The UK is looking at ‘Multi Role Support Ships’ to provide future amphibious assault capabilities, but what might they look like?

The Defence Command Paper, titled ‘Defence in a Competitive Age’, describes the planned acquisition:

“Multi Role Support Ships (MRSS), to provide the platforms to deliver Littoral Strike,
including Maritime Special Operations, in the early 2030s.”

An inside source that asked not to be identified had last year attended a briefing at the Commando Training Centre, also known as CTCRM, discussing information relating to future UK amphibious and littoral capability

I was told “LSS and FSSS likely to be sacrificial lambs at forthcoming review in order to get MRSS in larger numbers”. “Ellida will require some tweaks but would appear to reflect the requirements of littoral strike and needs of Carrier Strike”, the source added.

It appears that the source was largely correct, the plan for a dedicated and standlone ‘Littorial Strike Ship’ (LSS) was abandoned whilst the Fleet Solid Support Ships (FSSS) stayed. The deletion of a larger dedicated LSS (as opposed to current plans to modify the Bay class) in favour of smaller but more numerous MRSS vessels fits with current views, “thinking is larger number of smaller targets”, I was told.

“It’s a solution that fits the new doctrine. LSS was going to be a 40,000t conversion of merchant ship, big poorly protected target.”

What is Ellida?

The ELLIDA concept is a 195m multi-role support and logistics vessel designed to provide the capabilities needed in “future global operations, offering the flexibility of a large hull, with internal vehicle and stowage decks, weather deck stowage and additional accommodation”.

It has the utility to transport and deliver troops, vehicles, equipment and supplies from anywhere in the world in support of amphibious warfare and littoral manoeuvre.

Its mix of ship-to-shore offloading and logistics capabilities allow support to naval operations through landing craft, boat operations, multi-spot aviation and replenishment at sea.

According to the BMT website:

“The first member of the ELLIDA family is a 195m multi-role support and logistics vessel designed to provide the capabilities needed in future global operations, offering the flexibility of a large hull, with internal vehicle and stowage decks, weather deck stowage and additional accommodation. It has the utility to transport and deliver troops, vehicles, equipment and supplies from anywhere in the world in support of amphibious warfare and littoral manoeuvre.

Its versatile mix of ship-to-shore offloading and logistics capabilities allow support to naval operations through landing craft, boat operations, multi-spot aviation and replenishment at sea.

BMT considered the operational background and future requirements during the development of ELLIDA – including the development of operational concepts against current and future doctrines of several navies. The result is a balanced design, able to react to the dynamic operational requirements of military commanders in support of government policy for a number of different nations.”

Below are the specifictions.

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James Fennell
James Fennell
28 days ago

About 20,000 tons – about same size as Albions and a third larger than Bays. 6 are what RN is after.

Adam Cadwallader
Adam Cadwallader
28 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Longer term, I see these as better replacements for the Bays, with maybe one procured to replace Argus in the aviation training and casualty recovery role. With Ocean gone, it makes more sense to replace the Albions with LHD that combine Ocean and Albion’s capabilities. 2 would be perfect and together with 4 of these ships would provide a world-class amphibious capability, but the treasury probably wouldn’t be welcoming, especially if the LHD were capable of deploying F-35B.

eclipse
eclipse
28 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

To replace Argus, the Bays, and Albion? Sounds good. 120k tonnes vs 114k tonnes ish, and, hopefully, more commonality will bring the costs down. But an ocean replacement wouldn’t hurt… what’s replacing the Waves by the way?

Challenger
Challenger
28 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

The Waves are still pretty young (approximately 18 years old) and RFA tankers tend to have long service life’s of up-to 4 decades.

Cripes
Cripes
28 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

James, it looks to be almost the same size – length, beam, draught – as a Bay, with a similar vehicle , cargo and troop capacity. The Bay is 16,000 tonnes displacement, is the Ellida 200 as much as 20,000 tonnes?

I wonder why BMT don’t give the full displacement figure in their specs?

James Fennell
James Fennell
28 days ago
Reply to  Cripes

Generally ship designs are by length and capacity not displacement, as those are the factors that are important when choosing a ship. A Ro-Ro of these dimensions would be around 20,000t. MRSS has much greater capacity for TEUs than a Bay, a large hangar and larger superstructure and also internal capacity for replenishment, so I think perhaps more like an Albion which is 176m x 29m x 7m.or a Rotterdam, which is Bay with hangar and thus displaces more.

Last edited 28 days ago by James Fennell
Jonathan
Jonathan
28 days ago

Yes 6 of something like this would be a good replacement for the bays and other hulls. Looking at what they offer they would be able to support a lot of different autonomous vehicles, which is after all the future. My only concern would be around casualty receiving facility, Argus is the only role 3 MTF we have and I really can’t see how you could create a role 3 MTF other than on a dedicated ship. You could containerise role 2 MTF and all major warships can do role 1 MTF. But I really cannot see how you can… Read more »

Lee Cook
Lee Cook
28 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I wonder, if the Bays are to be superceded by this new concept, and if they have a bit of life left in them by the time these new hulls hit the water, couldn’t one of the Bays be converted to a hospital ship role? Casualties can be brought on board by sea or air, and they have plenty of space.

Paul.P
Paul.P
28 days ago
Reply to  Lee Cook

Creative thinking. Up-cycling would be a great idea👏

Coll
Coll
28 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Like the Atlantic Conveyor which was an ex maersk container ship.

Jonathan
Jonathan
28 days ago
Reply to  Lee Cook

Yes Lee, it could, any hull that’s large could be converted to the Role 3 MTF. It would be a good use of the hulls as long as they are not knackered and un cost affective to run over a modern hull.

I would still like to see Role 3 in a proper hospital ship ( painted white with red crosses) as we could use the international aid budget for that and not MOD budgets. It’s only that the navel needed Argus for other military purposes meant I could not be classed as a hospital ship.

Richard B
Richard B
28 days ago

A nice design but I find puzzling the moderate 2-spot aviation capabilities. The c.20,000 tonnes LHD concept seems to have become the norm in most reasonably well funded tier 2/3 navies – France, Spain, Italy, Austrialia, South Korea, Japan, Egypt, Turkey, … . Back in 2000 when the RN had Ocean as a dedicated LPH plus three Invincible class CVSs with a secondary LPH role, the Albion and Bay designs made sense. But Ocean and the Invincibles are now all long gone, and it seems madness to use a QEC as a LPH.

DJ100
DJ100
28 days ago
Reply to  Richard B

I agree which is why we should get 2 mistral’s to go with 6 of these vessels save the money on designing our own, the mistrals are a great design for a decent price. Only get the mistrals once we have our escort fleet back up to 24 though.

Emailittome
Emailittome
26 days ago
Reply to  DJ100

First and foremost, LHD is a warship so UK will never purchase a foreign ship. Secondly, why would the MoD purchase Mistral? This makes no sense? There are no urgency for it, so why would anyone in MoD pay French shipyard or for license to build it at this point for an old Design. You say save money on designing… yet you’re putting money into foreign economy. So what money did you save? You lose skills and knowledge when you do this. There aren’t too many opportunity to design and build a LHD, don’t give that opportunity to a foreign… Read more »

James Fennell
James Fennell
26 days ago
Reply to  DJ100

Mistral is very slow though, only 18 knots. And given the moderm threat environment they make juicy targets. Maybe better to distribute this capability to more multi-role platforms, which is the MRSS concept.

eclipse
eclipse
28 days ago
Reply to  Richard B

The QEs will be deployed as carriers almost all the time they are available, and both will be deployed next year. This means the Navy aren’t planning to use them as LPHs. Yes, PoW will probably be deployed as an amphibious assault or land attack support ship, with Apaches and possibly Chinooks, but it remains different as the PoW doesn’t have a well deck. The only possible explanation – a rather hopeful one, I admit – is that the RN think it will be possible to get at least one LPH.

Steve M
Steve M
28 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

I think 1 (pref 2) LHD and 8 of this type to replace LPDs’/Bays/Argus & FSSS.
I know , i know fantasy fleet time, but IMO that would be an ideal increase in capability while still being able to actually deliver LRG and support QE’s.
but this design was first put out 2 years ago, so it’s not new, just getting enough will be issue if no LPH/LPD’s coming we need min 12 to actually be effective, If the proposal is to replace 10 vessels (2 LPD’s, 3 bays,Agus and 4 FSSS)

Last edited 28 days ago by Steve M
eclipse
eclipse
28 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

This isn’t designed to replace any of the FSSS, that’s still moving ahead with a £1.5bn contract for 3 ships (which seems ridiculously expensive, three times more than a Tide Class. Though those were built in SK). Not sure where you’re getting the 4 FSSS number from, unless you’re counting Fort George. I’m rather confused in the difference between LHD and LPH, but I am aware that Ocean was an LPH. All in all, I agree in the requirement for an LHD/LPH but, since FSSS is being replaced, I think 6 of these will suffice.

Steve M
Steve M
28 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

Hi eclipse, I thought FSSS was still undecided but if getting then i agree 6 would be good (expect we’d get 3 😦), i just think LHD more flexible, it’s why the the new US America class have been changed from 3rd ship to have Well Deck. Ideally i’d Canberra or Triest size with abillity to operate limited number of F-35’s

Last edited 28 days ago by Steve M
eclipse
eclipse
28 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

I didn’t realise LPHs don’t have well decks, now I understand. I agree, 1-2 LHDs + 6 of these would be a very credible amphibious force. Trieste if I remember correctly is marginally cheaper than a Canberra class, but those differences are negligible and they’re both somewhere in the region of a billion pounds. Trieste, like QE, has two islands and would fit well into the RN. I fear that this will go into the direction of Ajax though, and should we order a Trieste design ship it will somehow end up displacing 45,000 tonnes…

Bob
Bob
28 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

LHD = Landing Helicopter Dock,
LPH = Landing Platform Helicopter
The former is the better variant for amphibious operations as it has space for Helicopters and Landing Craft such as the American Wasp class and French Mistrals. The view once upon a time was that the UK would need 3 to sustain 2 at readiness, but that was before the new carriers (which have absorbed the budget and workforce) hence the new ideas being discussed above.

eclipse
eclipse
28 days ago
Reply to  Bob

Oh so an LPH doesn’t have a well deck? I see.

John N
John N
28 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

An LPH is certainly very different to an LHD.

Both have a large open flight deck, a hangar deck below the flight deck for helicopter storage, but from that point onwards there are big differences.

An LPH usually also is equipped with LCVP watercraft to allow for troops to be transported over water, but not usually any ability to transport vehicles.

An LHD goes a step further, equipped with a well dock for LCMs and a light and heavy vehicle deck.

Here’s a cutaway of the RAN Canberra class LHDs:

https://www.navy.gov.au/fleet/ships-boats-craft/lhd

Cheers,

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
28 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

The tides are just big upgraded fuel tankers.

FSSS has to carry large quantities of things that go bang as well as having all the cross deck kit rate for things that go bang.

There is a whole load of fire suppression, blast compartmentation, armouring and moving of munitions to consider.

Anything that can do that kind of thing at tempo and volume is going to be expensive.

Ron
Ron
28 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

I agree with your preferrence numbers. I have often on this and other defence sites argued for 2 LHDs possibly of the HMAS Canberra types and 6-8 of either this Ellida or the Damen Crossover types. In some ways I prefer the Crossover types, slightly smaller but much more flexible with a top speed that could keep up with a carrier task group. There is one diffrence though in the way I would operate the LHDs, rather than have them as Royal Marine assault ships I would have them as assault ships for an Army armoured battle group. The LHDs… Read more »

Steve M
Steve M
28 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Agree if we can get an LPD it should be capable of operating F-35’s even if only 6-8 of them (US LPD’s usually only carry 6 AV-8B’s) in amphib role for CAS, or 12 F-35’s and 6 merlin in a Sea Control / escort Role. if we get 3 FSSS to support CSG’d then the Ellidas would be good replacement for the Bays/Argus adding the extra replen and aviation capability to the fleet.

David Steeper
David Steeper
28 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

To makeit F35 capable would mean a lot of internal re-arrangements which would reduce it’s amphib capacity. Plus the flight deck would need the same protection from the down blast from the F35’s engines. I think Apache would be able to cover almost any tasks they’d likely be faced with. If F35’s are needed then that should be the QE’s job.

Steve M
Steve M
28 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Hi DS, 😦 almost wish we had kept the harriers less footprint? still think any LHA/LHD should have hot landing spot to allow F-35 to land even if just for emergency during combined ops between CSG and LRg

David Steeper
David Steeper
28 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

Hi. Merry Christmas. Emergency landing spot would be great but I wouldn’t have to repair damage ! On Harrier I know. It was a fait accompli we could hitch a ride to USMC or give up VSTOL.

Frank62
Frank62
28 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

Keeping the Harriers would’ve paid for themselves in the Libyan intervention strikes alone according to reports at the time, plus given air support, protection & useful earlier training for the QE’s.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
28 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

No way for the F35B’s but

Maybe as a lillypad at the very most.

The cost of full F35B operations would be astronomical.

Bear in mind it is not just the landing spots it is the lifts **and** having the support team in place on board to service everything.

That would make the ship huge or eat a lot of space needed for other things.

Pete
Pete
28 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

Yes both POW and QE to be deployed in 2022 but not necessarily at the same time. Suspect both will be in CS mode.

James F
James F
28 days ago
Reply to  Richard B

Conceptually the idea is to distribute capabilities: we learned in the Falklands that littoral is dangerous – so if one ship is lost the mission can continue (as a counter to swarm or barrage attacks with missiles). So each ship has some aviation, troops, amphib etc. Also these ship are capable of RAS too. They also learn from the multi-role utility of the Bays – humanitarian, MCM motherships, even heavy sealift, depot ships for forward bases and replenishment at sea tasks are possible. I think one of the FSSS will do casualty clearance.

Paul Irving
Paul Irving
26 days ago
Reply to  Richard B

Italy’s building a 30,000 ton LHD & Spain’s built one of about 27,000 tons, which the Aussies & Turks have also bought. Japan doesn’t have any LHDs. It has two 20,000 ton ASW helicopter carriers, like the Invincibles started out as. No dock, no landing craft, but 30 knots & ASW kit. And a pair of ca 30,000 ton fast helicopter carriers which are being converted to F-35B carriers. That leaves France & Korea building 20,000 ton LHDs & Egypt having bought French ones. Not quite the standard. Perhaps if you’d said 20-30,000 ton LHDs & not included Japan .… Read more »

Eufster
Eufster
28 days ago

The rear CIWS has a poor line of sight because of the chimney things. Also knowing the MOD I doubt those cannons would be on the front.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
28 days ago
Reply to  Eufster

Hi Eufester, yes, agree. The top back deck needs some re-work and could be brought out quite a bit more or the exhaust stacks brought forward for a better arc of fire for the CIWS. There should be better lookout vision onto the flight deck too right down to the hangar doors.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
28 days ago

Seems like a jack of all trades but master of none. I wonder about the utility of such a multirole vessel. Can it genuinely deliver an effective amphibious assault and supplies/ stores to a surface fleet?
In terms of large numbers what are we talking about here? 6 or more hulls so our dedicated LPDs Bulwark and Albion can be scrapped without a direct replacement?

James Fennell
James Fennell
28 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Yes and no – a group of 2-3 MRSS can fulfill their role and that of the Bays and Ocean. 3 MRSS will have facilities for 12 Helicopters, 1,000 troops, more lanes for vehicles than either of those types and also capacity to be configured as command ships, carry PODS for C3I, UAVs, USVs, UUVs, logistics amd stores, self-replenish the Littoral Response Group and escorts and even carry PODS for precision fires for NGS or DE weapons for self-defence.

Last edited 28 days ago by James Fennell
Paul.P
Paul.P
28 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Yeh, recalling that the T26 flight deck will be able to take a Chinook and all the frigates and even a River 2 (in theory) can handle a Merlin you can see a long term strategy to disperse flat top area. More flexibility, reduced vulnerability, increased redundancy and better self defence capability. Smart move. No more Atlantic Conveyors.

James
James
28 days ago

British defence plans are not ambitious at all! By 2030 some other countries would have surpassed the UK. The UK still thinks they can scare countries away by sending a light frigate etc by next decade many countries would have acquired hypersonic weapons that are not superpowers! Britain won’t have ground forces advantage even vs some African countries with cheap killer drones made available to them . Air superiority, and naval power, air defence systems only will give an advantage. Strategic ballistic missiles make a deterrent and difference too

Last edited 28 days ago by James
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
28 days ago
Reply to  James

Don’t worry. The UK is not a superpower either.
Sending a light frigate won’t be designed to scare anyone.
But our Cyber attacks that cripple, our F35s, stand off missiles and SSN’s might.

How will these Hypersonic missiles you mention hit their targets if they are moving?

Who are these countries you mention?

Despite your name, you’re not British I suspect, given your interesting structure and wording of the English language?

Paul.P
Paul.P
28 days ago

Good spot Daniele.

John Clark
John Clark
28 days ago

Hmm, good spot Daniele, looks like we have another Kremlin Morse tapper on our hands….

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
28 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Maybe. Maybe not. An internet forum is open to all, so being foreign as such isn’t an issue. It’s the name combined with comments. Most here Who read or comment on this site are probably Brits like us who lament, moan, slag off and generally gossip on the military. We also care, which is why we do it. In most cases, it’s unlikely a foreigner will care in this way ( with exceptions, such as Gabriele) so comments that are mostly put downs and highlighting faults can only mean an agenda! Otherwise why comment? And an agenda leads one to… Read more »

olanrewaju
olanrewaju
23 days ago

I think the key word may have been ‘they’ rather than the ideal ‘we’ although it’s not conclusive. In addition, nobody imagines our UK acting in a major conflict on its own.
#Articlefive*

*re-election of a financially compromised NATO-sceptic Putin puppet aside.

James Fennell
James Fennell
28 days ago
Reply to  James

The Argintinians had similar views in 1982.

dave12
dave12
28 days ago
Reply to  James

There are only two superpowers in the world James , Russia is not one of them.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
28 days ago
Reply to  James

“Britain won’t have ground forces advantage even vs some African countries with cheap killer drones made available to them .”

Try researching the Falklands campaign, we didn’t have an advantage there either.

Drones will be toast thanks to Dragonfire and one has already been shot down in the past week over Syria by the RAF.

With heavy investment in defence over the next ten years, I very much doubt S.A will pose a problem to us now or in the future.

Try doing your homework first before posting idiotic comments like the one you just have.

https://breakingdefense.com/2021/11/uk-french-officials-gather-to-decide-future-of-missile-technologies/

Paul.P
Paul.P
28 days ago

This looks like a really smart decision. As the saying goes, quantity has a quality all of its own. Very modest crew requirement too, We still need another through deck flat top LPH though to replace Argus / Ocean. But this could perhaps be a cheaper commercial conversion. Argus has been great value.

John Clark
John Clark
28 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Great idea and it certainly gets the thumbs up from me…

I don’t see an LPH happening, but there is certainly an opportunity maximise flexibility and to make internal space really ‘multi roll’ in this design.

Reconfigure for a heavy Helicopters / UAV bias, or troops and equipment or by natural extension, disaster response and evacuation.

The key is balancing cost, displacement and maximum design flexibility…

My preference would be 8 hulls, to ensure five are always operationally available.

Paul.P
Paul.P
28 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

If Ellida alone is the direction I agree we need 8. Its interesting to compare Albion and Ellida with Mistral which is about the same size and tonnage. Ellida looks like an Albion LPD with the addition of a hangar and RAS from logistics volume obtained by sacrificing vehicle metres. Wiki says Mistral has 6 helo spots, can carry 15 ‘heavy’ helicopters, has 4 landing craft and is crewed as a ‘command ship’ ( like Albion and Bulwark). So if say, one carrier was in refit and the other committed (and we were not to replace Argus) then for a… Read more »

Jon
Jon
28 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

The advantage of a through deck is that it can also be used to carry cats/traps drones, saving the two main carriers from needing an expensive a time-consuming conversion, at least until mid-life. And yes, a cheaper commercial conversion would be better than nothing.

Last edited 28 days ago by Jon
Paul.P
Paul.P
28 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Fair point. It’s going to come down to money in the end of course.

expat
expat
28 days ago
Reply to  Jon

I’d agree. Heli’s and Vertical lift drones have limitations. CATO is the only proven way to get range and payload.

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
28 days ago

Sounds like a brilliant plan, so long as they come in decent numbers. 6-8 sounds about right. How would the necessarily smaller well deck impact amphibious ops however? The amount of materiel they would be able to put assure and the number of landing craft would certainly be lower

John Clark
John Clark
28 days ago

I might even be tempted to get rid of the dock well and replace it with smaller Landing craft deployable from side bays on cranes and raiding craft suspended from the sides. My reasoning being the dock well takes up a lot of internal volume, probably best used for storage of Helos / equipment. I would rather have a design capable of say carrying 12 helicopters ( quite possible with reconfigurable interior layout), this would bring more utility than the dock bay. A few embarked Chinooks ( and the Merlin HC4’s) could lift all of the equipment an embarked RM… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
28 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Isn’t the gating requirement going to be the ability to get a Boxer ashore?

John Clark
John Clark
28 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I’m not sure Paul, will Boxer be used by the RM’s, I would think supporting and transporting their equipment was the priority??

Reading up on Boxer, I see it cant be transported in one piece by the A400, fat lot of bloody good that is!

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

Assuming a port is available they’d be taken by the Points en masse.

Our LCUs could carry them and they practise offloading Tanks for example at Browndown, but in a real scenario it is highly unlikely.

We will have too few for starters, they are going to the heavier parts of the army, like the HBCTs, and if the RM require vehicles I’d be equipping them with lighter, amphibious, arctic terrain friendly vehicles like Vikings, not Boxer!

Paul.P
Paul.P
28 days ago

Yeh, I forgot RM + Viking at 10 tons is the probable scenario with ro-ro at a tame port for larger scale / heavier vehicle scenarios. Light army ‘protected patrol’ vehicles can be air lifted for special forces scale insertions. Forward basing MBTs solves a lot of problems on the assumption that you know where they will be needed. Be interesting to see what vehicles the ‘Ranger’ battalions get.

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

I’ve seen it suggested that the Polaris vehicles acquired for the RM may be used,

Paul.P
Paul.P
28 days ago

Interesting; an extension of Jackal thinking I suppose. No armour but maximum speed and manoeuvrability. With a GPMG, a mortar and a rotary drone it would give you the edge on Al-Shabaab. The locals should have lots of APCs.

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

I’m unsure how many the RM have acquired. There was an embargo on reporting it til recently.

colin
colin
28 days ago

Surely would be better to build something like this with LCAC and be able to support troops on the Beach and carry more troops they could even land Osprey
https://www.seaforces.org/marint/Republic-Korea-Navy/Amphibious-Ship/Dokdo-class-LPH.htm

eclipse
eclipse
28 days ago
Reply to  colin

Though I dont know the price of Ellida, I am going to make an educated guess that it is a lot cheaper than that. That is an LPH more equivalent to Mistral. Yes, it’s 280 million dollars, but that’s in Korea. We can see the price difference between the Tides (built in SK) and the FSSS (built here); 150m vs 500m. Whether we’re going to replace Ocean is another question, which was an LPH, but MRSS is needed to replace Albion and Bulwark.

Steve M
Steve M
28 days ago
Reply to  colin

As long as they makesure an LPH/LHD is F-35 capable then not to bothered, as has been said above i think day’s of forced over the beach ops is likely but i think we need to have ability to land heavy equipment without fixed port facilites even for humanitarian Ops, (eg Hati where facilites have been severly damaged) I like the comment making Well dock smaller (1 x LCAC or 2 x LCU) to increase carry volume.

Andrew Hills
Andrew Hills
27 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

They need to have the capability for deploying a Mexeflote off the side Like the Bay Class then you have the heavy lift capability

Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub
28 days ago

I’ve never understood the willingness to accept low speed in the amphibious assault fleet. The USMC are seeking funding for their Light Amphibious Warships which would fulfill many of the same roles as MRSS but in a vessel
capable of moving 75 to 125 Marines and light gear in shallow draft, “as fast as possible.” Plodding along at less than 18kn across the SCS would seem to be asking for trouble.

Pacman27
Pacman27
28 days ago

I really hope that we look at the Canadian G-LAM and Dutch Karel Doorman designs as they are just so much more flexible (think Bays on Steroids). A fleet of 14 ships of a similar design would be a game changer and whilst they will need tweaking for our own needs with 7 focusing more on Solid Stores and 7 on amphibious capabilities the overall effect would be a step change in so many ways. We should consider Ship to Shore Connectors as our replacement for landing craft as this will support UK industry and also mean we don’t have… Read more »

Steve M
Steve M
28 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Ellida is better IMO, KD doesn’t have troop transport capacity, time you take crew (150) and aviation/medical & Cmd staff would be lucky to carry a couple of platoons?

Pacman27
Pacman27
28 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

but it can have troop transport capability if we want it to. we just have to design it in, perhaps adding an extra single height deck specifically for this into the design, as people say steel and air are cheap.

I do think we can improve upon it further and also just think Elida is an old design ethos that is limited in its capabilities when compared to the KD or G-LAM, which have a better base design for us to tweak.

Cripes
Cripes
28 days ago

The Albions will be in service for another 15 years so doubt that is BMT’s immediate target. I wonder what tole it would have now – could be a good replacement for Argus in the disaster relief/PCRS role, if it could embark more helicopters, and if the RN was planning a replacement for Argus, which doesn’t look to be on the cards. I don’t see it as a fit for the Royal Marines Littoral Response ship, if that is being considered. The future RM role will be light, brief raidis on key targets, in between A2AD and coatal missile sites.… Read more »

William Blackshaw
William Blackshaw
28 days ago

As an ex serviceman who served on the old LSLs, which replaced by the Bays, I think the lack of self defence on these ships is of great concern. Surely a Phalanx type weapon is a basic requirement for these types of vessel.

simon
simon
26 days ago

two Phalanx can be fitted and two 30mm cannon and GPMG. I would think they are fitted as when required

Last edited 26 days ago by simon
Joe16
Joe16
28 days ago

I broadly like the idea, any ideas on how many of these would be required to support the CSG? Or is FSSS still alive at the moment? That really is the decider on how many others are available for other tasks.
If they are to replace the Bays, what will carry out the hurricane relief and counter-narcotics work in the caribbean and suchlike too? I can see a case for keeping a Bay just for that- it’s a waste of a River in my opinion. They’re certainly not cut out for disaster relief.

Paul C
27 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

These are intended to replace the Bays, Argus and maybe the Albions also. FSSS is a different project and still in the pipeline as far as I am aware. The last I heard a decision on the FSSS contract is due in 2022.

Johan
Johan
28 days ago

There was a design paper issued some time ago to come up with a Multi purpose vessel with the operation pods replaceable very much Like Thunderbird 2, and it was agreed a single Hull design could accommodate a host of operations. and cover multiply requirements

Frank62
Frank62
28 days ago

Wouldn’t the same size & capabilities with a flat top LHD deck be far more useful & versatile?

Last edited 28 days ago by Frank62
Tom Keane
Tom Keane
27 days ago

Come back Invincible TYPE class carriers (a modern equivalent) , all is forgiven!
Fly’s Jets, all types of Helicopters, with a transport dock for landing operations, Just the ticket!

David Steeper
David Steeper
27 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

4 or 5 F35’s tops.

Pacman27
Pacman27
27 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

the Karel Doorman can do all of this and provide a load of fuel and stores, may need a tweak to to make it everything we need (S2S connectors instead of Landing Craft so it doesn’t need a well dock and can use the steel beach, plus an additional deck for a royal marine battalion or company, but it is 80% there

Steve M
Steve M
27 days ago

According to the article about these on Navy Lookout, it can be built in different lengths? Would not this type of ship be good as a MCM mothership? I n Gulf it could replace the bay for the current MCM ships then and as home to drone ships and replen T-23/31 stationed along with partner nations?

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
27 days ago

Call me old fashioned but I was under the impression that the RFA vessels were supposed to be unarmed, we have pushed the envelope out by fitting “self defence” weapons to them but they are supposed to be unarmed so they can operate under civil authorities and be able to put into “Neutral ports” for provisions so the neutral country can supply the goods and still be seen as not supporting military campaigns. The whole world knows these vessels support the RN and in most cases have RN/RM personnel on board but to all intensive purposes they are civilian vessels.… Read more »

John Hartley
John Hartley
22 days ago

Algeria bought off the Italians, the improved version of the San Georgio.
The Kalaat Beni Abbes, 8000 tons, 8 cell Sylver for Aster, 1x 76mm, 2x 25mm, 3x landing craft, 3x AW101 or 5x Lynx/Wildcat, 15 armoured vehicle tank deck, 60 bed hospital, complement 152 + 450 marines. Modified for the UK, the radar would be Sampson with an extra panel looking straight up, so NT Aster 30 could engage hypersonic/ballistic anti ship missiles. guns would be 1x 57mm + 2x 30mm.