly, partly related to that, what potential future systems/weapons can be exploited on our ships generally and carriers in particular to enhance, extend and/or eventually replace them while the carriers are still important platforms. Obvious Helio replacement are an important factor here too and will overlap some aspects of this study no doubt. Some Big decisions will… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

@James An excellent find, thanks for posting

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Great spot James.

Andy P
Andy P
3 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Nice find James, not a lot of flesh on the bones but early days. Looks like its something that is being actively looked into though rather than just ‘something to consider’. I’m guessing if the RN are looking at refuelling etc then its going to be bigger than Loyal Wingman ????

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
3 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

The obvious twin of the F35B is the Bell 280 Velor

Sean
Sean
3 months ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Don’t you mean the Bell V-247 Vigilant, the drone tiltrotor?
The V-280 Valor is the troop carrying tiltrotor.

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
3 months ago
Reply to  Sean

It’s possible that the 247 will become a thing, but with the glacial pace of US Navy procurement, unlikely in a worthwhile timespan at a worthwhile pace. However, if the 280 wins the competition they will be produced in hundreds, if not thousands, which will make variants very cheap, whether they be troop lift, Aeriel Refueler, MedeVac or ISR.

George Royce
George Royce
3 months ago

Perseus?

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
3 months ago

That comment from the 1SL also highlight a significant amount of spending on maintaining the fleet’s capabilities. The land attack capability for the surface fleet is long over due and very welcome news. Most likely on the T26’s at least initially, but it would be nice if it could be added to the T45’s. Sadly, I doubt it given the money already being spent on fixing the power issues on the T45. That the Sea Viper system will be up graded and investment will continue in the Merlin and Wildcat fleets is also very good news. It might be too… Read more »

Rob N
Rob N
3 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I suspect SAMPSON will get an upgrade as the ASTER upgrade will include ASTER 1NT or block 2 or both. These have a ABM capability something the UK has been looking to get for some time. A SAMPSON upgrade would enable this capability. Plus the SAMPSON has not been upgraded since it was first installed.

I suspect the UK will wish to have a sovereign ABM capability for the CSG and not have to beg the capability from the US.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

Sounds like it will be getting its third Planar array that’s been tested by Bae pointing upwards, great news if so and will seriously upgrade its anti BM capabilities. Geez aliens beware.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

PIP is already budgeted for. In terms increasing lethality T45 are the only long term ships in service NOW and that have a well developed and understood CMS. It is also possible that some things might be hung off the Thales radar leaving the Sampson for AAW. It is worth a thought that what we might end up with on the T45 is Thales radar -> Tacticos -> MK41 -> Standard + Tomahawk + AShM I know it sounds a bit nutty actually the AAW CMS is totally separate from Land Attack or Anti Ship stations anyway. So it might… Read more »

Stanf Off Rocket Man
Stanf Off Rocket Man
3 months ago

Positive news. Just wish the Type 26 would have more than 24 strike length vls as it has room for way more. Really 32 should be the minimum and more like 48. Hopefully they will acquire both types of Tomahawk Block V: -Block Va is the Maritime Strike Tomahawk (MST) that allows the missile to engage a moving target at sea -Block Vb is fitted with the JMEWS warhead for penetrating hard-targets We really need to start outdistancing both Russia and the China in all areas, ie from rocket launched torpedoes with a range of more than 60 miles, to… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
3 months ago

Have we crossed to some alternative universe where we’re looking to put more offensive weaponry on our ships ????

Its made sense for years to have the flexibility of cruise (and of course anti ship) missiles on skimmers, there are more of them than submarines, they’re a visible threat and they’re easier to reload than submarines. Glad its finally happening.

James Fennell
James Fennell
3 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

I think that is what the inpenetrable MoD jargon ‘lethality’ means. If only they would speak plain English.

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Try reading “Defence in a Competitive Age” if you want to read some really awful jargon/management BS speak. Gave me a headache.

john melling
john melling
3 months ago

Someone at No 10 and the MOD must have been reading our ukdefencejournal.org.uk comments as it seems they have “woken up at smelt the coffee”
Flaming long over due…but good news

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 months ago

Long range subsonic must be Block V Tomahawk…there is simple nothing else that fits the bill
Supersonic ASM…Is the Sea Viper going to go down the same route as Standard 6 and being given an ASM capability?.If not perhaps its is that the RN is working on giving Sea Ceptor a surface attack capability this year so you never know.

Pete
Pete
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Could be the upgraded French MBDA Naval Cruise Missile which can reach 1400km ?

Paul T
Paul T
3 months ago
Reply to  Pete

I was going to post this but it ties into what you say – would it not make more sense to simply swap the Sylver A50 VLS of the Type 45’s to the A70 ?.Would be much cheaper than putting in the MK41 as an extra VLS,there are other options for Land Attack Missiles other than Tomahawk,which may be qualified for A70 in the future anyway,and allows Aster B1NT or Block 2 BMD to be fitted straight in ?.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 months ago
Reply to  Pete

We already look after tomahawk at the Ammo Depots. We have storm shadow but that’s a different beast to scalp…

Delabatte
Delabatte
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

It would make sense that UK which contribute to the StormShadow (SCALP for the french version) choose the MDCN which is an evolution of those missiles to adapt to a naval platform.. but UK already have tomahawk for subs.. so all is possible

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  Pete

Even if it’s an option, it’s no way the UK would buy a french “strategic” weapon. Even if yes we work together on FASM/FMC and the SCALP/StormShadow (base of the MdCN) is also a french/uk cooperation. . The MdCN is younger than the old Tomahawk, the Tomahawk in his latest version have a better range and his reliability is well know, as for the MdCN if it’s pretty good for the french (sovereignity and industry) to BuildAndBuy the MdCN for operations, it’s another thing (Well… a cruise missile of more than 1500km range, 1000 for the sub version is already… Read more »

James Fennell
James Fennell
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I believe the Anglo-French MBDA Future Cruise / Anti-Ship Weapon project has both subsonic long range cruise and supersonic anti-ship missile elements. https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/anglo-french-future-anti-ship-weapon-passes-key-review/

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

You’d think. A puzzling omission from Sea Ceptor first time around.

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago

So what or who supplies the targetting information for these land attack missiles? Or is that an embarrassing question?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Unsure for future missiles, but current TLAM used by SSN is linked to an organisation at Northwood called “Land Attack Cruise Missile Support Activity”
which I guess gets its targeting information from the US.

Jonny
Jonny
3 months ago

Does that mean we are dependent on the U.S to launch our own cruise missiles?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonny

I would not go that far. We are linked to the US military in several areas, that does not mean we are “dependent”
DIFC possibly plays a part too.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago

And just thinking about those posts that is all open source, in case anyone is wondering. So not “embarrassing” as Ron asked.

dan
dan
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonny

U.S. has the vast majority of the Intel assets from sats, to manned/unmanned assets in NATO so unless Britain wants to spend a ton of money duplicating that capability then they will have to rely on America for most of their targeting data.

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  dan

Maybe the UK should rely on them for bullets, they have zillions of them, why should the UK spend money to duplicate?

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonny

@Jonny, it means exactly that

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 months ago

Aim at a GPS coordinate. UAV provided targeting data, commercial available Spot Sat data and even radar imaging. Nobby hiding in a cave with a sat com radio passing coordinates. If that doesn’t cover it then you can still get info from the colonial cousins.

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

So the cousins then? Bit useless if the UK wants to do something that doesn’t aline with US interests.

ETH
ETH
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

And terrain following imagery too.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

ELINT say picks up the coordinates of a radar head or command and control and that is fed back as targeting info?

We also have sovereign satellite capabilities that are being ramped up.

Just a suggestion.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago

We also have sovereign satellite capabilities that are being ramped up.”

Sorely needed to have our own capabilities here.

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago

It will be a while if ever although this weeks paper spared a sentence on the subject.

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

perhaps.

Meirion X
Meirion X
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

The UK Gov. has brought a stake in the company for IP reasons. The MoD will Not use a commercial Sat network for military comms. MoD plans place a constellation of sats in LEO based on this company’s IP.

Paul.P
Paul.P
3 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Thx

expat
expat
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

I assume we have the capability to create a flight path and target for a cruise missile, after all Storm Shadow use similar terrain mapping to the TLAM. Its IF the US allow us to.

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  expat

It’s if they give the UK the targeting information in the first place.

john melling
john melling
3 months ago

Perhaps the modified version of the LRASM or just stick with the Tomahawk

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago

In that speech.

“Both Aircraft Carriers will be operated simultaneously”

Excellent. Lets see what comes to go on them.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago

Given the shortage of crew, it will be interesting to see how they manage that. 2 carriers needs 3 or 4 escorts per CSG, plus an Oiler and an FSS; so suddenly that is 2 x 7-ship (ish) CSGs operating simultaneously. Throw in the other taskings, which are realistically going to go to River B2, T31 and eventually T32, and you’ve suddenly got a busy fleet.

Would be nice to see it though!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

I believe both have a full crew. What we do not have is enough ships for 2 CSG, or the aircraft. UAV & UCAV hopefully will change that. It was in 2015 that the PM confirmed both would be operated simultaneously, so there is the usual repeat from MoD/RN there. It was significant then as many at the time were saying RN had no crew for the 2nd and that it would be alongside for its life when not replacing the in use Carrier. Not to mention the doom merchants saying they are going to be sold ( have they… Read more »

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago

And an Air Group of 20-24 UK F35s, add some Marine Corps ones, RN helicopters, and drones…. not bad at all. And, with Marine planes on board, likely a US Destroyer in the escorts too

OK, I can dream, but it sounds good to me

Andy P
Andy P
3 months ago

One thing to bear in mind is what a PM says in 2015 might not come to pass 5 or so years down the line. You just need to go back as far as the Tory Manifesto for the last election and they said they wouldn’t be cutting the Forces.

Things change, for the better, sometimes, not so much.

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Why assume two groups? Why not one group with two carriers?

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

A fair point… I was assuming one deployed Indo-Pacific region, and one focused on NATO/North Atlantic, but certainly having a 2 carrier battle group would be possible

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Seems much more likely given your analysis of escort numbers.

AndyCee
AndyCee
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

You may be right. Will be interesting to see how it develops.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago

Just read the speech.

What a comparison to the army, which is in a total mess currently. The RN knows where it is headed and has a plan, and now the funds. Hope it pulls it off.

The Carrier hating army apologists, in the media and ex serving, should take a look at their own procurement before slagging off the Senior Service.

Rob
Rob
3 months ago

Agreed. Look you can’t blame everything on the politicians with the Army. Generals have made bad decisions. Keeping kit for too long, structuring and restructuring, trying to keep up with the Jones’ with an ever diminishing support base and endeavouring to keep Regts in being that fail to recruit.

BTW, if T45, T26 all get Tomahawk and anti-ship missiles I’ll eat my hat.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Noted!

Lusty
Lusty
3 months ago

I might set up a stall selling hats. 🙂

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Lusty

?

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago

What flavour?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Humble Pie?

Lusty
Lusty
3 months ago

Good one!

I was thinking of rum flavoured hats.

Paul C
3 months ago

Yes, the RN has a credible, structured forward plan whereas the Army does not. It has been that way for some years. Sad to see Generals like Richards blowing anti-RN hot air in the run-up to the IR. Richards and his ilk should have been doing their job rather than firing arrows into the backs of others for doing theirs. I wonder what Max Hastings is saying re. the IR and cuts to the Army? I do not have a DT account any more as it is a waste of money given the poor quality of their output these days.… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul C

Considering him and Hanrahan were in the S Atlantic he should know a carriers value.

James Fennell
James Fennell
3 months ago

Interesting that RM also have a new camo uniform which is different from Army and has a big RN Ensign on it – first time RM has different rig from Army. Back to sea for the Commandos. Also using the American DAGOR special ops vehicles. I think the RN is trying to make sure RM are never used as fill-in light infantry again and keep their maritime edge. https://www.forces.net/news/royal-marines/what-different-about-new-royal-marines-uniform

Last edited 3 months ago by James Fennell
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Well if 3 Commando is reduced as has been slowly happening for years it will no longer be a deployable brigade so no danger of that.
I worry for 29RA and 24RE, maybe they can shift over to the Sp Ops Bde forming.
Wasn’t aware of dagor will look it up.

James Fennell
James Fennell
3 months ago

They have recieved £200m last year – and another £40 million now – for new kit, unforms, small arms and training as a maritme rading force again. DAGOR and its smaller brother are from Polaris – vehicles developed for US Special Ops. This link is helpful. https://www.forces.net/news/royal-marines/what-royal-marines-future-commando-force

Last edited 3 months ago by James Fennell
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Thanks. Seen earlier versions of that clip.

Vanguard Coy? Do you know if that is part of 40,42,45 or a stand alone outfit?

Rod
Rod
3 months ago

Given its role I’d of thought ASROC would be more of a priority?

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 months ago
Reply to  Rod

Why? We stopped using Ikara decades ago which had a similar role. The RN uses helos to deliver torpedoes at range and MTLS for closer in….so closer in that if you need to use it by then its probably to late for you.

A Merlin carries 4 sting ray, Wildcat carries 2. On a ship that’s 4 vls used for a system that reaches out between 10 to 20 miles and cannot take a reload…. So stick with a Merlin or Match attack Wildcat and keep the tubes for AAW.

GlynH
GlynH
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Assuming the helo is either on station or only mins away. ASROC lets you put a cluster of LWTs on a contact in seconds. With 24 cells you could have half / half ASROCs / TLAMs / LRASMs etc.

Rod
Rod
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

As you said MLTS is too close and a multiple helo’s are not always available. Weather, unserviceability re-arms etc. Ikara was phased out because we didn’t have the tech to hold a targetable weapon solution at range. When you’re trying to maintain the weapon train and keep the sub on the defensive with a torpedo in the water constantly, you need a ship based option, and one at range! That was my job btw.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
3 months ago
Reply to  Rod

ASROC is only spec’d for launch up to sea state 6, so its not a panacea for bad weather preventing helicopter launch.

What might be better options are the BAES Kingfisher concept that uses the 5″ Mk45 gun to deploy sonobouys and depth charges, in combination with a Mk41 launched new lightweight torpedo. The latter might be engineered to support launching a missile in higher sea states.

Scroll down on the link for BAES videos on this
https://www.baesystems.com/en-uk/productfamily/underwater-weapons

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 months ago

I have never known a helo not to launch because of bad weather when doing ASW. To be honest I have never known a helo not to launch when it’s needed. You can almost always get on a flying course and get in a SHOL for launch. Unservicability can be an issue but with 2 helos embarked or when in a group its rarely an issue. If the weather is to bad to launch it also means ASW detection is all to pot anyway for the Ship and the sub so there is usually nothing to launch for anyway. For… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Thanks for the feedback. You had commented on helicopter operations in rough seas before (I do pay attention to what you write) but I didn’t want to assume what sea state/deck movement they can launch and recover in. However, I brought up the sea state because there seems to be an assumption by many (most?) that Asroc can launch in any weather and the Lockheed sales sheet is quite explicit regarding only “up to sea state 6” launch. It will be interesting to see what BAES propose for the Sting Ray replacement. If deck/canister launch is no longer a requirement,… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Are you sure MTLS is still in service?

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Yep… A T23 I was working on a couple of months ago for a mechanical defect had issues with MTLS. I pointed the maintainer in the right direction to look for the issue an lo and behold he identified the issue.
I just can’t let it go… Once a gunbuster always a gunbuster!

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Maybe it was just the GP T23’s that had them removed?

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

it was a GP T23.
Its still all there in the magazine. Some of the systems may be in hibernation, tagged out with only heaters on in the cabinets.

Ross
Ross
3 months ago

An excellent idea with obvious boons to localised power projection and improved tactical utility.

I F S Stafford
I F S Stafford
3 months ago

Ship to shore missiles might be better on submarines. They are less easily detected. The case for more subs follows from this.

ETH
ETH
3 months ago
Reply to  I F S Stafford

Using a sub for such a purpose pulls it away from its primary roles of ASW and Ant-ship.

Joe16
Joe16
3 months ago

I think that it should be noted that (as of 2019, the latest I can find an officially published list from LM) the only surface warfare (ASM or land attack) currently integrated into the MK41 system is TLAM. Neither Harpoon nor LRASM is currently integrated. Unless you want to count the SM-6, which is a very expensive tick-all-the-boxes missile that I’m not sure whether it’s in service yet. We’d have to foot the bill to integrate anything else, although I think that the NSM and LRASM are in the works with Kongsberg and the USN. Neither of them have equivalent… Read more »

Ron
Ron
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

It is a point that I tried to explain some time back, with Sylver A-70 we can use all of the Aster missiles, I think the French have the A-70 for the SCALP-Naval a naval version of Storm Shadow. The A-70 could also be used for the Aster Block 2 BMD if that comes into service. If we need a VL-ASROC or the TLAM I am sure that one they fit into the A-70 and second we could intergrate them into our electronic suite. So for the T45s I would suggest the A-70 as for the T26s etc I think… Read more »

Joe16
Joe16
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron

I’m in agreement with you- I think- in that I think Sylver is the way forward for us at this point. I don’t see much point in getting ESSM if we’re using CAMM (especially if we go for ER and work out quad packing), it just adds a similar misile with a slightly longer published range. As for ASROC, it doesn’t have the range to be any use and it uses a lightweight torpedo that isn’t as good as Stingray (which I believe the SDR states has a replacement in the works anyway). TLAM is the only sensible current fit… Read more »

Ron
Ron
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

I agree, forgot about MILAS I suppose with some reworking it could be VLS launched. The reason I mentioned ESSM is not because I think its a good idea, in some ways it might be, just incase we are a long way from home and need to reload but because of the T26 sensor suite/radar and what could be done with it. The T26 has no point in having a BMD missile such as STANDARD as the radar will not be of use. I suppose STANDARD could be used from the T45 but would need a lot of work so… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron

T26 could still use sm-6, full active homing, but still $3M per pop!

Also the Stringray replacement could be integrated?

Last edited 3 months ago by Meirion X
Paul42
Paul42
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

Lockheed Martin have now demonstrated that LRASM can be integrated into, and launched from, Mk41 VLS with modifications to software on board the host vessel.

Joe16
Joe16
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

Thanks Paul, yes, LM have done some prep work to prove it can be done. But it was done “ad hoc” using a modified TLAM launch system- full integration would require a far more stringent set of tests and approvals that would cost a fair amount of money. The USN are committed to doing it, but they haven’t yet.

Paul42
Paul42
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

Bit more than prep work, LRASM has been successfully launched from Mk41 VLS after multiple tests to ensure all requirements were fully met, and software solutions created for installation in naval vessels wishing to use it. The USN has not gone for it yet, but its ready and waiting.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

MK41 gets you SM-6 (which is in service) and SM-3, so both are providing a proven ABM capability. Both could be launched from T26 and controlled by T45, no need to add MK41 to T45. Also, as you point out Tomahawk. We may not choose any of these missiles, but as already qualified and in use with MK41 they are insurance against Sylver based missile programs being too expensive, failing to deliver on time, or at all. SM-6 is also being developed for a longer range variant with a larger rocket motor. The UK might qualify all its current and… Read more »

Daveyb
Daveyb
3 months ago

The USN are going to use the upgraded SM6 with the larger 2nd stage engine as a hypersonic attack missile, for both land and sea targets.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
3 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Thanks. Memory must be going as I must have read and forgotten the hypersonic ambition.

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago

“The UK might qualify all its current and future Sylver hot launch missiles with a single qualification of Aster for MK41 on T26..”

Wouldn’t that define pissing money up a wall?

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Well there is a “might” in there, and both ships are using the BAES CMS which would presumably mitigate costs 😉 However, I’m not convinced there’s a need for Aster in T26, I’m simply pointing out that migrating to MK41 would only require one missile family qualification. CAMM and CAMM-ER would probably be fine for T26.

Meirion X
Meirion X
3 months ago

Sorry GHF, SM-3 can Not be controlled by RN vessels, because it is simi-active homing that requires a X-band radar for targeting. RN vessels don’t use X-band radar. SM-6 is fully active homing, so does not need X-band.

Last edited 3 months ago by Meirion X
Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
3 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Hi M, I think you may be confusing SM-3 with another missile? This is the exo-atmospheric ABM, its not using a ships X-band radar to illuminate the target.

SM-3 uses mid-course guidance, GPS/INS and then uses passive infrared per Raytheon site, “The SM-3 Block IB interceptor has an enhanced two-color infrared seeker and upgraded steering and propulsion capability that uses short bursts of precision propulsion to direct the missile toward incoming targets.”

The radar seeker was actually removed per following link;
https://missiledefenseadvocacy.org/defense-systems/standard-missile-3-sm-3/

Joe16
Joe16
3 months ago

I do acknowledge your point, I think we may even have had this conversation before?! I just think that the risk on Sylver and the surrounding Euro-partner weapon systems is acceptable, based upon the alternatives, historic delivery and the domestic industrial benefits. I’m not discounting that the US will develop good systems, but they aren’t always great and they are often very expensive. I know that F-35 is the whipping boy on this one, but it is a case in point. But sticking with missiles, LRASM is $3M-$4M each and according to Wikipedia there are no current plans to integrate… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

I think we have discussed before Joe 🙂 IIRC you may have raised the domestic industrial benefits before but I don’t believe the UK has any content in Aster, its all French-Italian. I do however agree that we should stick the course on FC/ASW with the French, although I’ll be pleasantly surprised if the two variants discussed end up being closer to $2M than $5M, although I doubt we’ll discover the costs. You have to be a bit careful with Wiki and check its sources. There’s a lot of RDT&E not included in those numbers you quoted, and currently they… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

The USN plans to use the latest TLAM block as a ASM with a 1000 mile range.
So T26 with Mk.41 as a ASuW vessel as well as ASW, especially with only 7 SSNs.

Yes I agree use T45 as mainly AAW.

Last edited 3 months ago by Meirion X
Joe16
Joe16
3 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Yes, I do remember reading about that now you mention it- thanks. I’d be OK with T26 taking on some ASuW roles, yes. I think it makes sense to have something in the TLAM Block V spectrum, as it augments the CSG’s strike fighters for land attack and protects the fleet. I do also think that our GP frigates should get an AShM with some land attack capablility (I am OK with the T31’s current fit out, but I think Harpoon Block II or similar would make all the difference), but I don’t think it necessarily needs to have the… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
3 months ago

I am looking forward to hearing the choice for the interim AShM with land attack capability. The cheapest and obvious choice would be Harpoon II ….easiest fit on T23, in place supply chain and P8 is wired up for them. But I wonder if they will go for a change and fit say or NSM LRASM to T31, T45 and P8 and run the remaining specialist T23 ASW frigates without the interim AShM.

Paul42
Paul42
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

A wise decision would be LRASM and Tomahawk Block Va which adds a seeker enabling it to be used in the anti-ship role aswell.

Paul.P
Paul.P
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

Tend to agree. LRASM can be carried by F-35b albeit externally. That must be a significant capability for the carrier task group.
Realistically there is not yet anything to match Tomahawk for range.

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

It can?

Paul.P
Paul.P
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

It will I think.

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

You are thinking F-35B, they are not.

Paul.P
Paul.P
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Well, its true I am thinking F-35B.

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

No potential customers for LRASM on an F-35B, Not yet anyway.

Meirion X
Meirion X
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

It was planned to procure the Interim AShM for the 5 retained T23(ASW)s.

Paul.P
Paul.P
3 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Yes, I recall that too. For them Harpoon II would be a shoe-in I guess assuming that strategy is maintained. And it does have some land attack capability and it can be fitted to P8. It would the quickest way to give these vessels and the task force of which they are part a long range anti ship capability. But would we fit Harpoon II to T31 and T32? Probably not, so the Treasury is probably thinking how much will we spend on all types AShM over the next decade….and trying to minimise the cost.

ETH
ETH
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Based on current info Harpoon block 2 is not an eligible candidate for I-SSGW because it does not have ‘*terrain following* land-attack capability’.

Paul.P
Paul.P
3 months ago
Reply to  ETH

Indeed so. I would be tempted to fit the T23 with Harpoon II and the T45 with LRASM.

dan
dan
3 months ago

Bout damn time!

DP
DP
3 months ago

Anyone notice the comment “….And investment in Wildcat and Merlin helicopters will continue.”. So the earlier suggestion about killing off Wildcat was just speculative, or an option on the Defence Review table that was ultimately dismissed, thank god.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  DP

Was also suggested in the 2015 SDSR. Bonkers. Escorts need helicopters.

Lusty
Lusty
3 months ago

You know my feelings on helicopters! I’ve always been an advoate of more airframes for the RN, at least up to the original projected buys of Wildcat, plus additional Merlin cabs for ASW and to carry the bags. Although we’ll never see those glorious Cold War numbers, I’m an advocate of UAVs to replace or augment capabilities (and therefore up numbers). Sadly, the RN has been slow on the uptake thus far, but thankfully times are changing. I’m suprised the government hasn’t had the idea of bringing the latest UAV airframes into our ‘airframe count’ to up numbers and deny… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Lusty

I do my friend. And I agree. Wildcat has always been one of the more utterly outrageous ones touted in the media. I think the truth is probably that ministers are presented with a whole range of savings options by the military to save x amount. And that is when that leaks to the press. The military would never agree to it and ministers cut options that the military will agree, reluctantly, with. With Wildcat what other options do our escorts have. A small UAV won’t cut it. Another reason often overlooked why I was pretty confident they were safe… Read more »

James Fennell
James Fennell
3 months ago

Yes bonkers, We need UAS of course, but right now a mix of both. Currently 30 Merlin is thin – each carrier needs 12 and the Type 23/26 ASW the other 8. No slack there. Type 32 will need five more helicopters. 8 unmodified Merlin HM1 were in a hangar somewhere – gone for spares or still around?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Spares. I used to wonder if they could be added, Lusty I think it was or another here confirmed they’d gone.

Lusty
Lusty
3 months ago

The last I heard, of the 12 unmodified ones (remember, the RN had 44, with two written off in crashes), 10 remain. Of the other two, one has gone to a museum and the other has gone to Denmark to be used as an instructional airframe. Happy to be corrected, but that’s the last I knew.

It’s also worth noting that 3 ex-RAF airframes are lying around in various states of repair as well.

I was always an advocate of upgrading 32 to HM2 standard for ASW, leaving 10 for AEW duties.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Lusty

I was always an advocate of upgrading 32 to HM2 standard for ASW, leaving 10 for AEW duties”

Agreed.

RobW
RobW
3 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

If T31 and T32 are operating in the med/Gulf and littoral zones perhaps they would be better off with Wildcat and their ability to fire both Martlet and Sea Venom. One can only hope that the RN gets the army examples and that the army gets something else. Pipe dream perhaps.

James Fennell
James Fennell
3 months ago
Reply to  RobW

Yes this is a good idea. Upgraded Wildcat paired with a Firescout type UAS with sonorbuoys would work for T32 and ASW escorts, processor can be a datalinked mission bay package. Then Army/RAF gets new medium helo instead, which is much more useful to them than Wildcat. Marines can keep their Wildcats to operate from LSS.

Last edited 3 months ago by James Fennell
Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Or replace all Navy Merlins and Wildcats with then new wonder medium helo. Over time of course.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago
Reply to  DP

Still wonder if it might not eventually bear on the battlefield version with the current discussion over medium rationalisation. There could be wiggle room on that front. Clearly not the RN HMA since it’s such a vital ship weapon system. ?

Sean
Sean
3 months ago
Reply to  DP

Speculation ?

Daveyb
Daveyb
3 months ago
Reply to  DP

Yep, then conversely at Para 7.39 (Army Section), it states: “Investment in a new medium lift helicopter in the mid-2020s will enable a consolidation of the Army’s disparate fleet of medium lift helicopters from four platform types to one; including the replacement of Puma.” Firstly, why is the Puma in the Army section? Secondly, what are these four desperate platforms that will be replaced by one? Within JHC there are the following helicopters: Chinook, Puma, Merlin, Wildcat, Apache, Gazelle, Dauphin, Bell 212, AW109. The ones that are safe are Apache and Chinook. Puma’s OSD is 2025, whilst Merlin’s is 2030.… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Firstly, the army pays for the helos even tho the RAF operates them so the army “owns” them. Secondly the UK just signed up for a multi-national program to develop a new medium helo to replace Puma & Merlin among others.

Best bet is Puma retired and capability gapped until new helo is ready. Supposedly 2035 ish.

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

RAF own and pays for both Chinook and Puma, its staffed by JHC, which is tripled hatted. Exercises and taskings are payed for by the Army.

I have only seen a memorandum of understanding between Leonardo and Airbus on developing a future medium lift helicopter. The specification is looking at replacing NH90, Cougar and EH101.

Ron5
Ron5
3 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

The Army pays for the Puma’s which is why they were referenced in the defence white paper in the army section.

Look for the multi-national agreement to develop a new medium helicopter signed by the relevant countries defence ministers. The program is under UK leadership.

Simon m
Simon m
3 months ago

My 2p for what it is worth a) don’t get carried away so much in the review is recycled information so the danger is he is referring to existing future cruise missile project. b) for T45 I would use the space behind VLS for ABM etc. But would look at the adaptable deck launcher midship
c) having said don’t get carried away it has been strongly rumoured for sometime that the navy want the TLAM so hopefully it’s true.

Andrew
3 months ago
Reply to  Simon m

That’s right Simon we shall have to wait and see.

AlexS
AlexS
3 months ago

I thin it is a mistake to have only an Artisan for Type 26. They should have a good radar with anti BM capacity like Italian FREMM.

James Fennell
James Fennell
3 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

Yes Artisan was a cost cutting measure.

Meirion X
Meirion X
3 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

This would add to the top weight of the superstructure, limiting growth of new equipment in the future. The RN is only to use the T26 as primary ASW vessel.
Some Italian FREMM’s are AWW vessels.

Last edited 3 months ago by Meirion X
Paul T
Paul T
3 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

No Italian FREMM are AWW, they are either ASW or GP.

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
3 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

As others have said, the T26 main role is ASW so Artisan is fine for self defense role.. ofc you can get better radar, but that costs money.
It would make more sense to use that money to beef up T31 equipment, because it is barebones as is.
You need to balance “nice to have” vs “need to have”
My 2 cents

Last edited 3 months ago by Lordtemplar
ETH
ETH
3 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

Artisan will be upgraded ~2027.

Gareth
Gareth
3 months ago

Hopefully the Tpye 26 will get some kind of onboard anti-submarine weapon as well such as the RUM-139. Either that or some kind of unmanned anti-sub weapon delivery system. Given they are supposed to be anti-sub frigates and that one cannot rely solely on helicopters for delivering anti-submarine weapons.

Paul42
Paul42
3 months ago
Reply to  Gareth

We could just put a combination of ASROC, Tomahawk Va and LRASM in the Mk41 VLS say 8 of each, although load outs could be configured according to particular deployments.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
3 months ago

Interesting to note what the German Navy plans to install.

“A new 32-cell Mk 41 VLS in its latest version was ordered from Lockheed Martin after the damage assessment was completed, however, it was not available in time for the overhaul period.”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/german-frigate-returns-to-sea

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
3 months ago

USN receives first Block V Tomahawk cruise missile
26 MARCH 2021

“The US Navy (USN) has taken delivery of its first Tomahawk cruise missile recertified and upgraded to Block V standard.”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/usn-receives-first-block-v-tomahawk-cruise-missile