HMS Defender, a Type 45 Destroyer, demonstrated her capabilities to support troops ashore with a salvo from her main gun as part of the BALTOPS22 exercise.

BALTOPS22 involves 47 ships, 75 aircraft and around 7,000 military personnel from 16 nations and tests the ability of NATO and its partner nations to safeguard the region and maintain freedom and security of sea lanes, you can read more about that impressive collection of ships and aircraft here.

HMS Defender is currently serving as the flagship of the US Sixth Fleet’s ‘Task Force 64’.

According to a Royal Navy news release, CTF 64 “deals in defending against attacks by missiles and fighter jets”. More specifically, CTF-64 is responsible for the planning and execution of maritime Integrated Air and Missile Defense in the Sixth Fleet Area of Operations, shown below.

“The Type 45 destroyer has powerful, cutting-edge sensors and Sea Viper missiles that counter threats and can knock moving targets out of the sky from up to 70 miles away, making her well-suited to duties at the spearhead of the specialist task group. “

CTF 64 commander, Commodore Jonathan Lipps of the US Navy, and his staff are on board Defender to command the group, which is made up of American, Swedish, Finnish and Lithuanian warships, as exercise Baltops 22 begins.

HMS Defender’s Commanding Officer, Commander George Storton, was quoted as saying:

“It is an honour to have an opportunity to work with allies and partners during Baltops. In the last 12 months HMS Defender has conducted global operations highlighting our readiness to work with international partners from the South China Sea to the Arctic. Baltops allows us to build on the firm foundation of strategic relationships and to further develop and demonstrate the ability for our ships and sailors to operate in a multi-threat environment while affirming our commitment to NATO and key alliances. Defender is a world leading air defence ship and will represent the Royal Navy with pride and dedication throughout the exercise highlighting the UK’s continued commitment to maritime alliances and operations.”

You can read more on the role Defender will be undertaking at the Royal Navy website here.

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Ian M
Ian M
4 days ago

Probably for Mr G. Buster: Do naval guns count EFCs towards barrel life, same as tank / artillery weapons?
cheers

Airborne
Airborne
4 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

They must do as EFC is all about what calculates barrel wear and barrel life in quarters.

Brooklyn
Brooklyn
4 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

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Last edited 4 days ago by Brooklyn
Gunbuster
Gunbuster
4 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Yes. Any NGS serials take into account the following which all affect accuracy. Temp of propellant charge stored in the magazine. Barrel warming rounds( Fire a couple of rounds first without much accuracy to get the barrel warmed up) Batch and lot number of the propellant Total Number of EFCs fired by the barrel Previous MV Cal data that is then used to calculate future MV as barrel wear increases. Mandatory Gun Inspections measure Barrel wear at set time periods so that resultant information also helps in calculations After that its down to environmental factors such as air temp, humidity,… Read more »

Ian M
Ian M
4 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Cheers GB, corelates with my RA experiences. Gunfitters always harping on about X of O’s and EFCs, as a Tech, if it went bang that was good!

Paul.P
Paul.P
4 days ago

Excellent gun. Can understand why there’s no hurry to replace it.
More good news …
https://twitter.com/HMSDauntless/status/1536715108830814210

Joe16
Joe16
4 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Well, T45 is the last vessel that will be fitted with them in RN service, but they’re not looking to rip it out, you’re quite right.
Yes, glad to see Dauntless is back in the mix- look forward to seeing positive feedback on the PEP results.

Bob.
Bob.
4 days ago

I can’t help thinking that it was a waste of time fitting a gun of that size to the primary air defence ship of a task group.

They are far too valuable to risk supplying NGS.

Longtime
Longtime
4 days ago
Reply to  Bob.

In an ideal world yes a AAW destroyer wouldn’t go to the gun line but in a fleet you have to compromise. For example if a high ASW threat level was set and lower AAW who are you sending to the gun line that night, sure as hell aren’t sending your ASW frigates, the AAW destroyer will have to go do some NGS. Even in an environment where AAW is the higher threat you can’t continuously send the frigates, sooner or later the gun barrel will need replacing and I don’t imagine that the easiest thing to do at sea… Read more »

expat
expat
4 days ago
Reply to  Bob.

Yep. The 76mm is a better weapon for air defence.

David Steeper
David Steeper
4 days ago
Reply to  expat

Navy lookout did a fascinating article on the merits of the 76 and 57mm guns considered for Type 31. 57’s came out on top in most regards.

Expat
Expat
4 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

I read those very interesting especially if we get all the different type of ammo then we have some very capable gun systems

David Steeper
David Steeper
4 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Spot on. It’s all about where the ammo development of each system is. Right now 57mm is the right choice. In 5 or 10 years 76mm might be the right one.

Last edited 4 days ago by David Steeper
Daveyb
Daveyb
4 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Without looking too deeply at the two systems firing and accuracy performance, weight, feed systems and power requirements. In theory the 76mm should be the clear winner. It uses a larger amount of propellent, can generate a higher muzzle velocity and the barrel is water cooled, so can sustain firing for longer. A standard 76mm HE shell has nearly 3 times the explosive content of the smaller 57 shell. Even though the 57 can land a greater amount of explosives in a given time, the 76 is simply more effective against hardened or dispersed targets. However, fundamentally the 57mm system… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
4 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Agreed on CIWS. Phalanx’s days are done. Will be replaced by either 40 or 57. Don’t think RN is seriously considering 155. There’s been little about it since 2010. On the surface it was a good idea to standardise with Land art systems but too many problems once you dig deeper. 127 on Type 26 seems to show the way they are thinking. Will see what goes on Type 83’s but if I was a betting man which i’m not i’d guess 127 or 57.

Daveyb
Daveyb
4 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

I would actually ditch the 40s and replace them with 57s. So far, Raytheon haven’t said if MAD-FIRES can be scaled down to a 40. If they were serious about using the 40 as CIWS they should have used the twin 40 set up. As you are creating a wall of shrapnel for the threat to fly into. The twin 40 can make a bigger wall a lot faster than a single 40. I think there is still merit in the 155 as a naval gun. Unfortunately BAe won’t do it for peanuts. The issues the Germans had with the… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
4 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Yeah 155 would need a lot of money spent on it. That means international co operation not just development but production. The UK alone would never be able to order enough to give economy of scale. If it happened it would be a huge step up in capability there’s no doubt about that.

AlexS
AlexS
4 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

“That is not even wrong” DaveyB

MAD-FIRES is vaporware , DART is in service.

155mm uses split ammunition with propellant bag! There is a reason why German ended up choosing the Italian 127mm instead of their PZH they tested on ships.

Daveyb
Daveyb
4 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Yes the Pz2000 turret ammunition feed kept seizing up and the electricals kept shorting out. Plus Germany is very keen not to spend any money on their armed forces. So is it surprising that a marinized version of the Pz2000 did go ahead? The German Navy got the Leonardo 127mm guns as part of intergovernmental deal between Germany and Italy. Germany got the 127mm guns for the F125 and F126 frigates and Italy got the Pz2000 for their army. MAD-FIRES is vapourware? Have you told Raytheon or the US Navy this? As they are spending a shed load of money,… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
4 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

57’s came out on top in most regards.

Where?

David Steeper
David Steeper
4 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Navy Lookout website. Hover over analysis and ship classes pop up. Click Type 31.

Airborne
Airborne
4 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Read it, very interesting and shows the smaller calibre capabilites with the right ammunition.

David Steeper
David Steeper
4 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Yep I learned more from 30 mins reading 3 or 4 articles than I had in previous 30 years. To misquote a politician. It’s the ammo stupid.

Simon
Simon
4 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

The variable fuse ammo gives so many options, close in defence, airburst at distance , or traditional explode on or after impact. Then tie that in with radar control. It was interesting read.

David Steeper
David Steeper
4 days ago
Reply to  Simon

A real eye opener that’s for sure.

John Clark
John Clark
4 days ago
Reply to  Bob.

It was the standard gun of the day Bob, so it got the Mk8.…

The 76mm and twin 40mm of the T31 would probably be a better fit in its job of fleet goal keeper….

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 days ago
Reply to  Bob.

What are the risks to the ship of providing NGS? Some sort of attack from the enemy land forces being shelled?

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
4 days ago
Reply to  Bob.

So what happens if its not part of a TG? Say its sailing around supporting a SF raid on a terrorist cell ashore?
Not everything is Peer/Near Peer conflicts.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
4 days ago
Reply to  Bob.

Agree on the NGS making the T45s a bit vulnerable but as this is a major combatant ship and considering it’s got no AShMs, only a helo with torpedos and potentially some Venoms, having a gun bigger than 57/76mm is still very useful than not and having a range out to 20km+. And we’re not always going to have the right ship in the right place or be able to chose or adversary with threats from air, surface and or subs so maybe replace the 30mm and or Phalanx with the 40mm? Just wished they’d made the 4.5” at least… Read more »

Joe16
Joe16
4 days ago

I have to admit, I’m not convinced by NGFS as a mission set for an AAD destroyer. But, given how we’ve used the T45 for all kinds of GP activities, then I’m not complaining that they’re fitted witht the 4.5″. However I’d question the inclusion of the new 5″ in the armament list of the T83; go for the 57 mm. In service, T83 will be either a TF flagship (like Defender was on this exercise), or escorting the CSG- GP duties will be picked up by other elements of the fleet. In neither of those instances should it be… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
4 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

I’d leave it in the spec for now. By the time T83 enters service the 5in gun will launching hypersonic Asroc….:-)

Joe16
Joe16
4 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Haha, fair point!

expat
expat
4 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

DEWs like Dragon fire will hopefully be mature by then.

Deep32
Deep32
4 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

The Navy went away from largely single role ships and moved towards a more GP fit after the Leander class of the late 60/70’s. It was found that due to a shrinking fleet (sounds familiar) they couldn’t guarantee having the right ship in position when required. Also the varied equipment for the different designs along with relevant training was proving to be v expensive, hence a more standardized equipment fit across the board whilst keeping specialist roles ie AAW/ASW etc. As it happens, this is also why the T26 still has a 5′ gun, which arguably it doesn’t require and… Read more »

Steve M
Steve M
4 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Agree, have 5″ on the T-31 to keep the availability of NGS would make the mst sense as do we really want to be putting our £1B ships that close to hostile shores? Even fitting to the Batch2 (t-32) would be better as a secondary role. If they are mothership for MCM then they would be following the hunters in as they clear the approaches for the LRG ships so can then provide NGS and Air Defence if we put enough VLS.

Expat
Expat
4 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

The big question is will NGS have a place in future. I can see in 10 years with proliferation of low cost dones, missiles littoral ops could be very risky. In rare case where was needed have a containerised solution that could be deployed to any of the surface combatants. Such a solution may also attract export orders.

Steve M
Steve M
4 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Then we heading towards the STANFLEX design which is part of the Iver H/Absolom design 🙂

Deep32
Deep32
4 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

It would seem the obvious solution I agree, but don’t think it ever likely to happen purely on cost grounds, as redesign halfway through a life is probably v costly compared to say a redesign prior to build?

Steve M
Steve M
4 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

yes agree but T-32 design not done so rhe opportunity is there

Deep32
Deep32
3 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

Yes, the opportunity is there right enough, but I imagine it will depend largely on what the T32 will be utilised for other then drone mothership.

Joe16
Joe16
4 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Yes, I think that, broadly speaking, T45 and T23 do find the sweet spot between being specialist and capable of GP work. I’d argue better than the Burkes do, to be honest. Will be interesting how this pans out over time, with T83, T26, T31 and T32… I would be pedantic and ask when the T26 was upspecced to a five foot calibre gun, but I’m too mature for that- or am I?! 😛 I guess the T26 was designed and specced before the idea of a separate GP frigate was forced on the RN by financial circumstances, so I… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
4 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

I believe that the original fit for the gun harks back to the days of the ‘Global Combat Ship’ requirements which turned into the T26, which we originally were going to have 13 of, although 5 weren’t getting the TA – so were considered as the GP element before it was decided that this was far to costly, hence the T31 GP frigates. I believe that the T83 will turn out to be something more akin to a US Ticonderoga type vessel with a good hull sonar negative TA, and whatever modern weaponry we have to fit on them including… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

A five inch navel gun is effectively the Swiss Army knife for a warship, especially with new ammunition types and opportunities. Personally I think they are very underrated for what they offer in capability.

Im a bit torn on the 57mm for the type 31, I can see it adds a great deal to the air defence of the ship as well as utility in enclosed waters and swarm boat attacks, but I wonder if the utility of the 5inch may make it a better choice in the end ( clearly it was not In budget so a moot point).

Deep32
Deep32
3 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Yes, it’s interesting to see where the future lies wrt guns on warships. Agree that the 5″ has lots of potential for future uses.
I often wonder if the T31 might have been better served with a 5″/57mm combo as opposed to its current fit. There happens to be a fair bit of overlap capability wise with the 57/40 fit as it stands.
Still, better minds and all that!!!

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
4 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

If we only see the future of the 5″ as a conventional gun then I would agree with fitting 57mm to T83 and would question the value of the 5″ on T26; or frankly on any warship in the context of the proliferating ASM threat round the world versus the potential reward from NGFS. If on the other hand the BAES Kingfisher concept comes to market then that would seem to be an ideal capability for a more ASW capable platform that is generally presumed to be what the T83 platform designation suggests. It would also be relevant to the… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 days ago

Looking at the kingfisher, it’s go real potential in enclosed shallow waters for making life hard for electric boats, I’m not so sure what is effectively a 3Kg unguided depth charge will be that useful against an SSN in open seas manauvering against a fast moving carrier battle group. But the open ocean bit against an SSN is one of the roles of the small ship flights, so an extra tool is always good.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
3 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

If you didn’t find your way to the BAES web page below then it’s worth looking at the two videos at the bottom of the page, especially the last. This last one shows how Kingfisher fits in a Find-Fix-Finish model, where the new Lightweight Torpedo is the tool for Finish (delivered from multiple different platforms) and a depth charge payload in Kingfisher is for Fix role. Also shows the BAES expectation for a VLA and an anti-torpedo role for the torpedo.

If they get Kingfisher to market then it would provide a very useful contribution to layered defence.

https://www.baesystems.com/en-uk/productfamily/underwater-weapons

Autolycus
Autolycus
4 days ago

A fusillade rather than a salvo, surely…

Paul.P
Paul.P
4 days ago

Bit off topic but interesting to read the US view of what can be done in the Black Sea regards access to Odessa.
https://www.reuters.com/world/biden-touts-temporary-grain-silos-ukraine-border-help-exports-2022-06-14/

DRS
DRS
4 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I would build temporary silo on the border with Romania, then a belt that transfers grain out over the border to another belt with a clear demarcation of what is where than ships can moor out on the Romanian side to be loaded? No idea what infrastructure is like on that border and if building it there is exposed to fire from ships in vicinity and Snake island? Or if it is deep enough, but just in idea.

Paul.P
Paul.P
4 days ago
Reply to  DRS

I’ve no idea what the US plans. The significant thing is they are avoiding confrontation in the Black Sea. If Odessa does fall Moldova will be next and Romania although in NATO might be destabilised. It’s only 30 years since Caucescu fell. I would go for Poland.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
4 days ago
Reply to  DRS

Isn’t the border with Romania across a rather wide river though, it’s certainly a limiting factor there unfortunately. Be easier if the east of Moldova’s wasn’t a Russian enclave too of course.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
4 days ago

I have maintained both 4.5 and 76mm( A rather good 3 years in Hong Kong!). Ignoring the ammunition, I can look at reliability and failures. When a 76mm goes wrong the results are catastrophic. The feed system is all mechanical linkages, switches and lightweight alloy. If something becomes mis timed in the feed system then things break, snap and are crushed. It usually ends up with bent metal being senga sawed out and new parts on order. to replace parts on a 76, because its compact you usually need to take the gun housing off which is not something you… Read more »

John Harvey
John Harvey
3 days ago

How accurate is the gun.