HMS Tamar proudly announced its participation in the Tonga International Fleet Review via Twitter this week.

The International Fleet Review serves as a platform to celebrate and strengthen the bonds between the participating countries.

It provides an opportunity for naval forces to showcase their capabilities, share knowledge, and promote regional security and cooperation.

The ship’s attendance is part of its broader mission in the Indo-Pacific region, where it continues to play a crucial role in maintaining maritime security and fostering international partnerships.

The vessel is a Batch 2 River-class offshore patrol vessel, designed for a variety of missions including counter-piracy, anti-smuggling, fishery protection, and humanitarian aid. Equipped with advanced navigation and communication systems, the ship can operate independently or as part of a task force.

Last month, a successful experimental link-up between HMS Tamar and the US Navy’s submarine tender USS Emory S Land demonstrated the potential for enhanced operations in the South Pacific, according to a press release from the Royal Navy.

HMS Tamar’s link-up expands Pacific patrol capabilities

Commander Tom Gell, commanding officer of HMS Tamar, highlighted the significance of this operation in a press release, saying, “The Emory S Land’s support for Tamar – or any Royal Navy ship of a similar size – on operations for a sustained period both alongside and underway is a realistic possibility. The maintenance capabilities of US submarine tenders are significant. Discussions suggest that we could be afforded full support if required.”

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_833566)
10 days ago

Hopefully the UK is working on getting some more B2 Rivers export or licence sales. Such good, functionally useful ships and maybe a more affordable patrol level option for some nations like Tonga? I saw on Janes recently that there’s a pending requirement for up to 9 of this type ships for Brazil. Hopefully the UK can get the nod for these. 🇬🇧 🇧🇷

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_833567)
10 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Just out of curiosity do we know the other countries present at this fleet review?

Jon
Jon (@guest_833588)
10 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Ten countries. I know Tamar was on exercise a day or two before the review with HMAS Choules and a Japanese Mogami class frigate JS Noshiro.

As well as those three: Tongan VOEA Ngahau Koula and VOEA Ngahau Siliva, USCG Harriet Lane, HMNZS Manawanui and China’s PLA-N Zibo; also Papua New Guinea’s HMPNG Gilbert Toropo, Samoa’s SPB Nafanua III and Cipbtekukupa II,

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_833613)
10 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Thanks Jon. China there too, interesting. Naval diplomacy of snooping… Lol 😁

Last edited 10 days ago by Quentin D63
FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_833570)
10 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Agree that these are very successful ships when utilized for narrowly drawn missions. Serious problems would arise if these vessels were to be pressed into roles not designed for, by exigent circumstances.

BZ to HMS Tamar for service rendered on this patrol.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_833615)
10 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

There have been comments here before and on NL about possible upgrades to the B2 Rivers, like a 40mm and a pair of 30mm, LMM, telescopic hangar and Wildcat, AShMs. The Thai navy has a licence built pair with 76mm and Harpoons. I feel a moderate uparming to a Bofors 40mm and maybe a hangar with a single 30mm RWS atop if useful, and the crane put to one side, just for a bit more punch.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_833618)
10 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

All they need is a Sigint fit, and a UAV.
Not all RN vessels need to be fighty.

Callum
Callum (@guest_833660)
9 days ago

Agreed Daniele, we can’t afford to sink money into upgunning OPVs to corvettes we don’t need, when the escort fleet is already suffering from FFBNW

Dern
Dern (@guest_833704)
9 days ago
Reply to  Callum

As I said to someone on Twitter, “You can’t justify upgunning a River from a 30mm to a 40mm while not having the cash to put 30mm’s on the Carriers.”

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_833785)
9 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Lol…. I didn’t want mention it but you’ve forced my hand… the B2 River 30mm can go on the carriers but they’ll need to find 3 more plus the cash to it!

Dern
Dern (@guest_833808)
9 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Yeah no. Again, the Navy can’t afford the 30mm’s to go on the carriers so why on earth do you think they can afford 40mm’s to go on the Rivers, while making them more expensive for effectively zero increased combat ability? This is, at best, a silly suggestion.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_833813)
9 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Having a 40mm will be a step up in capability. It’s compact, greater engagement range and ammunition choice and coming into service. Maybe for some here it’s turning the Rivers into more an attack corvette craft, I still see them more in the patrol and defensive sense. With the carriers, personally, I think 2-3 40mm might be even better than the 30mm, with Ancilia and even Dragonfire. Yes, agree, it all costs and there are other priorities.

Dern
Dern (@guest_833931)
8 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

It isn’t in reality. Up-gunning to a 40mm does not actually offer an improvement against the kind of target sets a River is going to deploy against, you get more range, but a River is already unlikely to be firing it’s 30mm at it’s maximum range. Then you bring ammunition choice, which means more expenditure so for again, not really broadening the kind of role a River will engage with.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_833796)
9 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Has the RN ever officially stated the reasoning behind the decision to forego mounting the 30mm? Have read about a number of semi-plausible theories.

Separately, is it physically and fiscally feasible to swap the 30mm for a 57mm mount on the B2 Rivers? Upgrade the capabilities of these vessels sufficiently, and presumably they transition into proper Corvettes. 🤔

Dern
Dern (@guest_833809)
9 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

They’ve been pretty quiet on the subject, but it’s money. It’s not like CAMM etc where the ships where not designed for it.

Physically you could probably fit a 57mm onto a River, but it would do exactly nothing. You’d still never be able to fight anything more than smugglers and do constabulary work, and you’d now have put millions down for the upgrade.

DJ
DJ (@guest_833874)
8 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

River B2’s with 76mm & heavy weight AShM already exists. Just not in the RN.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_833957)
8 days ago
Reply to  DJ

Thanks, the Brazilian variants? Evidently neither cost effective nor technically feasible to retrofit RN Batch 2 Rivers.

Dern
Dern (@guest_834010)
8 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

No, the Brazillian variants still have the 30mm, they just have 2x25mm sitting behind the bridge. The Thai Navy’s HTMS Krabi have the 76mm and her sister-ship carries 4 Harpoon missiles.

Jon
Jon (@guest_834041)
8 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Physically, yes. The Thai versions of the class sport an Oto Melara 76mm plus a couple of 30mms, and one of them has anti-ship missiles as part of its fit. Look at HTMS Prachuap Khiri Khan for a River (Krabi) class with light-corvette weapons fit out. As others will say if I don’t: upgunning alone wouldn’t make it a proper corvette. For example, it’s arguable whether it has sufficient survivability for a RN warship (most think it doesn’t). I’m in two minds. I think a fully upgunned B2 River would be closer to a corvette than many others in this… Read more »

Jon
Jon (@guest_834042)
8 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Apologies. I see Dern got there before me and I missed it.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_833786)
9 days ago
Reply to  Callum

I don’t think upgrading to a 40mm won’t turn the B2 Rivers into a corvette. The Brazilian requirement for 9 similar (River based Amazonia at 80m?) patrol type vessels looks like they’re kitted out with a 40mm and a helipad.
And do the T31s actually need the forward B position 40mm? Extra 12-24 CAMM or MK41s could go in there and you’ve got your surplus 5 x 40mm for the B2 River upgrade!

Last edited 9 days ago by Quentin D63
Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_833823)
9 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Forgot to add, the 5 x 40mm can go onto the carriers plus find an extra one if you want three per carrier.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_833783)
9 days ago

Morning Daniele, yes, I guess you can say the Rivers are an “Ajax” of the seas plus a lot more. At 90m a 40mm upgun would just give a tad more punch and protection ability without being excessive. Hangar type containers for a Schiebel type UAVs, hopefully that’s in the pipeline. I think these are going to be on the T23s first? Hope you didn’t spot “HMAS Choules” in Tonga… I know you’re not happy with that transfer to the RAN. It’ll be interesting to see what types the first three MRSS’s are and if the remaining three happen and… Read more »

Last edited 9 days ago by Quentin D63
FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_833800)
9 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Quentin,

Your post triggered a random thought. Does anyone know whether the RN has contemplated approaching the RAN in regard to co-development/co-production of MRSS? Since RAN already owns a Bay class, would presume a continuing requirement into the future. Realize that cooperation w/ the Dutch deemed infeasible. 🤔

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_833816)
9 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Maybe Oscar Zulu can respond to that more definitively than me as I think the Aus government here has cancelled the two new logistic ships planned for the RAN, which I think was a Navantia design or delayed them.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_833859)
9 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Morning Q.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_833799)
9 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Actually, wonder whether a RN contingency plan exists to upgrade the River OPVs into Corvettes, if real world circumstances dictate. On the surface, this would appear to be something multiple shipyards could accommodate on an expedited basis,. On the other hand, reality may be daunting. Gunbuster,. care to venture an informed opinion?

Dern
Dern (@guest_833810)
9 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

To upgrade the Rivers into corvettes, you’d need to fit SSGWs, some sort of SAM system, CIWS, soft kill decoys, and a sensor system that could take advantage of all of that. They has also have minimal RCS reduction (and on top of all that they’re relatively slow). Because the River’s aren’t designed to take all of those upgrades, so even if the money taps where opened and the RN didn’t have to worry about manning, and wanted some Corvettes, upgrading the Rivers to a standard where they’d actually be able to fight as a surface combatant would probably end… Read more »

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral (@guest_833820)
9 days ago
Reply to  Dern

I totally get the reluctance to think about upgrading the B2 with a 40mm, however the 40mm does appear to give a much increased level of ship protection over the 30mm. Unless that is not the case? Is the 30mm ‘wanting’ when it comes to drone shooting? Some have said the 30mm is a good accurate gun. I think no one wants to increase the fightiness of a B2, but with drones all of a sudden being a thing, and available at an Amazon store near you, an increased level of self defence could be handy or even essential? Perhaps… Read more »

Dern
Dern (@guest_833934)
8 days ago

If you’re worried about the kind of over the counter drone that is dropping grenades in Ukraine and you can buy on Amazon, then you’re better off with some Matleots armed with combat shotguns IMO. If your in an enviornment where Lancet or Bayraktar are flying you’ll probably want some sort of SAM VLS farm, not just a 40mm with an arc covering only the front of the ship. This is kind of my point I made to USAF, if you want River B2 to be fighty, it’s not worth it unless you do a really major overhaul. If you… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_833871)
8 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Hmmm, it appears that the only option to achieve a maximal rate of production would be some variant of T-31? Not certain if any NATO country has a viable plan to replace anticipated losses in a timely fashion, after hostilities commence. 🤔😳

Dern
Dern (@guest_833937)
8 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

I don’t think anyone, NATO or otherwise has a viable replacement plan. But that’s not really new, Navies have rarely been able to regenerate significant combat power after large losses in war (Rome in the 1st Punic War, and the USN in WW2 are the only exceptions I can think off, and the USN had already started it’s expansion plan pre-War)

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_833962)
8 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Wasn’t the UK ultimately able to build substantial tonnage during WWII, as well? Of course, it was a six year war for the UK. Future conflicts between peer opponents may be relatively short, before one side has to choose between capitulation or escalation.

Wonder whether the ChiComs either have or will have the capability to regenerate combat power after the commencement of hostilities? 🤔 That would be an ominous development.

Dern
Dern (@guest_834017)
8 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

The UK build a large number of Frigates and Destroyers, but cruisers and capital ships where rather fewer in number. The RN had 23 Battleships in ww2, of those only Duke of York, Anson and Howe where launched during the War, the rest where already in the water when the Nazi’s and Soviets invaded Poland. Similar story for Aircraft Carriers, though slightly better, with I think 7 ships being launched and entering service (I think a couple of Colossus class ships might have just missed joining the war). Point being the Royal Navy certainly wasn’t in a position to regenerate… Read more »

Last edited 8 days ago by Dern
Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_833818)
9 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

I’m not asking for the Rivers to be upgraded to corvettes, but to still stay as patrol boats, just with a 40mm, hangar or containers for UAVs, and maybe a 30mm kept at the rear. That’s all.
Instead of corvettes, a few more T31 might be more useful.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider (@guest_833863)
8 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

To be honest I think their success is that they have kept to their designed role, mate. As such I think they should stay just the way they are. However, there are a number of factors developing that could require something a bit more fighty. Firstly, the B1’s will need replacement. The simple thing to do would be to pull some of the B2’s back to the UK to replace the out going B1’s, creating a gap that would need filling. The RN’s presence in the Indo-Pacific region even at this modest level seems to have gone down very well,… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_833875)
8 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

CR,

Thanks, agree especially w/ your final point. Really not certain any NATO or allied country has a viable plan to replace anticipated attrition losses in a timely manner, including naval, aerospace and land systems. That could prove to be problematic w/ a peer opponent. Even the Orcs had the foresight to warehouse older equipment for a wartime contingency. Quite concerned w/ probable ChiCom capability to absorb losses and continue ops.

DJ
DJ (@guest_833880)
8 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I think the difference is that traditional OPV’s no longer cut it. Houthi’s have shown that. So do we need corvette’s or redefined OPV? I suspect next gen OPV will be 40mm+, 12 or more CAMM or similar. Helicopter hangar for 10t+ helicopter, Canister launched AShM (2-4). I think this will be the new standard. Welcome to the future.

Jon
Jon (@guest_834798)
6 days ago
Reply to  DJ

That’s an interesting question. OPVs are there for fisheries protection, and to counter smuggling and piracy. They help out with disaster relief and S&R. At no point are they meant to counter large state actors or their proxies. Nobody sane ever suggested we send a River to the Straits of Hormuz. What is the “it” the Houthi’s have shown they can’t cut? If you are saying they can’t fufil the role of a destroyer or an aircraft carrier in the Red Sea, I’d say no shit. If on the other hand you mean they can’t transit the Red Sea and… Read more »

Last edited 6 days ago by Jon