HMS Diamond has engaged a Houthi attack drone targeting the vessel in the Red Sea.

No injuries have been reported.

The Iranian-backed Houthi faction launched unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and missiles targeting international shipping lanes frequented by merchant vessels.

This isn’t new for HMS Diamond, the warship had previously downed Houthi attack drones fired at herself and merchant shipping.

This comes after British owned vessels were attacked with drones launched by Houthi militants in Yemen. Recently, shipping firms Hapag-Lloyd and Maersk announced a suspension of all container shipments through the Red Sea until further notice amid Houthi attacks on commercial vessels.

What actually is Sea Viper?

The Sea Viper air-defence system, an advanced missile system deployed by the Royal Navy. Known formally as the Principal Anti-Air Missile System (PAAMS), it was developed as a joint venture by France, Italy, and the United Kingdom. The system is a cornerstone of the Royal Navy’s air defence capability.

The genesis of the Sea Viper dates back to the late 1990s, as part of the collaborative effort for the ‘Common New Generation Frigate’ programme, initially encompassing the UK, France, and Italy. After disagreements, the UK departed from the frigate project but continued its commitment to the PAAMS initiative. This led to the creation of a variant specifically for the UK’s naval needs, culminating in the Sea Viper system.

Components of Sea Viper

  1. Missiles: The system employs the Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles, known for their precision and long-range capabilities, more on those below.
  2. SAMPSON Multi-Function Radar: A key component of the PAAMS(S) variant, offering exceptional target tracking and engagement capabilities.
  3. Sylver Vertical Launching System: This allows for rapid and versatile missile deployment, crucial for responding to fast-moving aerial threats.
  4. S1850M Long-Range Radar: Provides early warning and tracking of potential threats at extended ranges.

The Sea Viper system employs the Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles.

  • Aster 15: Weighing 310 kg and measuring 4.2 metres in length, with a diameter of 180 mm. It has a 15 kg focused fragmented warhead and a lethal radius of 2 metres. The missile is powered by a solid propellant, two-stage motor, and can reach above 30 km with a flight altitude of 13 km, achieving speeds of Mach 3.
  • Aster 30: Slightly larger, this variant weighs 450 kg and measures 4.9 metres, maintaining the same diameter. It boasts an operational range above 120 km (150 km for the Block 1 NT variant) and a flight altitude of 20 km, with maximum speeds of Mach 4.5.

Both variants use an inertial guidance system with an up-link and an active RF seeker for precise target acquisition and engagement. Their design allows for high agility and precision, making them exceptionally effective against a range of high-performance air threats.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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George Amery
George Amery
2 months ago

Hi folks hope all is well.
She is very busy at the moment. And hopefully the crew stay safe! Read an interesting article in Telegraph about the Royal Navy not having the fire power to attack the Houthi on the ground as a lack of distance for the Type 45 Destroyer’s missiles. The issue seems to be not being able to deploy an Astute sub which is ideal for launched missiles for the lack of crews?
What do you experts think of this claim?
Cheers
George

Frank
Frank
2 months ago
Reply to  George Amery

If we can’t raise a crew for one Ass Toot then we might as well hoist a white flag.

Last edited 2 months ago by Frank
Bill
Bill
2 months ago
Reply to  Frank

Agree with that entirely. Is everyone jumping ship? Literally??

Steve
Steve
2 months ago
Reply to  Frank

I assume they are all otherwise deployed and will take time to get one into the region. A carrier not being deployed and sent is odd and telling. Seems to be a perfect time for them to justify their existence. Unlike subs the carriers are big enough that the media would have reported if they were being readied to send.

Last edited 2 months ago by Steve
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
2 months ago
Reply to  George Amery

Good afternoon George, in short, Tomahawk land attack and additional Mk 41 VLS is the short answer to the problem. Tried and tested! “The Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) is a long range cruise missile used for deep land attack warfare, launched from U. S. Navy surface ships and U.S. Navy and United Kingdom Royal Navy submarines. The Tomahawk Block III Conventional variant (TLAM-C) contains a 1,000-lb class blast/fragmentary unitary warhead while the Submunition variant (TLAM-D) includes a submunitions dispenser with combined effect bomblets. The Tomahawk Block IV (Tactical Tomahawk, TLAM-E), conventional variant, which entered the Fleet in 2004, adds the… Read more »

George Amery
George Amery
2 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Many thanks Nigel, a good very comprehensive reply as usual!
Cheers
George

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
2 months ago
Reply to  George Amery

Always welcome George 👍🇬🇧

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago
Reply to  George Amery

In the mean time. 11 of our escorts will be equipped with the Naval Strike Missile.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Hi Robert, be interesting to see if they’ve ever looked at 4*4 NSM, not just the 2*4 in the absence of utilising the MK41 slots. Space, weight, monies permitting.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I guess the 2-4 configuration requires the least amount of engineering work. As always, it’s a balance of cost and what is technically achievable.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

2*4 NSM is better nothing as is 24 CAMM though I’d like to see them make the 6 CAMM silos into 8s for better space utilisation. The NZ Anzac frigates have managed to squeeze 20 CAMM into a single MK41 space and they’re not quad packed.

Iain
Iain
2 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Or Just stick the 16 Mark-41 Tubes the ship was designed for and quad pack CAMM in for 64 additional missiles rather than 24. Penny pinching by the MoD as usual.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
2 months ago
Reply to  Iain

Yes, that would be ideal. Can’t believe they don’t have the money for it when theyre already buying (in bulk) 3*8+5*4 MK41s for the T26s and T31s respectively.

Meirion X
Meirion X
2 months ago
Reply to  Iain

It was just a spare hole in a T45, No engineering work for Mk. 41 was done in it. The depth of the hull becomes an issue towards the bow.

Last edited 2 months ago by Meirion X
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
2 months ago
Reply to  George Amery

I happened to touch upon this only last week as you might recall, a direct response seems even more likely now. “Republican politicians in the US are reacting to the latest attack on the Syria-Jordan border that killed three US service members with criticism of the Biden administration. Former President Donald Trump said the attack “would never have happened if I was president”. “This brazen attack on the United States is yet another horrific and tragic consequence of Joe Biden’s weakness and surrender,” a statement from Trump said. House Foreign Affairs Panel Chair Michael McCaul said that the US needed… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
2 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

It was obvious from start that only attacking Iran would change the dynamic.

Also Biden was very slow to react to Iran regime attacks against free navigation.

But what about about Europe? completely non existant!

Tiny Portugal controlled Indian Ocean in XVI Century, today whole Europe can’t do much.

Joe16
Joe16
2 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

With respect, I’d argue that there are shorter (and cheaper) solutions to that problem; Fitting Mk41. to the T45s will take a long time, and it’ll have to be done during already scheduled maintenance periods for the vessels if we don’t want to impact availability. It’s not just a case of cutting the steel in the deck and craning them in, that space has been used for other stuff now, and I’d be deeply surprised if any of the plumbing/wiring was put in place to manage the VLS- so that will have to be done even before the hardware arrives.… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
2 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

Hi Joe16, I agree with your comment, however, it is also good to have a longer-range option to hand along with an air-launched version that’s available to us as sooner rather than later with a variety of warhead options, namely Tomahawk. And is suitable numbers!

“A development of the Naval Strike Missile (NSM), the Joint Strike Missile (JSM) will feature an option for ground strike and a two-way communications line, so that the missile can communicate with the central control room or other missiles in the air.”

Joe16
Joe16
2 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

I am all for getting the JSM into inventory too- although I don’t know if it’s truly out of development and into production. Even after FC/ASW is in service, it will make a good weapon for our P-8As, as I believe the Norwegians are pursuing integration.
If we can afford TLAM then I’m not against it, but everything’s telling me that we need to be spending on making sure we have enough personnel to push the launch buttons…

Meirion X
Meirion X
2 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

👍Exactly!

Frank62
Frank62
2 months ago
Reply to  George Amery

“Put down the gun & move away! I’ve got FFBNW & I’m not afraid to gap it!”

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
2 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

😁🤔😳🤞🙏😱☹️

farouk
farouk
2 months ago
Reply to  George Amery

George wrote: “”Read an interesting article in Telegraph about the Royal Navy not having the fire power to attack the Houthi on the ground as a lack of distance for the Type 45 Destroyer’s missiles. “” The Type 45 with Air defence in mind wasn’t designed with ground attack in mind, that said 4 of them were retrofitted with the Harpoon, (I do believe most have had them removed) so its main anti ground capability is its main gun or anything mounted on its helicopter. It’s a deficit which has been known for a long time and excused by many by… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
2 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Moment British warship thwarts Houthis drone attack
Video showing the moment the drone was intercepted @ SKYNEWS

Paul T
Paul T
2 months ago
Reply to  George Amery

HMS Duncan was on station but returned just before Xmas C/W Harpoon Missiles,when she goes back she will have NSM, which while not the perfect solution at least she will have something to fire back with.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

NSM is more than adequate – precise in a way Harpoon just isn’t for land attack.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
2 months ago

Puts into perspective the short change on planning, decisions and thus adequate weaponry over the last decade in the name of cost cutting betting on no conflict taking place to catch them out. We are now reaping the results of that delusion and risk taking, hey we even have one of its major protagonists as FM. More scarily listening to the mouthy big talk about confronting Russian expansionism while having truth to it hardly fills me with confidence the words are any more backed up with actions or preparedness to be able to live up to them. Can’t help feeling… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
2 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Believe this is still accurate: Since around 2021 the US has had:-
President – Biden; Deputy – Harris; Foreign – Blinken; Treasury – Yellen; Home – Mayorkas; Defence – Austin.

UK:- Prime – Johnson, Truss, Sunak; Deputy – Raab, Coffey, Raab, Dowden.
Foreign; Raab, Truss, Cleverly, Cameron; Chancellor – Sunak, Zahawi, Kwarteng, Hunt; Home:- Patel, Braverman, Shapps, Braverman, Cleverly.
Defence:- Wallace, Shapps ( this last Ministerial post looking quite promisingly ‘US’ – until fell at last hurdle.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
2 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Three US troops killed in drone attack
19:51

“President Biden and Vice President Harris both briefed on the attack.
In a statement just now, the White House said that both President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris were briefed by their national security team this Sunday afternoon on the attack.

Also present in the meeting were National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Charles Q Brown, and US ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas Greenfield.”

edwinr
edwinr
2 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

The emaciation of our defence forces is now coming to bite us. Even with the powerful signals sent by our protagonists over the last decade, we still see politicians from both sides cutting inventory. I don’t want a war. But like nearly every other nation in the world, we rely on Uncle Sam to pull our chestnuts out of the fire. Humiliating.

David
David
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Hi Paul,

I read too that Duncan was currently being fitted for NSM; any idea when she will this will be complete and when she will try to service?

Paul T
Paul T
2 months ago
Reply to  David

Ive no idea to be honest David,HMS Somerset has them fitted but no word of Trials etc yet.The situation in the Red Sea might mean some priorities being adjusted and messing up with schedules.

GaryC
GaryC
2 months ago
Reply to  George Amery

The Type-45 were designed to take the MK41 VLS so could have been fitted with Tomahawk cruise missiles. But government cuts meant that they were not fitted, and instead decided a ship with limited anti-ship, no anti-submarine, no ballistic-missile defence and no land attack capability was fine. Idiots!

Clueless Observer
Clueless Observer
2 months ago
Reply to  GaryC

FFBNW……….Well if there ever was a time to fit, now is the time ! Ditch the planned 24 sea ceptor pack and fit mk 41 VLS with TLAM and quad pack some sea ceptor. Type 45 needs some proper offensive capability.
I know there is costs but that’s nothing compared to the risks that the RN is taking.
Will a handful of NSM’s be enough ?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
2 months ago
Reply to  GaryC

The budget for T45 was never cut. It was always £6Bn. Uk left Horizon (frigate) program. So RN had to bear the cost of hull/propulsion/CMS/SAMPSON all by itself. The R&D cost ate a lot and so there was only budget left for 7 and a bit ships. Mk41 was cut to try and eke out funds. As it happens #7 was cut to accelerate GCS and the money lost as 2010 review kicked that can. That is the real story. It would have undoubtedly been better to have used the £650m in the till to buy 6 x Mk41 and… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
2 months ago
Reply to  George Amery

The Royal Navy, or more relevantly the MoD & Defence Secretary (I doubt the RN actually needs educating) should be learning valuable real world success, shortcoming & cost effectivity lessons from HMS Diamond’s efforts on behalf of the Type 45 fleet in particular, & broader fleet units generally, i.e. regarding a balanced weapons fit within a hull well capable of accommodating necessary enhancements.
That just leaves the Treasury to illustrate any ability – imagination – it’s accountancy mindset may possess to move away from a simplistic in year budget formulae as we rapidly confront mounting security crises.
Regards

Mark B
Mark B
2 months ago
Reply to  George Amery

Sounds like nonsense to me.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
2 months ago
Reply to  George Amery

Good evening George, how things can change in a day. Three US troops killed in drone attack 19:51 “President Biden and Vice President Harris both briefed on the attack. In a statement just now, the White House said that both President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris were briefed by their national security team this Sunday afternoon on the attack. Also present in the meeting were National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Charles Q Brown, and US ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas Greenfield.”… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago
Reply to  George Amery

The type 45 has no strike missiles period..it’s not they lack range..they don’t exist.

I would be surprised if the issue was raising the crew for deploying a SSN and more about numbers…the last of the trafalgars is due to decommission this year and of the five astute one is tied up pending start of refit…leaving 4

John Pattullo
John Pattullo
2 months ago

Drone…. willing to bet this was some cheap ass thing, wouldn’t it have been better if slightly riskier to wait and use phalanx cannons on it rather than wasting a multi million £ missile?

Frank62
Frank62
2 months ago
Reply to  John Pattullo

Comparing the price of a cheap drone with that of a million+ quid missile interceptor is a false comparison. The real value is in saving a multi million merchant or warship from damage/destruction & the death or injury of crew. Then there’s the costs of rerouting trade away fron attack areas & increased insurance.

Bill
Bill
2 months ago
Reply to  John Pattullo

A very expensive sledgehammer to crack a cheap nut!!

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
2 months ago
Reply to  Bill

It’s what the Aster 15 is there for as it stands, but the real answer depends on what sort of drone it was. Considering the Ukranians are flying home designed drones 1000 plus miles to attack and put out of action a St Petersburg Oil Refinery plus one on the other side of the Black Sea unmolested perhaps suggests that the term ‘drone’ can mean very different things. You certainly as a Capt would not want to dither over cost when confronting one that’s targeting you.

rmj
rmj
2 months ago

More persistent ISTAR is required to pre-empt and provide Intel to deal with launches before they become a threat. Where are those Sentinels when you need them? oh yes – cut! MoD and Govt need to answer questions over cuts, cuts and cuts which could cost lives! This should be one for Cameron/ Johnson/ Fox/ Wallace when they were in the top seats!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago

Very good value for Iran, Houthis vs the West.

farouk
farouk
2 months ago

Personally I am glad to see missiles targeted at British Warships, now before some of you go off on a rant, please allow me to elaborate: 1)    It allows the Royal Navy to train in slow time how to defeat such attacks, which lets be honest are here to stay and in the future may be much more substantive in depth. 2)    On top of the above, more funding for research will be carried out in which to find new ways to tackle such attacks (Esp cost wise, ie Dragonfire) 3)    If the Government is insistent on deploying Military assets as peacekeeping forces,… Read more »

Frank
Frank
2 months ago
Reply to  farouk

For once ( actually not really….. ) I agree fully with you…. in fact i’m probably at about 80% with you on most of your posts….. It’s a shame I sometimes have to check myself when reading your replies…. Time for the UK to wake up and smell the Coffee that’s for sure.

Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts
2 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Indeed, I read that some of the AShm launched are based on the Irans fatah 313, it is good to know the interceptions have been successful and Iran is not the missile superpower thatit claims to be.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
2 months ago

Yes, we have sent the message that their missiles are as good as the Russian versions…..and that our ships can deal with them.

Jim
Jim
2 months ago

Like Russia woke up to how s**t its stuff is in the face of NATO systems, Iran is probably waking up to the same thing now and China will be studying this very closely as well.

Anti ship ballistic missiles are probably not as effective as it though and these are only traveling short distances from the coast not thousands of miles into the South China Sea.

farouk
farouk
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Jim wrote:
“”Like Russia woke up to how s**t its stuff is in the face of NATO systems,””

Purun (Youtube) has released his latest video Op ed:
Russia’s Winter Offensive & The War in Ukraine – The Initiative, losses, & air, sea & land campaigns

Where he reveals the losses suffered by both sides regards the battle for Avdiivka since last Oct. Citing visually verifiable losses, Moscow lost 178 MBT and just over 300 APCs. Thats one battle front where Moscow lost the equivalent of the entire British Armoured fleet over a period of 4 months. That’s obscene

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim

It’s because they will lack a credible kill chain. If you want to hit anything over the horizon with accuracy. You need a credible kill chain. Off board targeting or mid course guidance through secure datalinks. (Expensive)

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
2 months ago

Goes with the news out of Ukraine I mentioned elsewhere that recent jamming equipment supplied by Britain is successfully taking Shaheds out of the air. Considering it’s the first actual evidence of such Western supplied equipment I have heard direct from an Ukraine source and showing complete drones on the ground to back it up sounds promising. But then our technological capabilities have never really been in doubt it’s more the support, programmes and numbers that’s the major problem at least until faced with an emergency when as usual we start to come to the fore on many fronts. The… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
2 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Actual hot contact focusses minds on things like NSM and Sea Ceptor upgrades.

I’d argue that the announcement of various upgrades to Sea Viper being announced now, as being funded, is no accident.

This moves the dial on the usual conversation about ‘admirals demanding exquisite ships etc’ to ‘we have to deal with this real threat right now’…….

Jim
Jim
2 months ago
Reply to  farouk

I have to agree, in almost every situation where a western warship has been targeted by sea skimming missiles there has been failures which lead to ships being hit. However here we can see the west two premier air warfare assets Burke and T45 in a literal shooting gallery and nothings getting through to the warships. It’s great training and a real show case that A2AD bubbles are probably no where near as effective as Iran China or Russia think.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Just heard 3 US troops killed by a drone attack in Jordan shows you can never be too vigilant and that it only needs one to succeed.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Not sure we can verify that. Just because Houthi Iranian based missiles aren’t getting through we can’t tell for fact that the same can be said for Chinese proliferative cruise and ballistic missiles numbering in their thousands.
Unless these Iranian drones and missiles are based on the latest Chinese versions I’d remain cautious and demand under UOR fitting Bofors 40mm guns as well as sea ceptor and upgrade Aster system to the anti ballistic missile block 1NT rather than just block 1.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
2 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Agree, if only we could be reassured that the lessons are learnt. In the meantime equipping the entire fleet with BAE 57MM or Bofors 40mm guns would go a long way to avoid expenditure of million pounds missiles.
Dragonfire is a useful option, as above would be good to hear of the system being ordered in large numbers.

Airborne
Airborne
2 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Agreed 👍

Julian
Julian
2 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Agreed. On your line of reasoning though one disappointment that I have had ever since we started engaging these drones with missiles is that we don’t currently have any ships with Sea Ceptor involved. With Sea Ceptor being a relatively new system it would have been very valuable to see how it performs in real combat situations. I’m assuming that for these sorts of drones targeted directly at the ship Sea Ceptor plus Artisan would be more than adequate for the job. I guess HMS Diamond will need to be relieved at some point. I wonder if we might see… Read more »

Paul T
Paul T
2 months ago
Reply to  Julian

HMS Lancaster is already in the Gulf on Op Kipion,HMS Richmond is en-route to the Suez/Red Sea area so Sea Ceptor will come into play at some stage.HMS Duncan was on station for 6 months so it would be reasonable to assume Diamond will have a similar deployment time.

Julian
Julian
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Great to hear that Sea Ceptor are on their way. Thanks for the info Paul. Re Duncan vs Diamond deployment times presumably that does depend on how many more drone attacks HMS Diamond needs to ward off using Aster – attacks either against herself or against any merchant ships within range of her wider area protection. Also we don’t know how fully the Sylver silo was populated at the start of the deployment or what the minimum-missile-count is that would trigger her coming off station. I’m guessing it’s not zero missiles left since presumably she would want some capability remaining… Read more »

Laurence
Laurence
2 months ago

Good Afternoon
lots of loose talk in the press regarding the RN not sending a carrier to this area and Typhoons flying 3000miles to drop ordnance. To send a carrier strike group you would require the following. At least 12-18 F 35 + crows nest merlins + 2 Type 45s + 2 Type 23s + 2 FSS + 1 Astute sub. How much would that lot cost to deploy. 4 RAF Typhoons + 2 Voyagers. ?

Frank
Frank
2 months ago
Reply to  Laurence

Well yes…. but what did we want them for otherwise ? ….. Personally I think we have missed the whole point of deploying deterrent forces whilst preferring to demonstrate power Projection in pre planned exorcises.. around the World….Am I wrong ?

Jim
Jim
2 months ago
Reply to  Frank

The US has deployed a CSG and ARG and a SSGN with 154 tomahawks onboard plus navy seals and that has not deterred the Houthis.

You can’t deter religious maniacs.

Continue to enforce the UN blockade on them, degrade their command and control and soak up what ever ordinance they already have is as much as can be done for now.

The next phase will be to support Yemeni forces to take them out.

farouk
farouk
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Jim wrote: “”The next phase will be to support Yemeni forces to take them out.”” That’s very interesting, but I doubt it will happen as without Saudi support the Yemeni armed forces simply don’t have the numbers, the will or even the ability to advance into very mountainous territory (where the Houthis have been holed up since the Saudi forced them to retreat from the lowlands) What the media fail to mention about the Houthi is for the year up to the ceasefire with Saudi Arabia the Houthi suffered horrendous losses trying to advance out of the mountains and take… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim

I agree.

I don’t see what a QEC adds simultaneously.

I would be more use to everyone if it was rotated through to relive a US carrier.

Meirion X
Meirion X
2 months ago

Mind you, the F35B does not have an internal cannon unlike F35A, only external cannon which the UK would need to borrow from USMC?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
2 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Why do you need a cannon for bombing missile stores and launchers?

RAF Typhoon did just fine with gravity/glide munitions?

Meirion X
Meirion X
2 months ago

The USN has shot some drones down with the F18 connon.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
2 months ago
Reply to  Frank

That’s been the major role envisaged for the RN by politicians for many years I fear. It’s why they have never been properly armed, it was never thought they would actually be in harms way or in a scenario where their cost effectiveness might be tested, yes deterrence seems to be their true role or policing at most. To be fair mind I don’t think the Govt wishes to intensify the Houthi strikes the main job is to show the US we are standing with them which with the political situation in the US is probably the sensible approach ie… Read more »

PhilWestMids
PhilWestMids
2 months ago
Reply to  Laurence

I prefer sending the message that we have carrier capability but we don’t have to use it to strike an enemy, why run down valuable assets when you can simply hit them from a base where we have constant typhoon availability, job well done from the RAF and everyone involved should be the headline in the press but as usual it prefers to trash the people that protects them. I think I seen something on daily express that mentioned we could have launched the typhoon jets from the QE to perform the strikes, absolutely clueless.

Jim
Jim
2 months ago
Reply to  Laurence

The royal navy won’t send a carrier when a US carrier is there, that makes no sense. The Red Sea does not need two carriers but it may need persistence and one of the Queen Elizabeth’s will certainly deploy at some point if the Houthis persist.

4 Typhoon’s from Cyprus are plenty for now.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim

I presume the US carrier is in the Gulf of Aden which if so means that its attack vectors and the Typhoons would be from South and North which is probably more useful than more from the South which would just be a pr exercise not adding anything. Plus it avoids the US shooting down our planes thinking they are drones if history is anything to go by.

edwinr
edwinr
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Jim, the US is carrying 90% of the combat load at the moment. We can’t deploy anything else because we don’t want to do our fair share. Our contribution should be much more significant.

Jim
Jim
2 months ago
Reply to  edwinr

The US is about 10 times larger than us on a GDP/Military budget terms so this means we are currently carrying our weight then.

Frank
Frank
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim

It’s a big old area, not just the Red Sea but the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea not to mention the Gulf of Oman…. If Iran were to become directly involved, 4 Typhoons out of Cyprus wouldn’t really make a difference but a Big old Carrier stuffed full of F35’s and its escorts would certainly help focus the mind. Now if they can wait about 10 years, we might just get there.

Adrian
Adrian
2 months ago
Reply to  Laurence

We need to remember sending our carriers now is more like doubling up what the US has, very different from the invincible class that added sea harrier for area defence while the Americans did the attack. Also with the effectiveness of the sea viper system the requirement of a sea harrier style defence is reduced.

Our support now comes with typhoons and area defence with the type 45 and is more useful than adding another carrier to protect, it’s not like the sorty intensity suggests the need for another carrier

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
2 months ago
Reply to  Laurence

Agree about cost. The carrier option can be held in reserve unless we need to generate an increased sortie rate that typhoons flying out of Cyprus are not able to match.

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
2 months ago
Reply to  Laurence

Yes, and you could i suppose equally total up the cost of firing a dozen Tomahawk verses the price of fuel and cheap bombs.
What you WOULD get with a carrier is persistence, but we are not at that stage yet.
Would be very good to see Ceptor taking out drones and so on to give (added) confidence to the system.
AA

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
2 months ago

Equally good to see NSM hitting land targets?

I’m confident Sea Ceptor will do what is required. The only issue is its shorter range than the A30.

Frank
Frank
2 months ago

George mate….. It was just your mate trying to take a Photo…… He does seem to get into a fair bit of trouble lol….. !

Tom
Tom
2 months ago

So if this event did actually take place my question is…
If the houthis attacked a UK warship, does that constitute an act of war?

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
2 months ago
Reply to  Tom

No, because they are not a state, they are a militant/terrorist group so if Yemen ask us we can do (within the rules of war) whatever we like.

AlexS
AlexS
2 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Yes it can be an Act of War.

It is irrelevant if it is a state or not.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
2 months ago

Could they quad pack the Sylver vls like the MK41s as they might need to fire off something cheaper than Asters? The extra CAMM is needed nowish.

Meirion X
Meirion X
2 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

No, CAMM is not compatible with Sylver A50. RN could look into getting Starsteak, launch from box type devices? Mind you it’s only ok for short range of 7km objects. Or send out an Albion with a box of CAMM on deck.

Last edited 2 months ago by Meirion X
Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago

I did find the comment” illegally attacking” the ship a bit eyerolly…like it would somehow be better if it was suffering legal attacks…..

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
2 months ago

Reality check for those wanting to turn a T45 into HMS Massive. T45 replaced T42. T42 except for a very dodgy and unproven capability with Sea Dart did not have an organic anti-surface or land attack capability. Anti Surface came with the Lynx. The RN has a similar anti surface with wildcat and is getting an interim long range capability with NSM and at the end of the decade the Storm Shadow/Scalp replacement. Right now, Yes if you want you can spaff 15 mill us dollars on buying an 8 Cell hot launch Mk41, pay the additional cost of installation… Read more »

Frank
Frank
2 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

On the subject of Time to react…. Typhoon based in Cyprus would I guess take a lot longer than TLAM on a T45 though……. What’s a Kat….. ?

Jim
Jim
2 months ago
Reply to  Frank

The typhoons are only there to play a supporting role to USN, they are fine for just now, if persistence and quick reaction is needed later we send a carrier or twist Oman into supporting operations.

No point sending everything now when there are already plenty strike aircraft to do the job.

Frank
Frank
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Yes but, What’s a Kat ?

Eric
Eric
2 months ago
Reply to  Frank

I think GB means qat, plant leaves that are a popular drug in Yemen, but also in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. Similar in effect to amphetamine, but much weaker, which doesn’t, however, mean it is harmless. In The Netherlands it has been banned for eleven years now (it became a problem with a growing Somali population).

Simon
Simon
2 months ago
Reply to  Eric

I thought it had been banned in the UK as well?

Eric
Eric
2 months ago
Reply to  Simon

I hope so, heavy users tend to develop psychological problems.

FieldLander
FieldLander
2 months ago
Reply to  Frank

Khat. A leafy green plant the chewing of whose leaves releases chemicals having a similar effect to amphetamine (Speed). Good if you drive a Toyota with a 0.5″ cal on the back.

Jim
Jim
2 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I suggest its fleet time that the big issue, the T45 are spending too much time in port as its is for upgrades and a handful of TLAM on T45 is a marginal capability for us considering all 13 of our new Frigates will now carry it plus 7SSN.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
2 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Yup – an ISTAR drone would be more useful.

Then send an NSM to say ‘ Hi not such a good idea’

Or even the drone could deliver the kinetic message.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
2 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

That said Mk41 is going into T26/31 and the press releases seem to suggest that Sea Ceptor is quad packed in T31.

£20m is chicken feed to generate a capability.

I’d use Mk41 for flexibility. On the basis that it can be converted to a wide range of war shots.

I’d keep NSM canister mounted.

That way there are three systems that can all fire simultaneously without worrying about firing through hot efflux gas plumes etc.

FieldLander
FieldLander
2 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

All, Oh so true.

Meirion X
Meirion X
2 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

An alternative, is ATACM’s launched from a M270 on deck of an Albion?

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
2 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Ok..2 shots. Now what. How to reload? Where to store the huffing big pallet it comes on. The mags are big on an LPD, I know I was one of the people looking after them and doing bulk ammo storage planning, but there isn’t the handling gear to get it from the mag up to the deck.

Targeting data still has to come from external sources.

You are better off with MALE drones and some brimstone circling at 20k ft to deliver the message.

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst
2 months ago

Is this not a classic case of only having one ship in position (T45) that specializes in one thing very well. Trouble being that when it is needed to do something else (land attack at safe range to retaliate/protect itself) – it can’t.

Short-sighted UK not brining forward design and construction of a more general purpose “cruiser” type (T83) to help police trade routes. There is obviously a current need for this type.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
2 months ago

Or alternatively look at the USN with ABs. Good at AAW, limited anti surface as a Flight 2/3 as they dont have harpoon but do have a 4 mil a shot SM6…and lets not even consider ASW which they are on par with a T42/T22 for doing.

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst
2 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Hi GB. Do you think the AB’s would still be better than the proposed T83 as things stand?

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall
2 months ago

Press reports claim that the Yanks have asked if the UK can deploy a carrier to the Red Sea to replace Ike. If deemed practical (and it’s a big IF), it’s safe to say that CSG25 will have to be postponed – CSG26? Any readers near Portsmouth, Plymouth, Liverpool, Marham et al observing sudden frantic activity on relevant warships, RFA’s and aircraft?

Last edited 2 months ago by Richard Beedall