Admiral Tony Radakin, First Sea Lord, was speaking at the Sea Power Conference last week.

This is an excerpt of what the First Sea Lord Said, you can read the full transcript here.

“You will hear more detail shortly from Commodore Steve Moorhouse who commands the Carrier Strike Group. The deployment carries strategic and national significance. A partner nation which embarks and entrusts a squadron of F-35B jets with us. On a carrier which flies the NATO flag. With partner nation frigates, destroyers, and submarines in support. Nine major exercises. Multicarrier operations. Over 40 countries to be visited. Over 70 port visits. Stimulating cooperation and trade. Security. Asserting the freedom of the seas and worldwide reach. Testing and proving new capabilities and possibilities. Values. Alliances. Friends. And shared interests. This is multilateralism on steroids.

And we are going to become even more engaged around the world, in addition to our usual stomping grounds of the Atlantic, Caribbean, Falklands, Mediterranean and the Gulf. We already have a Littoral Response Group deployed off Northern Europe, working with our JEF partners. And by 2023 we will have established a second Response Group permanently based in the Indian Ocean. More investment is going into our nuclear and underwater capabilities, where we have, can and must sustain an advantage. And I foresee that the underwater dimension, the only remaining stealth medium, becomes preeminent for hide and seek warfare.”

British warships will also have an increased presence abroad.

“Let me also mention our very capable Batch 2 Offshore Patrols vessels: the greenest warships in the Fleet. Already HMS MEDWAY is based in the Caribbean, HMS FORTH is in the South Atlantic, HMS TRENT is in Gibraltar and about to have the new ships of the Gibraltar Squadron. Soon the final two, HMS TAMAR and HMS SPEY will head west-about into the Indo-Pacific and join up with the Carrier Strike Group the long way round. TAMAR and SPEY will stay in the Indo-Pacific and be joined by Type-31 frigates in the future.

To reinforce our increased Forward Presence we are going to place at its heart our world-class Commando forces. The IR has endorsed the Future Commando Force, an exciting and bold new concept that blends special-operations-capable troops with cutting-edge battlefield technology. And we can innovate and adapt at the pace of relevance because of the ambition, calibre and intelligence of our people. As an example, over 10% of our most junior Royal Marines have honours degrees whilst 40% are educationally qualified to be Officers. And Commandos provide nearly 50% of all UK Badged Special Forces. That’s a striking proportion from a force that makes up just under 4% of all UK Armed Forces.”

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Tom
Tom
1 month ago

Am I the only one who hates the weapons fit on this ship? at least replace the 57mm with a 5inch to give it commonality with the rest of the fleet and you missed the I in british

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 month ago
Reply to  Tom

Agree with you Tom don’t see much point in the 57mm gun ,5inch better punch

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  Tom

The Type 45’s and Type 23’s both have 4.5inch, the only commonality would be with the Type 26. There’s more development going into new rounds for the 57mm compared to the 5inch, and is a dual use weapon for both surface and air targets. Possibly due to the US Navy standardising on using the 57mm on its new frigates, littoral craft, etc, as the primary gun. If the cash-rich US Navy think it’s the best choice for a frigate, then this validates the RN decision. If more money becomes available to ‘up-gun’ the T31, increasing the number of Sea Cepter… Read more »

Joe16
Joe16
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

Fully agree, I’m OK with the gun armament on the T31, it’s potentially the most fit for purpose in the RN.
NGFS is spoken about a lot, and I don’t disagree that it has been used (not since 2003, mind), but the proliferation of AShMs and even ATGMs (a Kornet or two would give a frigate a bad day, even if they didn’t sink her) to non-state actors makes sailing into shore to provide artillery bombardment less of an option these days in my opinion.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe16

We have been throwing Brimstone around like confetti for the last ten to fifteen years so why not use SPEAR 3. Ditch those damn silly mushroom farm silos, fit ExLS and quad pack a mix of Sea Ceptor and SPEAR 3 and that gives you the option of NMFS (Naval Missile Fire Support). Although SPEAR 3 is primarily being developed as a air launched weapon MBDA have shown art work of quad packed SPEAR 3 in ExLS I think (MBDA co developed ExLS will LM). They have developed and tested a Brimstone variant for surface to surface use off small… Read more »

Bob2
Bob2
1 month ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

The sea ceptor canisters on the t26 and t31 are not the same as those used on the t23 (left over from previous system). The new canisters are position much closer together, but far enough apart to allow inspection of individual canisters. On such large ships the stand alone exls system offers little advantage, it is designed for OPV and corvette sized vessels.

Bob2
Bob2
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob2

T23 sea ceptor

Bob2
Bob2
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob2

Sea ceptor On t23

Bob2
Bob2
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob2

On type 23 : comment image

On type 26/31:comment image

Callum
Callum
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

Commonality with the US frigate fleet is almost certainly the second most important factor in the 57mm being selected for T31, the first obviously being its far cheaper than the BAE Mk45 5″ gun. More Sea Ceptor would certainly be appreciated, but with such a strong gun-based CIWS I’d argue the best upgrade would be to fit the interim anti-ship missile directly to T31 instead of putting it on T23 with the intention of later moving it. It saves money and gives T31 the surface/land attack firepower everyone is criticising it for lacking. The cost is that the RN won’t… Read more »

Tom
Tom
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

I’m under the impression they have stopped the production lines for the 4.5inch shells, The 5inch mount is more than capable of dual use, I have nothing against the 57mm I just think it would simplify logistics if we limited the amount of different ammo types and personally i would have gone with the 40mm CTA mounts instead of the 40mm bofers so that the army and navy could share the costs and with regards to seacepter yes i would like to see more but that said I would like to see a more multipurpose VLS cells fitted to give… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago
Reply to  Tom

Totally agree. 57mm too light for ship to ship & NGS. These are the exact type in the fleet best suited to NGS but they’ve crippled them for this task with a tiny gun.

Cuts & economies foisted on the forces endlessly but not standardising on a single main gun for the obvious rational is bonkers.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago

Im all for enagaging around the world but lets arm our platforms so that when engagment turns to engagement they can actualy “enagage”! However saying that, well done the RN for the previous foresight, planing and preperation which has ensured they are in a prety decent shape at the moment, certainly in contrast to the Army.

Paul42
Paul42
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Arming our naval vessels is a huge problem. We can barely afford to build the ships and simply don’t have the money to arm them appropriately. Type 31 could be a very capable GP Frigate, but instead we are treating it like an oversized OPV. As for our ‘very capable batch 2 OPVs, capable in what way? They have a small calibre gun with a couple of machine guns, plus if indeed one is available, support from a Wildcat, but of course no hangar…… Meantime the Russians are turning out Corvettes with far superior armaments than our Frigates? The Chinese… Read more »

Andy a
Andy a
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

I agree on type 31 but on the rivers what is the point spending millions up arming something that is there for drug interdiction and policing? Do you want to give up f35 or anti ship missles to free up the cash?
I agreed with you till I heard this argument. There whole point is to free up men and more potent ships away from policing and flag flying

Paul42
Paul42
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy a

That is the case. But in this day and age, the pirates and drug dealers ensure they can deal with a lightly armed patrol vessel. I’m not suggesting they be fitted with ffull front line weaponry, but a bigger and more capable gun would be a starting point!

Andy a
Andy a
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

When was last time drug dealers defeated a ship wit 30mm cannon and 2 gpmg??

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy a

… and 2 miniguns on the B2s

Pete
Pete
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy a

I know people will doubt my comments but my employers were awaiting a jackup oil rig that was being towed between Sumatra and Malaysia in the straits. It got shot up by ‘Pirates’ using 0.5 cal who also had something substantially larger up front. Rogue elements of local navy doing some moonlighting.

Would they knowingly take on a RN P vessel with 30mm….no. The issue / risk is that P vessel intervening on something already ongoing.

Look at what Australia and Singapore are putting on their new build/ recent P vessels.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Pete

A 40mm, 2x50cal and no helicopter deck? And no facilities for embarked troops? Yeah that’s much more heavily armed than a River B2 *rolls eyes*
As for Singapore, shocking that a small navy with only 6 frigates needs it’s “patrol boats” to have more of a combat role than the RN.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dern
pete
pete
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

like 50% to 100% additional effective range and a wide variety of smart munition options…like thats not significant…’rolls eyes’ . Setting aside the childish commentary style… The desire should be to match or exceed the threat not come some way towards closing the gap.. Its why policemen in the UK are now often seen with assault rifles rather than truncheons or at best 30 years ago…pistols. You have to evolve and stay on top of the threats you face. I welcome many of the fantastic progressions the armed forces, and in particular the RN and the RAF have made over… Read more »

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  pete

Given that the Rivers can carry a Wildcat with load of Martlets and the Arafuras can’t, yup. Oh and by the way the 40mm on the Arafura? Leonardo lists it’s effective range as 4,500m, while the effective range of the DSM30 on the Rivers? 5,100m. So much for your 50%-100% additional effective range, but facts are so inconvienent aren’t they? (Btw when was the last time you saw a copper on a street corner carrying a rifle?) With the Rivers it’s not Penny pinching, it’s desiging for a purpose (hence why Arafuras have 1,000nm less range, and two weeks less… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Dern
pete
pete
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

i will apologise unreservedly if the Rivers deploy with a Wildcat permanently onboard (and not just the occasional visit !)

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  pete

It not being permanently on board is part of the beauty, you can scale your load out to the threat conditions. Imagine that! Saving reasources by not using them when you don’t need them :O

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 month ago
Reply to  Pete

The issue here Pete is how often does something like this happen? Or was it a one off? Has it or similar events with a larger caliber weapon present been documented? Then there’s the issue that if someone is moonlighting, they’ll have a tough time explaining 30mm damage when(if?) they get back to port. If they decide to pursue the engagement then all sorts of assets could be called in by the RN on them from other navies, including air assets to track and identify them. Far more likely such a craft would turn and run rather than take that… Read more »

Aloitious Balthazar
Aloitious Balthazar
1 month ago
Reply to  Pete

Australia has a single 25mm on the Armidale Patrol Boats, the Cape Class extension of the Armidales has NO main gun, only MGs and the Arafura OPV to replace/supplement the above is slated to receive a single 40mm gun. So which Australian fit out were you suggesting as an example????

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy a

Never, easy answer.

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy a

4 GPMG, 2 Miniguns, 1 30mm Cannon and a ship full of well-trained sailors and possibly Royal Marines.

TrevorH
TrevorH
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

Nonsense

Tom
Tom
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

Paper tiger springs to mind.

Paul42
Paul42
1 month ago
Reply to  Tom

Very apt

Karl
Karl
1 month ago
Reply to  Tom

No one in “power” has the balls to admit it. We are a financial basket case and will be for generations. Am I the only one who thinks all this basking in the glories of empire is a bit daft? Now I am not talking the country down, just asking for a bit of realism. A few little boats scattered around the globe is hardly going to make China or others think Britain is a hard man. There is a lot of jingoism printed on here and in other places. That’s sad. FFS we can’t even afford to arm the… Read more »

Peter S
Peter S
1 month ago
Reply to  Karl

I share your doubts. Why, when we have to use a minehunter( to be retired without replacement in the next few years) to escort Russian warships near our coast, are we planning to base significant forces in the Indian Ocean? What the hell for? I have long been a supporter of increasing defence spending. But this bigger global role makes me question whether we need to. With idiots in charge both at the political and military level, it might be time to cut all spending on people and equipment not directly needed to defend the UK itself. The RAF needs… Read more »

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

What idiots do you think are in charge of our military? The only idiots i see are most of the commentators on this thread except Daniele and Deep32. Some truly ridiculous comments.

Peter S
Peter S
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Anyone who promotes Boris’s frankly silly global Britain theme at the expense of our real security.
If we had a budget large enough to provide fully for our own defence with some to spare for more far flung missions, then OK. To do the latter when the funds aren’t even sufficient to do the former is strategically illiterate.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

Well Peter, we are moving the posture of the Country, lock, stock and barrel, back to a Global trading nation. The RN is, as it always has been, the guarantor of these critical supply lines. So regular Carrier groups and other deployments to the Indian and Pacific Ocean, will be the order of the day through the 2020’s and into the 2030’s. After many decades of decline and North Atlantic anti submarine specialisation, the RN is finally going to the top of the pack again. The 2025 SDSR will probably see this pushed further, with plans for large scale use… Read more »

Peter S
Peter S
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

We have been a global trading nation for centuries but over the last century our share of world trade has shrunk dramatically. The imperial pattern of selling UK manufactured goods to captive colonies in exchange for raw materials is over. We have to produce goods and services that other countries want to buy, in competition with others that don’t see the necessity for a military presence to support trade. Military presence might foster sales of military equipment but Germany does far better even in this area without a presence. I doubt that anyone in SEAsia will choose Jaguar over Mercedes… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S
Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 month ago

And the link below shows the route the LHD Tonnerre and frigate Surcouf have taken out to Japan, along with all the stops. Tell me that isn’t trade and relationship building.

And before someone jumps in with a comment about another country trying to relive days of empire, I’d point out that the French have made 2 port stops in Vietnam. I doubt the latter is celebrating France’s past empire with the French.

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2021/02/french-amphibious-ready-group-set-sails-for-the-indo-pacific/

the_marquis
the_marquis
1 month ago

The French are doing that because they always want to get one up on us! They hear we’re off to the Far East, so they have to go too, and try and get there first! 🙂

Bob2
Bob2
30 days ago

Vietnam makes the best baguettes and croissants in the area.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

I’m a bit of a glass half full sort of chap Peter. All I am saying is that the Royal Navy is our guarantor of our trade route. While the UK has certainly been trading internationally throughout its membership of the EU, it was increasingly done as a small voice within a monolithic organisation. Now it’s all on us. The main manufacturing base in the world is the Far East, so a UK strategy of pivoting in this direction is not only necessary, but desirable. The RN is going back to its core business as the underwriter of this trade… Read more »

Finney
Finney
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

Agree totally about defence presence not boosting trade. Germany has very little presence and yet manages to sell globally because they produce high quality, flexible, and affordable equipment, the same with the French. We mostly produce high-end inflexible equipment that is unaffordable to most, and then not upgraded in a timely manner to keep it at the high-end. The type 31 is just a showboat for foreign systems anyway as nobody is going to order the hull itself built in the UK. “Global Britain” is a nonsense phrase made up by Brexiteers, the reasons we don’t trade as much globally… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Finney

Neff ovens, Bosch electrics, VWs, V2s, Weissbier, Boxer, Leopard, St Hildegard….if it’s German it works.
The full impact of Brexit is now personal. The Wheat beer shelves at Aldi are not stocked like they used to be…
Neff ovens, Bosch electrics, VWs, V2s, Weissbier, Boxer, Tiger, Leopard, St Hildegard….if it’s German it works.
The full impact of Brexit is now personal. The Wheat beer shelves at Aldi are not stocked like they used to be…

Last edited 1 month ago by Paul.P
expat
expat
1 month ago
Reply to  Finney

Just check stats on UK R&D we’re are below Germany spending 1.7% against their 3.1%. However diving deeper the UK Government investment in R&D actually exceeds Germany in funding R&D and provides much better tax breaks for companies investing R&D. So its not a Government problem more a problem with British industry.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

Many Americans think (rightly) that Europeans cannot defend the Continent without them. It is no great leap to suppose that others might think that the UK should stick to Home/BOT Defence first, then to use any surplus military capability to aid ‘the Europeans’ with Continent defence.
Is there really anything left over for significant and sizeable Global operations after the recent defence cuts, excepting perhaps for a single CSG on periodic deployments?

Peter S
Peter S
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Exactly my point of view. In these areas of operation, we can offer full spectrum capability. We have just about enough equipment and manpower to maintain a serious presence in the gulf. To go beyond these commitments really requires bigger budgets and more forces than any political party would countenance.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Hi Robert, i just want to say, even as not having served in the military myself, my father yes, WW2, survived Dunkirk, Africa, Singapore and Burma, and as his son I am grateful for his and everyone’s service and sacrifice past and present. I and others here just want the best for the British armed forces as I’m sure you do. The perception of under arming on the naval ships is a real concern to a lot of us. Happy to wait (a bit) and be proven wrong.
Up the Brits!

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Hi Quentin. The OPV’s aren’t designed for high end warfare against the Chinese fleet. But for drug smuggling, piracy, freedom of navigation ect, roles that are currently carried out by a Frigate or a Destroyer. Now we don’t need a 1Billion T45 chasing drug runners around the Caribbean. So these globally deployed OPV’s free up our T45’s & T23’s for carrier task groups ect and the high end tasks. And the OPV’s are very capable assets. A warships capability isn’t simple measured on how big it’s gun is. Certainly not on an OPV. Other nations patrol vessels may carry more… Read more »

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Exactly. There is more to the R2’s than just their current armament. There’s the ‘boring’ stuff like range, endurance, elint, etc. Even without mentioning build quality such as watertight bulkheads, enhanced firefighting ability and armoured magazines to name just some. Many of these comparison opv and corvettes of Russia, China etc, are little more than armed barges that are tinderboxes and a waiting deathtrap for their crew.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago

Couldn’t agree more mate. And I could well imagine the training of your average Russian or Chinese sailor isn’t up to western standards, or the exposure to large scale exercises like Joint Warriors, or Red Flags. This Russian exercise near the Ukraine border looked like something from the early 80’s judging by the state of the equipment and the personnel.

TrevorH
TrevorH
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Yes.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

Peter, what is the relevance of whether a Russian ship’s escort is a minesweeper, OPV or T45? Russia isn’t going to kick off WW III with the initial act being the sinking of a minesweeper or OPV. They won’t have surface ships anywhere near the UK if we are in a hot war with them. We are positioning naval assets further afield because we have commercial, financial and political interests in these places. Piracy is an increasing everyday threat to merchant vessels, the Gulf of Guinea and the Singapore Straits being two hot spots. Drug running is destabilising and often… Read more »

Andy a
Andy a
1 month ago

Exactly yes Russia gunna sail up to coast and launch missle attack on Harrogate. Get grip I know it East ideal and hopefully navy is being rebuilt but does any other nation keep a war ship on constant home alert like we do?
For god sake stop making it political and stop running great nation down

Andy a
Andy a
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

Daftest rubbish ever and I see some rubbish on here. The reason the Royal Navy are the best in the world is there experience. The go all over the world and have real world experience. But no your right let’s turn them into equivalent of bloody third world home guard. Yes they need reinvestment after ten years of war, yes MOD spending needs sorting but guys we are worlds 5 economy stop running us down like some third world hell. Yes we are minor partner to the cousins but hey!

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

The thing is we are a nation with national interests across the globe. If we don’t defend those interests our security and well being suffers.

The threat to our home islands is at present very limited and is more related to policing and monitoring. It’s the wider world which hold potential threats to our national interest wealth and wellbeing.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

Can I just ask exactly what level of civil unrest are you talking about that needs the army to manage. Civil unrest is a policing matter. Asking solders (who are trained and equipped to fight wars) to manage civil unrest is just asking for trouble and a really unfair thing to ask our armed forces to deal with. It’s a right to demonstrate, this should be policed in a way that protect all involved.and if there is rioting we have a perfectly adequate and trained police force restore order.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jonathan
Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I meant to pick up on that point. Its a bit unusual for anyone in the UK to think of the Army managing civil unrest.

Karl
Karl
1 month ago

Why? Or were you asleep during The Troubles?

Karl
Karl
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

The civil unrest will come because of government authoritarianism. Or are you people so obsessed with gunboats to miss the obvious? We are broke, Scotland and Wales want out of the union. NI is bubbling because Doris sold the Loyalists down the river. The pandemic has created a generation of disaffected youth, let down over education, housing and employment. Some of our Muslim and Afro Carrib communities are creating no go zones in cities and towns. Reason? They do not trust government. Speak to the average citizen in any part of Britain and it is not global presence that they… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Karl

“Am I the only one who thinks all this basking in the glories of empire is a bit daft” Empire long gone. The UK is a P5 UNSC member, G8 member, one of the worlds biggest economies, and a medium ranked power with niche capabilities others lack. And as a residue from that empire we have diplomatic, cultural, political, and military ties around the world. So being globally engaged is nothing whatsoever to do with empire, no more than France or any other medium power. What is an issue is the lack of forces. It is not making China think… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago

Such a lot of doom and gloom about mate! I feel the pain constantly trying to explain what where why etc. HMG finally trying to do things and we’re still not happy it seems!! Yes we’ve had to swallow some pride with the cuts, but, we are slowly working on regenerating capabilities. RB2 are built for a few specific low end tasks, and equipped accordingly! All we really know about T31 is that it’s got 3 guns, upto 24 sea ceptor missiles and will have a helicopter. As it’s not even built yet, a bit like T26, why not wait… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

Morning Deep. The T21 of its time? Or better, given the capabilities of systems now. I’m pleased with its size, so there is room to expand if needed. I feel forums like this are vital to fight the trolls, doom mongers, or just try to put some reason and perspective on things. I hate the cuts as much as anyone but one must try and see beyond them and compare just what the UK can do compared to most other nations bar a few which can be counted on the fingers of one hand. As an example, if Poland has… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago

I think part of the problem is people see numbers of tanks, planes and frigates thinking that’s the end of the matter. Not really understanding that protecting our national interest is about the ability to apply the correct resources in the correct place. Be that an OPV with with fast boats and boarding parties to chased down drug dealers in the Bahamas , a frigate as part of an international effort to prevent closure of a strait, a show of amphibious capabilities in norther water, as well as a reassuring presence in the most souther oceans, escorting foreign warships in… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Agree. Well said. Better than me.

Why so many are offended by the UK being somebody and post empire think the UK should shrivel up and go away is beyond me.

Nick C
Nick C
1 month ago

I agree with your comments, and there are the usual glass well empty types on here running everything down. Taking up your point about lack of forces, it’s good to see the OPV’s being forward deployed, and we are going to see some headlines soon about anti piracy in places like West Africa and the Malacca Strait. But consider this, the five T31’s will replace the same number of T23’s. They will then leave UK waters to replace the OPV’s forward deployed. So actually we are depleting the Frigate force in our primary area of concern, NATO, rather than increasing… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick C

Morning Nick. I’d hope the T31’s augment the RB2s rather than replace them so more ships are deployed forward. Maybe though they will return to UK waters to replace the B1s. For home waters / NATO / N Atlantic the MPA, autonomous underwater systems and dare I say it more SSN is what deals with Russian submarines. For me the RB2 is almost perfect for its role, pity lack of hanger though, I’d read that could have been included in the costs of TOBA? I’d be more interested in giving the RB2 a UAV and a comprehensive SIGINT fit so… Read more »

the_marquis
the_marquis
1 month ago

Hi Daniele, i would agree with your assessment of the RB2, and add that the greatest criticism of it is the cost of the programme, which is purely political as it was used as a stopgap while decisions were made on future frigate numbers. If things had been properly worked out in advance, the RB2 could have been potentially done cheaper and maybe also by another UK shipbuilder, concurrent to the T26. But, hey, the painful part is over, we are where we are, which is ironically back at the start where the RN wanted to be, with the C1/T26,… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  the_marquis

Morning TM.
Planning. If only.
I’d like to see full transparency, MoD decisions accountable to parliament, and criss party agreement regards defence and spending commitments going forward.
Not just the PDSC, which has no power.
How else can planning be done properly otherwise.

the_marquis
the_marquis
1 month ago

very true, Daniele, and yes it would be good to have full transparency. Also, did I imagine it, or is there a plan to keep military officers and civil servants in charge of procurement in place for longer, to keep continuity and responsibility for projects and decisions etc

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  the_marquis

Not heard that myself but I hope so.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago

Hi Daniele, Nick C and others I have read this thread with interest. So I’ll lay out my position up front. I do believe that the T31 (as rendered), the T26 as being built and the T45 as completed are under armed. There is a very good article on Navy Lookout doing a comparison of armements of various ships from across the global and the T26 does not compare well. However, I do agree with you that the capability is often about more than the weaponry, as you say SIGINT is a big part of it along with lots of… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Hi mate, like you I’ve read the NL article, and have found it a tad misleading WRT both the T31/26 units. T 45 score yes agree totally, but the other two are not built yet, so, we do not know exactly what the final weapon outfit will be. T31 is slated to get I-SSGW from the T23s as they retire. T26 will be fitted with MK41 VLS, no decision has yet been made as to what’s going on them, nor does it have to be yet!!! So, a trifle unhelpful for comparison purposes. Yes, when built and if nothing else… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 month ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Sorry CR but I’m going to disagree on your rating of that Navy Lookout article. IMV it was far too simplistic and ignored capability of systems. The author admitted as much with his caveats but then used the comparisons anyway.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago

Hi Glass Half Full, Yup, I agree with you and I did point that out early on in my post to be fair. But I still think there are significant and silly risks being taken, for example, there is apparently still no torpedo system procured for the T26 despite the fact that the facility is there for one to be fitted. So yes the comparison is focused on weapons only which is simplistic and it uses data on based on what is currently announced, what else could it be based on? I think the value of such comparisons is that… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 month ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Each to his own CR, but the article seeks to make issues where there are none IMV and focuses on counts rather than capabilities. For example, of course the T26 will initially go to sea with nothing in its MK41 … because we don’t have anything qualified for MK41 yet. The T26 will be the qualifying platform for the RN. But the article then assumes that we won’t have any weapons for the MK41, because it assumes T26 will have no SAM, no ABM, no SSM and no Land Attack capabilities. It considers a torpedo launcher critical, worthy a category… Read more »

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago

Hi Glass Half Full, To be honest I do not think we are that far apart. I agree with what you say above, my main concern is that there is so much for which there is apparently no funding. If you are aware of any announcements from the UK MoD regarding qualification of new weapons for the MK41 I would be very interested. The point I am trying to make, badly it seems, is that until there is a funding line in the procurement plan there is no capability and I have seen no mention of what will go into… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 month ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Hi CR, you make a valid point about funding lines, without which nothing happens. However, I believe we are not hearing about population of MK41 (and perhaps other weapons) just yet for a couple of other reasons. We need to decide which weapons to qualify Glasgow isn’t due to be operational until 2027 Focusing on the weapons choices. The main issue is many of the weapons we might fit are in the define, design and development stage, so its unclear what capabilities they offer and/or what gaps might be left. If T26 gets a medium range SAM then do we… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
30 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I would like to see rocket launched Stringray torpedo, fill some of cells of Mk. 41. VLS.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago

Hasn’t all the wording at the moment re:River B2’s in the Far east been along the lines of “Joined by an Inspiration” rather than “replaced by.”
Agree re pity about the Hangar but it’s not all doom and gloom, the River can embark a Helicopter for a few days at a time if needed, and it has the facilities to refuel and rearm them so it’s not like it’s just a quick touchdown for the pilot to have a snack, especially in the more enclosed waters we’d be seeing in SE asia I presume.

russ
russ
1 month ago

Hi Daniele, Do you think the plethora of “military power” sites which compare numbers of weapons and personnel, cause this “we don’t have enough armaments/personnel/missiles” argument? I have read very little on the internet in general about quality of forces and any need for such things, plus the logistical tails which grow with every additional armament system. I agree with FFBNW as we have historically expanded provisions at times of real need.
Lets get the hulls/aircraft/vehicles first!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  russ

Maybe Russ.

I think the reality, certainly for me, is that many of us have followed this subject for decades and are more than a little sensitive and sick to the back teeth with the endless cuts since 91.

I myself do see the qualities and capabilities the UK military have kept, though. It’s not all about numbers, though numbers are important. Logistics, know how, training, experience, all play a part.

I’d rather have all of those and fewer assets than lots of assets looking good and no ability or will to use them.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick C

Nick, the T32 will be an uplift in frigate numbers. Adding a class of 5x would increase destroyer and frigate numbers to 24x from the current nominal 19x.

We should also note that due to various issues we have had 1x T45 and 1x T23 tied up alongside on extended readiness, in combination with lifex on T23 and PIP now under way on T45. So for the last 4 years the numbers actually deployable have been very low, that’s now improving.

This link, while a little dated, has an excellent illustration of how this plays out https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1229857912903872513.html

Nick C
Nick C
1 month ago

GFH! Good evening. A very interesting thread on The Reader, and certainly cautiously optimistic. There are a few things I would disagree with, for instanceHMS Monmouth is very unlikely ever to go to sea again, which brings the T23’s down to 12, but when the piece was written that was probably not the case. Likewise the T45’s are now getting back out and their availability is very much better than it was. And yes availability for deployment is getting better, thank goodness. The concern that I have is that although we have been shown/ told that both the T32 and… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick C

The analysis is no doubt aging as we now have early retirements for 2x T23 GP. IMV, its greatest strength is reflecting what it takes in total numbers to support availability numbers and that its the later we should care about, not the former. T83 isn’t going to hit FOC any earlier than when the first of the T45’s leave service, so 15+ years away. T32 is unlikely to start build earlier than 2027. Many assume it will be T31 based, but I suspect MOD will compete the design to see if a more modern and optimised platform is a… Read more »

Karl
Karl
1 month ago

We are like France bud. A broken debtor nation with the potential for serious civil unrest bubbling. Except the Eton educated idiots and Daily Mail readers want to play with the big kids.
Then the Indians and Pakistanis do play cricket wot?

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  Karl

“Now I am not talking the country down”… but you are 🤷‍♂️

Karl
Karl
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

Dose of realism.

expat
expat
1 month ago
Reply to  Karl

We can afford it but it involves choices. We spend 2% of GDP on defence FFS, cut another area by 1 or 2%.

Karl
Karl
1 month ago
Reply to  expat

Or borrow more? Put off the pain until later.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

The Russian corvettes have half the endurance and range of a River 2 and operate mostly in the Baltic and Black Sea.
Some info on the River 2s which can refuel and re-arm a Wildcat or Merlin and carry 50 RM with who knows what pedestal launched missiles.
https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2016/06/thoughts-batch-2-river-class/

Nate m
Nate m
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

i thought we were rich? why can’t we afford new stuff? what’s the problem? does the defence boost mean nothing? are we prepared for a flashpoint war? the british armed forces in recent years are in chaos! i mean we can’t even insure a anti ship missile will be delivered.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

What an engaging response about how to engage with engagement.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Good point about the army. Their very long engagement in Afghan and Iraq (to a lesser extent) meant the focus was on acquistion by UOR of multiple different wheeled PM vehicles and developing the TTP for conducting operations against irregulars in hot arid conditions.

The eye was taken off the ball for all other equipment procurements and Training/TTP at the high-intensity type of warfighting against peers/near-peers.

Plus very little combat deployments (and hence experience gained) since end of HERRICK in Dec 2014.

A near-disastrous situation has resulted.

James H
James H
1 month ago

I just question, do we really have the numbers for this or are we spreading ourselves even thinner then before.
Without helicopters the rivers are not ideal for the job, which brings the question, What is their job out in the indo pacific?

Karl
Karl
1 month ago
Reply to  James H

No we don’t have the numbers. On a footnote we can’t even care for veterans, or trust politicians to keep promises about veterans being protected.
Glad other folk are asking questions.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Karl

We do care for veterans in this country and try very hard to make sure the services are there when needed.

As with all complex problems ( Verterans health issue are diverse and sometime are only realised later on) it ca be difficult to fins the right answers ( if mental health was easy we would not lose so many to self destruction) But there are great initiatives to drive up the quality of support to veterans.

Karl
Karl
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

What country do you live in?

TrevorH
TrevorH
1 month ago
Reply to  Karl

Like many on here and elsewhere, you are an hysteric.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago
Reply to  Karl

I’m a veteran, and I had great support when I left the RN, as did my peers when they chose to move on. But the government can’t wipe your arse for you 24/7 once you have left. If you need help, you have to pursue it, and take what is offered.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 month ago
Reply to  James H

“What is their job out in the indo pacific?” Interdicting drug running and piracy and helping to provide a deterrence to such activity along with regional and other actors, building and reinforcing relationships in the region. Demonstrating that we care about the regions where we deploy and are prepared to locate assets in support of that.

They’ll probably get UAS sometime in 2023 to improve surveillance, per the recent tender.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago

Also building local knowledge of the region so that when larger assets like CSGs, LRGs, or even a Inspiration Class Frigate show up, there will be a crew that knows the local situation like the back of their hand to bring them up to speed.

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 month ago

Will forward deploying all 5 River B2’s OPV’s aboard, leave force protection levels thin on the water, with only 3 River B1s available to defend UK waters? So the MoD may have to call on full frigates which maybe a diversion from a ASW taskings, to intercede in a fishing dispute maybe around Jersey.

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion X
Peter S
Peter S
1 month ago
Reply to  Meirion X

For the second time in a week I agree with your concerns!

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Why would 3 River Batch 1’s not be enough to handle fishing disputes?

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Even if all 3 River B1’s were available to deploy in home waters, they may struggle if confronted by hundreds of determining
fisherman blockading a port.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Meirion X

I don’t think that any amount of fishing trawlers will be able to stand up against a 1,600t naval vessel coming at them at 20knots and firing a 20mm cannon if it really comes down to it….

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Meirion X

I wonder if more could be made of the Archers beyond URNU tasks?

I would not use a frigate, imagine the headlines. It was bad enough when the daft R Mail screamed that our gunboats are opposing the French, when in fact the Rivers sat and observed.

Damo
Damo
1 month ago

They don’t half talk some nonsense at times. How will a carrier port call generate trade for the uk economy? STD tests are free…

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Damo

How wont it? Discussions with top military brass and politicians from the country that is being visited are exactly how trade deals are discussed and started.

Damo
Damo
1 month ago
Reply to  James

This isn’t the 1840s, pal

Karl
Karl
1 month ago
Reply to  Damo

Nail on the head bud.

criss
criss
1 month ago

Why cant our patrol ships look like these French ones
https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2021/05/names-of-french-navys-pom-opvs-revelead/#prettyPhoto
they seem to look better,

just interest that’s all.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  criss

Well, we wouldn’t have been able to base the River B2’s off the B1’s if we wanted them to look like that… we also wouldn’t have had much of a helicopter flight deck since they can only use a 750kg UAV… they’d have a similar range, but less endurance than the Rivers, a smaller potential embarked force, and most improtant to the people who get upset online a *GASP* 20mm gun.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

A 20mm gun, quelle horreur !

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Those are the half dozen destined for French overseas territories, right? Not the ten Aviso replacements, which I’m sure will get a big gun.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Correct, the POM listed above is for the French possessions in the Indo-Pacific region. The replacement for the Avisos is the PO, which apparently is more inteded for the Atlantic, and are planned to be equipped with a 40mm gun. I’ll leave it up to the interwebs to decide if that is classed as “big” or not.

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Atlantic, Med, Black Sea, Africa…. 40mm isn’t as big as I’d have expected.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

shrug there really isn’t much need for anything more than a 30-40mm on an OPV IMO. You want to deal with something that something of that caliber can’t deal with you’ll be needing CIWS, some sort of missile, and maybe CAMM or Aster, at which point you don’t have an OPV, you have a Corvette/Light Frigate/Aviso.

criss
criss
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Thanks for the info.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
1 month ago

I hope the budget will be available to our globally more engaged armed forces and we do not continue the British Hovernment long tradition of demanding more for a lot less.

Mark Forsyth
Mark Forsyth
1 month ago

All this talk about deployment, I was more amazed re the stats for the qualifications of the Royal Marines. To say they are the “best of the best”, would be a bitof an understatement, and that’s coming from a former Pongo !

the_marquis
the_marquis
1 month ago

Great stuff! Looking forward to seeing Tamar back in Victoria Harbour (not that the old one ever left, mind), plenty of spots at Kai Tak to tie up at – the duty free shops there could use the business! Hope they fit a white awning over the helideck for old time’s sake!

Richard Wakefield
Richard Wakefield
1 month ago

The issue for me with the RN is the lack of independent thinking coming together with a non group think strategy. I think all of our warships are under gunned, lack sufficient missile numbers and mostly cannot act independently. I believe they individually need to be jack of all trades but are clearly are not! Does anyone analyse the weapons fits our potential adversary’s have??? A guide would also be what our allies have. If we did this I believe if we are honest with ourselves our ships are not as good as they should/can be. These ships are all… Read more »

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 month ago

Told agree with you Richard our ships are fine but under Armed ,and makes sense to give them weapons fit to survivor or there may not be around to make the next fight.🤕

Meirion X
Meirion X
30 days ago

The Royal Navy’s anti-submarine hunting frigates need to be the opposite of ‘jack of all trades’ very specialist vessels quite running, , with specialist tools like ‘towed array sonar’ to detect submarines in deep water. They are very expensive and very few in number and in high demand. They do need a specific warpon like rocket launched StringRay torpedo that would take a torpedo to it’s target very quickly before a sub has a chance to get away. But unfortunately at present ASW frigates do Not even have this launching system fitted, Mk.41 VLS. Only in the future with Type… Read more »

Last edited 30 days ago by Meirion X
Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago

Who’d have thunk that this would quickly degenerate into a “need more guns and missles” debate. Cheers for the real deep insight there guys….. 😂 Interesting that we’re almost going back to having ‘fleets’ based around the globe, albeit weally teeny weeny ones. I can see the logic of it and despite what those ‘deep thinking’ types seem to obsess about, having a large and lightly armed vessel dotted about strikes a balance. Is there really any point putting one of our (few in number) destroyers or specialised frigates on its own in foreign waters ?? They’re more complex vessels… Read more »

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy P

That it does💰

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy P

I don’t want the Rivers upgunned. I want more of them, with more ELINT and some UAVs. And like the government is also supposed to, I want more for less now TOBA isn’t a factor.

More than half the world’s navies only have tiny, constabulary forces. They don’t/can’t join in naval exercises with the big boys and I’m sure would appreciate working with the RN to keep the oceans safe.

Jon
Jon
1 month ago

Does the 2nd LRG being “permanently based in the Indian Ocean” necessarily mean Diego Garcia, or are there alternatives?

Challenger
Challenger
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

My first thought was Oman both due to the amount of investment gone into the new facilities and its proximity to The Gulf and Red Sea.

Tamar and Spey will presumably be stationed in Singapore and it seems logical to expand the existing base there if it’s still the plan to increase the footprint somewhere in The Far East.

Diego Garcia will be a useful stopover and air bridge as things get busier East of Suez but is too remote to justify a much bigger presence.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Challenger

Also Bahrain, slightly more up the gulf but it has a large RN Naval base already in situ.
If none of those serve we have plenty of friendly powers who I’m sure would like to host a British Fleet. Perth perhaps?

Challenger
Challenger
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Maybe Bahrain but I imagine their will be a push to base something in Oman given that we’ve invested fairly heavily in new facilities. If you’re going to build British owned/run infrastructure it makes sense to use it rather than being hosted in a friendly nations own port.

Whatever the choice the LRG will no doubt visit The Gulf and the entire rim of the Indian Ocean on a frequent basis.

the_marquis
the_marquis
1 month ago
Reply to  Challenger

Hi Challenger, I guess the only issue with Spore is whether they want to have more western naval ships there on a permanent basis. They’ve been trying to walk the fine line between the US and China and not upset anybody, so as far as I’m aware, while it’s a key refueling station and there’s the LCS based there, the USN footprint is a relatively small size (800-odd personnel), and the Singaporeans are wary of having anything larger on a permanent basis. I suppose this is also a strength of the Rivers, they won’t rub people up the wrong way… Read more »

Challenger
Challenger
1 month ago
Reply to  the_marquis

I hadn’t considered Singapore’s view. To my mind they’d have no issue with an increased Royal Navy presence given they are a 5 Powers member and already host the small RN base and USN vessels. I imagine any ‘new base’ East of Suez would be pretty modest so as you say a very small expansion of the Singapore site and the permanent allocation of a couple of OPV’s would still be a very light footprint. We all know basing vessels in the region is as much about increasing Britain’s diplomatic leverage and drumming up trade as actually supporting allied nations….which… Read more »

the_marquis
the_marquis
1 month ago
Reply to  Challenger

Indeed, me, too! It’s something I’ve been grinding my teeth about for over a decade, tbh, so I’m very happy about this shift in focus and I do think it’s great to be getting back engaged with the APAC region, because, ultimately, this will be Asia’s century, and it’s where all the economic growth will be. In the same way, I think it was good to join the AIIB (against US wishes) and the sucessor to the TPP. China, in a sense, is already over, the days of the quick buck are passed and it’s not so welcoming to gweilos,… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago

The defence review argued for getting British military ‘globally engaged’. It has to be done. Leaving the EU means there is no easy, protectionist way to make a living. We need to succeed at global trade. Most of this travels by sea so we need a larger and more powerful navy. China, Russia, Turkey and Isil are all attempting to either ingratiate themselves or gain influence by overt military interference in African countries many of which are former British colonies. Putin needs to be countered in Europe and the ME. We need to be present, credible, reliable and helpful. Whatever… Read more »

Kayla Bibby
Kayla Bibby
1 month ago

So by 2023 the RN will finally have a significant permanent operational base on Diego Garcia alongside the US facilities already on there?

mikeytee
mikeytee
1 month ago

Great aspiration, but without sufficient hull numbers we are going to be overstretched especially in our own backyard. I don’t see the current build rate negating this issue anytime before the late 2020’s

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  mikeytee

Agreed. By the start of the 2030s, we should be back to 2020 parity with escorts (possibly even fully crewed!) and if the Type 32s follow directly from the Type 31s, we’ll avoid the gap that would have opened again as the final Type 23s leave service faster than the Type 26s are commissioned. However, with the loss of the minehunters that act as backup OPVs, we will be down hugely on patrol vessel capability in the next decade. The B1 Rivers will retire and we’ll be back to using too-scarce frigates for patrol duties and as a MCM taxi… Read more »

Neil Douglas
Neil Douglas
1 month ago

Are we going to have more of the same old tripe that lets our ships go to sea inadequately armed ? Naval vessels irrespective of their role must have sufficient armament to deter or destroy opponents. Even these Fast Patrol Boats going to patrol the channel are either unarmed or so lightly armed as be useless, unless it comes to hand to hand fighting! In the channel the French have heavier armed ships and we don’t know the French fishermen’s plans if they don’t get their way. Can you imagine the French Navy standing by if we prevent their fishermen… Read more »

Damo
Damo
1 month ago
Reply to  Neil Douglas

Lol. I guarantee you there will be no firing between the RN and the French Navy. We are allies. Proper ones

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago

To effectively engage worldwide we need much bigger armed forces than we’ve insanely reduced to.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank62

Your not thinking this from a policitcans perspective. More engaged worldwide means flying the flag and doing galas worldwide and selling weapons (tiny part of GDP and waste of resources aside). They don’t mean actually using the armed forces to fight anyone

Ian
Ian
1 month ago

So we are being told the British military are going to become more engaged round the world – the first question is can the UK afford it with the present MOD budget?
The UK retreated from large parts of the globe in the 1960’s due to budget problems – so what has changed. Just look at the present Government borrowing figures.
The situation we do NOT want to get into is to have a over stretched military which cannot deal with anything serious if it comes along.

Ian White
Ian White
1 month ago

So we are being told the British military are going to become more engaged round the world – the first question is can the UK afford it with the present MOD budget?
The UK retreated from large parts of the globe in the 1960’s due to budget problems – so what has changed. Just look at the present Government borrowing figures.
The situation we do NOT want to get into is to have a over stretched military which cannot deal with anything serious if it comes along.