British F-35B jets will soon be fitted with Meteor air to air missiles and the SPEAR Capability 3 precision surface attack missile.

The information came to light after a written question was submitted in Parliament.

John Healey, Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, asked via a written Parliamentary question:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to page 56 of the Defence in a competitive age Command Paper, CP411, how many more UK weapons will be integrated onto the Lightning II aircraft; and which regions in the UK will benefit from that decision.”

Jeremy Quin, Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, replied:

“Alongside modifications to the fielded UK Paveway IV precision surface attack weapon, the current Programme of Record will deliver two new UK Weapons onto UK Lightning aircraft. These are the MBDA Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air to Air missile and the SPEAR Capability 3 precision surface attack missile. MBDA state that the Integration of these weapons will benefit their sites in Bolton, Bristol and Stevenage.

Future UK weapons, such as SPEAR Capability 5, will be considered for integration as part of the spiral development of UK Lightning to meet future threats, exploit multi-domain integration and expand utility.”

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Quentin D63
Quentin D63
14 days ago

Can anyone advise what Spear 5 is and what happened to Spear 4 in the above statement? Thanks.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
14 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I think SPEAR 5 is a StormShadow replacement. And I think (I maybe wrong) that Enhanced Paveway 4 is officially SPEAR 4. But that Could be wrong. I’m sure Google will have the answer 😄

BB85
BB85
14 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/spear-missile-system/

Looks like Spear 4 is more of a LE for Storm Shadow.
Spear 5 will be the actual replacement which at the current pace of things will be after 2030.

There have been so few updates on this France UK joint venture I’m starting to think its as good as shelved because they can’t agree to prioritise range or speed.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
14 days ago
Reply to  BB85

Thanks mate 👍😀

James Fennell
James Fennell
12 days ago
Reply to  BB85

Spear Cap 4 is supposed to be a mid-life upgrade to Storm Shadow. Unclear if it will go ahead as has been delayed a few times.

Nate M
Nate M
14 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

I read some where that the CVS401 perseus will replace the storm shadow and the SCALP in French service or is SPEAR 5 another name for it.

Farouk
Farouk
14 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Selective Precision Effects at Range (SPEAR) is the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) research and development request for highly accurate, beyond visual range re-targetable weapons which can receive target information updates over a data-link (network) in near real-time as part of the UK’s Network Enabled Capability (NEC) SPEAR has been split into a number of capability numbers that have evolved since then. SPEAR Capability 1; Raytheon Paveway IV precision-guided bomb and subsequent improvements to include reduced collateral and penetrator warhead and enhanced capability against moving targets. SPEAR Capability 2; a 50kg class powered missile, eventually Block 3, Brimstone 2 SPEAR Capability… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
14 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Thanks for the info 👍

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
14 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

At last a clear indicator of the various Spear capabilities and what they actually mean. In particular it has been very difficult to distinguish clearly between Brimstone 3 and Spear Capability 3 especially with the Block 3 Brimstone variation is employed which adds to the confusion. Different sources give you different descriptions of these various and sometimes it seems overlapping projects, certainly in certain aspects of their technology which as indicated can be moving goalposts themselves, the furtherance project is from production.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
13 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Looking at Spear 2,3,4 & 5, they could all potentially have a ship and coastal launched anti-ship capability.

James Fennell
James Fennell
12 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Perseus – Future Cruise and Anti-ship Missile – Anglo-French programme. Designed to replace Storm Shadow, Tomahawk and provide a long-term replacement for Harpoon (although an interim solution will also be bought this year).

Last edited 12 days ago by James Fennell
Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
14 days ago

No mention of the “Upkeep” for 617…..  🤔 

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst
14 days ago
Reply to  Captain P Wash

Ha ha!  😂 
…or a “Grand Slam.”

Jason Holmes
Jason Holmes
14 days ago

Not sure it would fit in the internal bomb bay !

TrevorH
TrevorH
14 days ago
Reply to  Captain P Wash

Given we will have ‘Mosquitoes’ soon, maybe we should have some Highballs?

captain p wash
captain p wash
14 days ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Lol…… For a minute there I thought no-one knew what the heck I was on about…. (again). 😂 

Something Different
Something Different
13 days ago
Reply to  captain p wash

I think the reference would just bounce over people’s head

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
14 days ago

Does SPEAR3 have a meaningful AS capability? I have read it might. Given the RNs poor state in that area shouldn’t a JSM LRASM type be a priority for the QEC/F35?

Dobransky
Dobransky
14 days ago

The UK has to queue with everyone else on weapons development for the F-35. The USN can’t even integrate LRASM on their planes

Order of the Ditch
Order of the Ditch
14 days ago

I was going to ask the same question. Doesn’t the RAF at the moment also lack AS capability? I understand the RAF hasn’t trained for AS warfare for quite some time.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
14 days ago

No Sea Eagle?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
14 days ago

Went in mid 2000s I think.

Karl
Karl
14 days ago

Defunct as after Buccaneer died its role went to Tornado. Then maritime strike was more or less forgotten and not seen as a priority. Strategically stupid, as pre positioned maritime strike can reach targets well before any navy assets can. Then that Britain for you.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
14 days ago
Reply to  Karl

Do we have anything we can launch from land should enemy ships approach? I know of nothing, which for an island nation seems madness. It really took prominence in my mind recently while reading about new US capabilities with anti ship land based systems. If we have little onboard ships to take out enemies and little on aircraft now to do so and nothing that can be moved around our coastlines what do we actually do against enemy ships roaming around out coasts? Do we just wave flags at them like they did in Jersey recently threaten them with rotten… Read more »

Patrick
Patrick
14 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Laser guided bombs dropped from Typhoons.

andy a
andy a
14 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

The P8 has harpoon I believe

captain p wash
captain p wash
14 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

We just use B2 Rivers to sink Their Tugs…….. no seriously mate, that’ll cause no end of worries.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
14 days ago
Reply to  captain p wash

Could the Archers do that job? 😆

captain p wash
captain p wash
14 days ago

Only with Bows fully extended I think…….  😂 

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
14 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Yes. It’s called a torpedo and you launch them from submarines!

captain p wash
captain p wash
14 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

And Planes and Ships……..  😎 

Karl
Karl
14 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

There is nothing as far as I know, apart from the limited number of subs, and no diesel/electrics for littoral use is a big gap. I have heard a few wags say Storm Shadow theoretically could be used against a sea target, and Paveway. Of course they are all being used to smack Toyota Hi Lux’s, caves and other “targets of interest” elsewhere as they are a very cost effective weapon ( mega sarc ) I suppose in one scenario the navy could use helicopters, they seem keen on borrowing Apaches though, but TBH all the current weaponry is close… Read more »

John Hartley
John Hartley
14 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

We once had an Exocet Battery in Gibraltar. Long gone now.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
13 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Yes I remember that discussion I had with you. Was an eye opener for me I was not aware of it.

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
12 days ago

Called Excalibur. If you go to the Secret Projects forum there was a picture posted of it recently.

captain p wash
captain p wash
14 days ago

 😆 

Rogbob
Rogbob
14 days ago

Spear 3 was described to me as a product of a Brimstone “raping” a Storm Shadow! AIUI, it’ll replace Brimstone and will have a variety of capabilities, but they are staying tight lipped on what they are at this point. I would be surprised if it didnt however have the ability to hit ships, mission if not complete kill anyway. But buying yet another missile that does something very similar, but has little to zero UK content, given the integration costs, seems of little sense, especially for a task that doesnt really need to exist. The UK has passive ability… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
14 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Thanks RG. Some description. I know and agree that SSN is the main AS weapon, and indeed for me is our Top Trump. I wonder however that, as I understand it, the SSN is also the best weapon against another submarine, and our few available might be busy doing ASW rather than deploying alone as Hunter Killers going after the enemies fleet. With regards PIV would the F35, even with its stealth, ever come within range to use it? I thought they had to laze the target? Which makes them within range of the targets AA. If SPEAR has the… Read more »

Rogbob
Rogbob
14 days ago

I just think its a bit daft that we arm ourselves to the teeth to “sink the fleet” when we already have multiple ways of sinking ships and that hasnt even really been a requirement or capability we’ve needed. Meanwhile we lose capabilities we absolutly have needed and do need. This “everything must be able to blow up everything” is asinine, some people really think a T31 should be able to knock down a Regiment of Backfires, flatten Beijing (conventionally) and sink the Northern Fleets SSN and SSBNs. All on its own. It’s just weird to me having spent my… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
14 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Understood. I think that’s a balanced explanation myself.

andy a
andy a
14 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Good comment but bear in mind a peer enemy which we prepare for but hope never happens would be very different from 1982. Yes we hope it never happens but detterance is being prepared

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
14 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

But those first two paragraphs are surely a galaxy away from what anyone is actually saying which is more akin to having something powerful and long legged enough to offer a credible offensive capability against seaborne targets at all or before they can take you out. Some might go further I guess and want further flexibility in that capability in terms of differing platforms to deliver it sea/land/air perhaps but it’s hardly akin to the almost science fiction capability from a single platform you refer to surely.

captain p wash
captain p wash
14 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Don’t worry, It’ll probably get Edited…….  😎 

Rogbob
Rogbob
14 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Why? We can sink ships in so many ways why do we need more when we have needed to sink so few? We havent had this capability since 2010 and even that was Harpoon from Nimrod. Since 1998 iirc Sea Eagle was decommed. Why the urge to restore that when actual useful capabilities (fast air numbers amphibious, type 31 air defence) are on or near the ropes? What do you want to give up for it is the real question? Because that is the choice. Noting with P8 we could easily have the capability anyway, so why is this even… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
13 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

We haven’t yet needed to nuke anyone but that capability is carefully maintained. Anti Ship capability is a basic essential for any nation & we are retarded in the extreme to have treated it so carelessly. All our likely adversaries have this capability in large numbers & impressive quality.
Even the Argies in 1982 caused immense damage to our fleet with a few Exocets & dodgy(UK made) iron bombs.

Steve R
Steve R
13 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

I would agree with that if we had more than 7 fleet submarines, meaning at most we would have 2 available to take part in a war. If we had 12 subs and could put 3 or 4 into a conflict then by all means.

Given our limited numbers of subs, ships and planes I’d rather be able to have antiship capability from surface, underwater and in the air, rather than have to rely on one or two submarines.

Rogbob
Rogbob
13 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

But what would you give up to have this?

We do have surface and helo and sub plus latent P8, again, how many ways to skin a cat that we rarely skin?

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
13 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Excellent explanation mate.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
14 days ago

Precisely. Anyone who has read up about how a Nighthawk was brought down despite the problems of actually detecting it let alone doing so with the missiles seeker would not feel with the much improved sensors now available and despite stealth being better too, wanting to have to get too close to a target to engage it. Missile range is a vital ingredient especially where expensive manned aircraft are concerned.

Gareth
Gareth
13 days ago

Indeed. Our SSNs are outstanding platforms but we only have 6 of them. If at any one time, say, half are in refit/training then the other 3 have to protect the CSG, protect our SSBNs, and conduct anti-sub patrols in the Atlantic, then we cannot be certain that one will be available and in position when needed. Obviously something like an F-35 JSM/LRASM can get into position to fire much more quickly. Ideally I suppose that
we’d be capable of hitting an opposing fleet with air launched/ship launched missiles and an Astute fired volley of torpedoes simultaneously.

Deep32
Deep32
12 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

Whilst we do have too few SSNs, it is a common misconception as to how they are tasked. SSNs do not ride shotgun on SSBN patrols, as a SSBN being a submarine is perfectly able to look after itself. Its greatest asset is its stealth (very quiet unit, more so than a SSN). A SSBNs assigned patrol area is vast, so they can go and hide in the ocean, you would literally be better off finding a needle in a haystack then trying to locate a bomber on patrol. As they remain in radio silence for the duration of the… Read more »

Andrew Deacon
Andrew Deacon
14 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

It won’t replace Brimstone they are very different weapons though share some of the seaker technology, spear 3 is like a mini cruise missile ideal for taking out air defence systems etc or could be used against ships , it wouldn’t sink them but could damage valuable systems or overwhelm a ships defences letting a bigger missile through. Brimstone was designed as an anti armour weapon which could be fired from a fast jet in large numbers but has proved very useful where it’s necessary to avoid calaterol damage. Brimstone is still being developed for use on Apache,Protector and typhoon,… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
14 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Deacon

Apache apparently not, if the information revealed in another thread here in an answer from the Minister responsible is anything to go by.

John Clark
John Clark
13 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Deacon

From what we have seen, Spear 3 will be a devastating anti Armour weapon, with Typhoon packing 16 and a range of over 50 miles….

A flight of Typhoons could send dozens of missiles into enemy armour, causing complete chaos at great range.

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
14 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

MBDA Spear is not replacing Brimstone….

Rogbob
Rogbob
14 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

Watch this space… or rather, watch and see…

captain p wash
captain p wash
14 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

When you say “We’ve sunk precisely on ship in the last 80 years” I’m guessing you are deliberately leaving out the WW2 period between 1941 and 1945….. and not to mention a few others since ?  🤔 

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
14 days ago
Reply to  captain p wash

Lynx took out Iraqi patrol boats. Wasp damaged that Argie sub. Harriers sank that Argie vessel, Narwhale? Not the ship to ship or jet to ship scenario RG meant mind.

captain p wash
captain p wash
14 days ago

Wasn’t clear enough mate …. I’d have not bothered if he mentioned Jets…. nor the 80 years bit to be honest …… Minor details I know but when you actually Fact Check the amount of Ships we have managed to sink using aircraft since 1941, You can sort of see my point……. not to mention our own Ship losses nearly 40 years ago of coarse.  😒 

captain p wash
captain p wash
14 days ago
Reply to  captain p wash

Not that it matters now that the post has been Edited…… 🙄 

Rogbob
Rogbob
11 days ago
Reply to  captain p wash

Moderators – please remove the above post. It is factually untrue as can easily be evidenced from looking at the post it refers to. The poster’s behaviour was harassing with multiple repeated comments that bore little to no relation to the discussion, and as above, are factually untrue. It is my belief the poster knew this and was lying in an attempt to undermine my post, lacking as they clearly did, any coherant response hence my initial assumption (attempting to be generous) that English was not their language, was incorrect, and instead it is not clear why they peppered this… Read more »

Rogbob
Rogbob
14 days ago
Reply to  captain p wash

Meh, 70/80 years its all the same point.

Google what a “ship” is, vs say a trawler or patrol boat… I know language can be difficult if English isn’t your native one, but the discussion has been about air launched large anti ship missiles which could be viewed as a clue.

But good contribution to the discussion though 😅

captain p wash
captain p wash
13 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

To dismiss 1941 to 1945 as “Meh” shows a fair bit of ignorance though mate, truth be known. English is my native tongue and I’m happy to be helping to contribute Good stuff on here….. there are many posters who don’t know diddly squat about the important bits and as you have shown here… a fair few Experts too. But I too like your Contributions….. however they might come over sometimes  😅 

Rogbob
Rogbob
13 days ago
Reply to  captain p wash

Who dismissed 41-45? Ignorance of WW2?

So its 70 years since post WW2 not 80 as hastily typed, who gives a fk when the point is its a fing long time where we havent done this, in the meantime an awful lot has changed.

Oh, a pedant with an axe I see, well keep grinding on because it’s really adding to the discussion.

Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
13 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

You did but don’t let that spoil your argument….. Nice series of Insults you’ve managed to string together in the Discussion mate…. it really adds a lot  😂 

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
14 days ago

Hi Daniele, I read some stuff, including stuff on MBDA’s website a little while ago and I would say that the Brimstone / SPEAR 3 family of weapons has an anti-ship capability. Certainly, MBDA have demonstrated a surface launched version of Brimstone that was touted as being able to fire from small craft down to FIAC size. I also remember reading something about MBDA proposing quad packing SPEAR 3 in as per CAMM. The weapon relies on aim point selection to be effective and was described as being effective against corvette sized vessels. It can also deliver mission kills against… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
14 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

EW SPEAR. I’d read of this too, a SEAD capability replacing ALARM at last?

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
14 days ago

Hi Daniele, Main difference between EW SPEAR and ALARM is that EW SPEAR has no warhead. It can jam and spoof AD radars (fire control radars if I remember correctly) and can ‘crash’ into a radar if hard kill is needed. The lack of warhead is down to the convention on land mines as throwing loitering warheads around such as ALARM possed a risk on dropping live warheads into populated areas e.g. as in the Bosnia War. Nevertheless, the EW SPEAR sounded pretty effective, especially as part of a SPEAR 3 HE swarm. As I keep saying, please put the… Read more »

Rogbob
Rogbob
14 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

The UK sees PWIV/Spear3/Storm Shadow as its anti radar systems – targetting a known location. The idea of a “home on radar emissions” seems a bit outdated now we can put the location directly to the weapon and/or target it via an imaging sensor. SpearEW is more about deception and decoy to let a strike package get into and close to a target without being successfully engaged. I do wonder at it being used given where it could end up. I think the experience with ALARM (loads fired, no evidence they even hit close to anything) helped put the UK… Read more »

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
13 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Spear EW doesnt carry a warhead because its not really a munition. Its a self propelled aircraft jammer pod.

Last edited 13 days ago by Watcherzero
Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
13 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Hi CR. Scroll down on following link and you’ll see a six cell launcher for CAMM which seems likely to be what is used on T26 and T31, the article certainly suggests it will be. This provides much higher packing density than the T23 layout.

https://www.edrmagazine.eu/albatros-ng-naval-air-defence-system-detailed

Gareth
Gareth
14 days ago

Given the range, low observability, and hitting power LRASM would be an ideal interim between our currently obsolescent reliance on Harpoon and the future FASGW. And it is compatible with a variety of platforms we already operate.

Dobranksy
Dobranksy
13 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

LRASM is currently only available on the B-1 and Super Hornet, so that’s not quite accurate.

Pete
Pete
14 days ago

First major yard work I’d be putting at least a dozen cannisters for Brimstone 2 / Sea Spear onto Type 31.

Be able to take out a swarm of fast craft at range. Be able to give a frigate a bloody nose at distance. Support special forces ashore from just over the horizon, take out targets such as missile or radar sites ashore etc. Low cost, effective, UK product relatively easy to integrate in open Architecture alongside CAMM.

Order of the Ditch
Order of the Ditch
14 days ago
Reply to  Pete

Sorry but I disagree. T31 is for general constabulary and for low/medium threats and nothing else, i.e piracy, drug busting, light escort work for merchant shipping. I wouldn’t mind seeing it fitted with martlet to deal with swarms of small craft though.

I would not not want to be on a T31 attempting to attack a frigate when there are only 12 Sea Ceptors and no CIWS. If an attacking vessel cannot defend itself from an adversary we shouldn’t be arming it to attack said adversary.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
14 days ago

Let’s hope we make sure it has the ability to detect such a foe early enough to run away quick enough I guess. Likelihood is mind it would have to be told that mind as such a foe is equally likely to have a better radar fit too.

Pete
Pete
14 days ago

It’s not about going out and attacking a frigate…it’s about being able to defend yourself against one and keeping it guessing and at arms length. I believe the initial fit out of T31 is a budget approach to proof of concept for fixed price procurement with minimal risk of initial cost and schedule overrun through constant specification changes. I believe that model will prove successful. The potential to upgrade those vessels later exists. What I’m suggesting is a significant increase in capability and utility in littoral environments for relatively low cost on a robust hull form. People keep downing the… Read more »

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
13 days ago
Reply to  Pete

Very good description of the concept of the T31, and it’s future potential. We should have applied this business model years ago.

Rogbob
Rogbob
14 days ago

Exactly, Type 31 is basically a River2 but actually armed and equipped for the mission instead of the “we’ve got them so we’ll use them as interim” River2s.

The idea its going to be attacking frigates or radar sites or even stuff ashore is just odd frankly – thats what the SSN and CSG with air and T26/45 will do.

12 Sea Ceptor is not enough, but that is a good example of what any spare money should go on long before we try and add more ways to sink ships.

Pete
Pete
13 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Plans are to have two globally forward positioned littoral strike groups….to do what…if they are to await the arrival of CSG to perform raids why fwd deploy?. Brimstone 3. 40km + range. Fantastic capability to support surgical strikes. Anyway…just my thoughts.

Rogbob
Rogbob
13 days ago
Reply to  Pete

Exactly, to do what? Blow stuff up at range, be it land, air, surface or sub surface – is not part of whatever that is. The LSGs are basically the old ARG in the West and a better AFSB in the central region. They’re about the “RMs” first and foremost, the frigate is there for the same reason one always went with the Royal Yacht, becasue the core ship cant really defend itself from anything and to act as a sensor platform plus lilypad, just as frigates did with Fort II deployed circa 2010-15? in the region on a similar… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
13 days ago

That’s the madness of thinking an 8 ship class of escorts in a tiny 19 escort fleet can be kept to lesser tasks when no adversary will respect it & even if deployed into “safer” areas, they could find themselves under attack anyway. We can’t afford 2nd rate escorts with so few hulls. It’s just Treasury spin on refusing to fund what’s essential. Go into any war with too few warships & a considerable portion of those inadequately armed(thay’re pretty big ships, very lightly armed) & you’re inviting disaster. This weakness emboldens our enemies.

Rogbob
Rogbob
13 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

So what would you cut elsewhere to get more escorts or make them all T26 or greater? Noting the US LCS was expressely designed for such missions and has less self defence than a T31 and even less ability to absorb damage. Whilst the FFGX reverts to literally a T31 type ship albeit with better self defence. Although of course the US has literally an order of magnitude more resources to utilise. As for “weakness emboldens our enemies”, that’s a generic throwaway line – really? Globally deployable QEs with sqns of F35? SSNs, TLAM, Trident l, Sea Viper – all… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
13 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

No need to cut other programs when the richest have been allowed to get away with tax levels the rest can only dream of. Tackle that & most austerity is either not needed or far milder.
The USN has a large fleet of DDGs & CGs, leaving room for a lesser combatant such as the LCS, but they cut back the program drastically & seem to be considering them a bit of a mistake. Proper FFGs are replacing them.

Rogbob
Rogbob
13 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Ah, so you dont want to answer that question and just fall back on the same old tired cliche of “tax the rich” that every activist from health to education deflects similarly to.

Awesome, well, I’m sure that’ll help guide the people making the decisions as to what capabilities to balance.

Frank62
Frank62
13 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Just yesterday it was reported what’s been a screaming injustice for decades, that the richest & biggest people & corporations get away with far less than most have to, If you want to think that’s a “tired old cliche” that’s up to you. To me it’s like a a large hole in a ship everybody wants to ignore & redesigning the ship to adjust to slowly sinking rather than fixing the hole. HMG has made noises about fixing it for quite a long time without actually getting anywhere. Recently the G7 proposed a 15% minimum tax on revenue earned in… Read more »

Last edited 13 days ago by Frank62
Rogbob
Rogbob
12 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Again, that’s all just noise.

It makes no difference to what priorities the forces have and what resources they have, so deflecting to it as a “of course we can have whizz bang system X” is not a case it is just pretending reality doesnt exist. Lovely for fantasy fleets, silly for the actual one.

Paul.P
Paul.P
14 days ago
Reply to  Pete

I believe that the RN intend to exploit Sea Ceptor’s potential for surface attack against FAC type targets. If so then the obvious thing to do would be to put 24 missiles on T31, which most commentators have been saying for a while anyway.

Pete
Pete
14 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I acknowledge that Paul. My concern is CAMM would lack punch against anything other than relatively small FAC and I don’t believe it would have any land strike capability. Good day 1 interim solution but I’m thinking more medium term low cost upgrade.

Paul.P
Paul.P
14 days ago
Reply to  Pete

If I had to place a bet I would say the way it will go down is that the T23 decommissioning will be synched with the T31 builds such that T31 will go into service with 24 Sea Ceptors and the canister launched interim AShM. T31 will also carry Wildcat with Sea Venom. So it will have weapons for a range of surface targets.

Last edited 14 days ago by Paul.P
OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
14 days ago

It’s called a torpedo!

Rogbob
Rogbob
14 days ago

Interestingly Storm Shadow doesnt appear on the list. Spear5 beingvery much a “future” thing.

“Carrier Strike” appears not to have a “strike” class weapon.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
14 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

SPEAR 4 is an update to Storm Shadow to take it to OSD. I think the SPEAR 5 is intended to replace it.

Not sure if SPEAR 4 has been started yet and even if it has, programmes do get cut as we all know too well…

Cheers CR

Rogbob
Rogbob
14 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

4 very much has been started, 5 was AIUI the Perseus/Anglo-french stuff which is so quiet either we’ve got an “Aurora” type capability we want to keep very, very secret (in contrast to how we PR the hell outof anything we do have), or far more lilely, ended years ago!

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
14 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

It’s not quiet…

There’s plenty out there from MBDA on it…

Rogbob
Rogbob
14 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

Hmmm, not that much recently and its all industry brochureware stuff, contrast with how the MoD talks about Spear3 and did for Brimstone DMS etc. Happy to be wrong but its not an encouraging picture!

TrevorH
TrevorH
14 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

I’ve always thought the phrase “Carrier Strike” was a bit silly.
Likewise the phrase “Strike Brigade”

Rogbob
Rogbob
14 days ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Its also weird as traditionally for the UK, “Strike” meant buckets of instant sunshine!

Paul.P
Paul.P
14 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Recall somewhere that Storm Shadow could theoretically be given a seeker upgrade to confer anti ship capability. Maybe that’s what Spear 4 achieves.

Nick Harriss
Nick Harriss
14 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

It is a big missile and MBDA have effective seeker technology from Otomat and Exocet, so should not be the most difficult task?

Grant
Grant
14 days ago

Not sure why we wouldn’t integrate Storm Shadow. The ability to hit targets 1000nm from the carrier would be very useful and its one of the few weapons we brought enough of. Add some JSM we have the capability we need.

F35B + Meteor will be such a potent air to air combination – better even than the F22 and ASRAAM and hopefully would be great for sales of that weapon.

Rogbob
Rogbob
14 days ago
Reply to  Grant

It is a surprise to me, I wonder if there is an issue- – compatibility requiring expensive aircraft and/or missile mods – Storm Shadow to be added once modernised rather than do it twice. – physically operating the aircraft with the missile, eg CG, asymmetric, getting off/back-on the ship (ie. what killed ideas of Harrier having it) – lack of resource to do the work until Storm Shadow is near replacement anyway. But all pure speculation. The most likely is sheer cost and that Typhoon can do it so why duplicate at this point. Especially as thanks to its LO… Read more »

Grant
Grant
13 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Not being able to land back on could well be it. Not sure I buy the replacement argument: Perseus hasnt even started development….

Rogbob
Rogbob
13 days ago
Reply to  Grant

Possibly, Id be exposing stuff I shouldnt if go further, but that’d surprise me, in a very disapointing sense.

There were issues over SS, the UK didnt want to give the US much info about it, I wonder if that and the much talked about issues over access to code and so on became a showstopper or enough with costs to end it. If so doesnt bode well for future.

Ron5
Ron5
14 days ago
Reply to  Grant

The decision not to add SS was due to its out of service date. The significant cost of integration for just a few years of service seemed wasteful.

Deep32
Deep32
13 days ago
Reply to  Grant

That’s because we already have TTL TLAM (1000nm) on our SSNs, as one is always now going to accompany the CSG, it would just have duplicated what we already have. Money saved can be spent elsewhere instead.

Grant
Grant
13 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Far fewer. And the SSN is best placed keeping the carrier safe from other submarines and surface shipping. The F35s are for striking the enemy.

Rogbob
Rogbob
13 days ago
Reply to  Grant

Depends, F35s are also there to provide air defence. Given a lack of them, that is probsvly their first pri now anyway. SSNs are best given a roving brief, and thanks to TLAM range are hardly tied to a spot with that anyway. Reality is the CSG has a strike weapon, noting it (CSG) is still a capability in development (given lack of FSS for instance and depth of F35 fleet) although as above I think this is a sub-capability (air launched strike) that needs to be incorporated at a suitable time based on weapon and aircraft development. But rightnow… Read more »

Albion
Albion
14 days ago

Please help someone who is not up to date with these matters. What has replaced the old Sea Eagle missile and if not what, if any, is scheduled to do so? indeed do we have any air to sea missile capable of sinking/crippling a ship? Thanks in anticipation

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
14 days ago
Reply to  Albion

Sea Eagle was not replaced. Neither was ALARM!

Albion
Albion
14 days ago

TU

Rogbob
Rogbob
14 days ago
Reply to  Albion

Harpoon from Nimrod replaced Sea Eagle.

We reduced our fast air because it is very expensive, and fast air against surface ships was cut as it duplicated other systems effects, not unreasonably since we’d never used it but have spent decades intensively using it against land targets which didnt have such duplication.

So, we sink big ships with SSNs and little ones with helos.

We have SSMs on our ships as a backup.

Of all the unhappy capability situations in our forces, this seems a realtively happy one 🙂

Albion
Albion
14 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

TU

captain p wash
captain p wash
13 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

I mostly agree with you apart from the Time we actually get to go head to head again….. It’s all very well having great kit but when the actual SHTF, having adequate numbers and options makes all the difference……. Being Happy in peacetime is nice but……..

Rogbob
Rogbob
13 days ago
Reply to  captain p wash

We kept almost running out of munitions against ISIS. Even BAOR only had war stocks for 14 days. What is this mythical war people think we can fight? Since the mid 1950s we have only attempted to resource to fight peacetime (cold) wars and be a tripwire in a hot one. We opted for alliance and deterrence for “SHTF”. This is why we spend billions per year on Trident, without which we might have resources to squander on sinking ships in 10 different ways but even then could never afford true qauntity. As even the outlier of 1982 showed, SSNs… Read more »

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
13 days ago
Reply to  Rogbob

These are some of the most common sense, and set in reality posts I have seen on this site for some time. 👍

Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
13 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Absolutely, I agree too…

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
14 days ago

I’ve posted this before, but its a good run down of where we are, where we will be, where we could be and where we should be… UK F-35B armament is a little confused at present as a number of capabilities are being developed concurrent with F-35B development and deployment. The truth is that the UK’s F-35B must be regarded as under-armed for anything but air to air or SEAD/DEAD unless more munitions are integrated/purchased and fielded. The obvious point is that the UK’s F-35B won’t have ‘full’ combat capability until Blk.4 arrives c2026-28. That is now a little beyond… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
14 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

Wow. You know your stuff. Thanks for this.

John Hartley
John Hartley
14 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

I wonder if the Israeli Spice 1000 guided bomb with wings for stand off capability, would fit in the F-35B bomb bay?

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
13 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Very much doubt it as 1,000 lb JDAM is the limit which is shorter. Spice is also very expensive, at that price point you may as well buy JSOW as its already integrated, with more options. External carry only (sadly the powered version now appears to have been killed off). There is room in the market for a real ‘family’ of munitions, similar to Spear but larger. If you built a truly modular family, all sharing the same mold line, weight and CoG but with different seeker heads, warheads/payloads, powered or unpowered you could do very well on sales…Spear looks… Read more »

John Hartley
John Hartley
13 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

Would 1000lb JDAM with folding wing kit fit in F-35B bomb bay? Also, pretty much all precision guided weapons tend to be expensive.

John Hartley
John Hartley
13 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

I am looking at a 2005 MBDA Company product range book. It has the Diamond Back folding wing kit for JDAM. If Spice 1000 does not fit F-35B, then 1000lb JDAM with Diamond Back wing kit could do pretty much the same heavy stand off role.

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
13 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

JDAM-ER (the winged gliding version) ended up using a Longshot derived wing kit rather than MBDA’S Diamondback wing kit.

John Hartley
John Hartley
13 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

Had a quick hunt on the internet. The Longshot wingkit seems to be 500lb & 2000lb. Did not see a 1000lb version. Could be done if somebody ordered it though. JSOW is on F-35A. Cannot see it on F-35B anywhere. Weight should be OK, but do not know about length/width for F-35B bomb bay.

The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken
The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken
13 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

👍🏻👏🏻 Excellent informative info.

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇬🇧

John Hampson
John Hampson
14 days ago

Think Defence has a number of articles on the Spear system. This is one.https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/spear-missile-system
Spear4 = upgrade of Storm Shadow. Spear 5 = long range replacement for Storm Shadow.

Last edited 14 days ago by John Hampson
dan
dan
13 days ago

Let’s hope whatever they are they are bought in sufficient quantities to actually make a difference in a potential war with China or Russia. The current stockpile of Storm Shadows is way to small to fight a near peer advisory and since the Brits don’t have any anti-radar missiles that leaves them totally dependent on America for SEAD escort which even the F-35s will need when going up against S400s, ect.