Royal Navy ships were to lose surface-to-surface anti-ship missile capability in 2018 when the Harpoon missile was originally to be withdrawn with a replacement not due until ‘around 2030’, the new interim missile will fill the upcoming gap.

Kevan Jones, MP for North Durham, asked:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the status of the interim surface-to-surface guided weapon is.”

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

“The interim surface-to-surface guided weapon will replace the Royal Navy’s existing Harpoon missile capability. There was a healthy response from Industry to the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire and we are planning to proceed to issue an Invitation to negotiate to the down selected bidders later this year.”

This is inline with the timeframe earlier discussed by Quin who said last year:

“The Royal Navy has set the requirements for a Surface-to-Surface Guided Weapon (SSGW) to ensure they maintain the ability to deter and defeat enemy warships. A competition is now taking place and on current plans, subject to funding, we expect bids to provide a solution to SSGW, by mid-2021.”

Background

The Ministry of Defence had last year notified bidders of its intention to purchase an interim anti-ship missile as current Harpoon stocks reach end of life and a replacement not being due until 2030.

The Ministry of Defence issued a Prior Information Notice (PIN) for a “Next Generation Surface Ship Guided Weapon (SSGW)” to equip Royal Navy vessels..

The notice is as follows:

“Short description of nature and scope of works or nature and quantity or value of supplies or services:

The Authority has a possible future requirement to procure a next generation ship launched anti-ship weapon system for use within training and operational roles with the Royal Navy. First delivery of the ship installed equipment would be required by December 2022 and first delivery of missiles would be required by December 2023. The potential contract will be for 4 years, with the potential of option years to follow (up to 9 more years), the potential contract would cover the following activities:

Manufacture and delivery of the weapon system to be delivered in Financial Year 2023/2024.

Installation of the weapon system onto Royal Navy ships.
Provision and support of interface requirements to assist ships installation. Provision of train the trainer courses. Maintenance and technical support for the operational upkeep of the weapon system.

Should this requirement proceed, a Contract Notice will be published in due course with more precise requirements and interested parties will be invited to complete an online pre-qualification questionnaire, which will be measured against selected criteria in terms of commercial and technical requirements.

The technical requirement will be base lined against the user requirements and include questions regarding:

— battlefield effect,
— terminal effect,
— interoperability: climatic and environment,
— munition sensitivity,
— system and design safety,
— human factors,
— deployability,
— training,
— sustainability and supply chain,
— Capability resilience and reliability.

Evidence will be required at the PQQ stage to demonstrate the weapon system can meet the Authority’s requirement set. Estimated value excluding VAT: Range: between 100 000 000 and 200 000 000 GBP”

When Harpoon exits service in 2023 there will be a serious capability gap until the potential entry into service of FC/ASW programme in 2030 if this does not happen, warned a report published by the Defence Committee.

What could replace Harpoon?

The new interim missile will fill the gap between the retirement of Harpoon and its replacement which isn’t due until ‘around 2030’. You can read more about the options by visiting the article linked to below.

Britain’s new ship-to-ship missile

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Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
2 months ago

Seems ordering a few more Harpoon would suffice since RN is familiar with them. (Easier on logistics, training, etc….)

expat
expat
2 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

Yep Block II+ would seem a sensible stop gap.

Gareth
Gareth
2 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

Surely though against a peer adversary the Harpoon offers little advantage? Slow, subsonic, and with no stealth features of note. China, Russia, and India are routinely arming their ships and aircraft with supersonic Mach 3+ class missiles. Why would we pay for a missile which is already obsolescent in a modern naval battle space? The NSM is at least stealthy, and the LRASM is of course superior to both NSM and Harpoon and with a much larger warhead and is compatible with the Mk 41 VLS which will be fitted to the Type 26 frigates. I believe the air launched… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Gareth
expat
expat
2 months ago
Reply to  Gareth

Because exactly that, this is a placeholder purchase we don’t want to heavily invest in training , logistics modifying hulls etc. We’ll do all that when the UKs ASM comes into service. The block II+ seeker is also said to outperform seeker on later gen missile in heavy rain so has its advantages. We should have been in a better position than this agreed.

Gareth
Gareth
2 months ago
Reply to  expat

I guess my fear is that given the MoDs lousy procurement record “interim” systems tend to become semi-permanent and the all singing all dancing systems that are supposed to replace them end up being years late and well over budget. If that happens with the future anti-ship missile then the RN could be stuck with the Harpoon II for years longer than originally planned. An ideal load out for the Mk 41 VLS on the Type 26 (I think) should be something like 8 x TLAM V, 8 x RUM-139 ASROC, 8 x LRASM, with the Sea Ceptor launchers for… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Gareth
Pete
Pete
2 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

But I understood part of the spec was for limited land attack capability…does Harpoon cover that ?

Re various other comments within re the need for such capabilities then remembering that the CSG can’t be in multiple locations at the same time and if the Missile system for ships operating alone did no more than cause bad guys to think twice or stay at arms length then job done.

Trevor
Trevor
2 months ago

I’m just amazed that we could have got so far down the road of the entire RN surface fleet being devoid of any realistic anti-surface vessel capability. Who makes these decisions?

George Royce
George Royce
2 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

Hear hear.

captain p wash
captain p wash
2 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

The Elected………………

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
2 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

Active ships do all have a decent SSM but it’s doe out of service in 2023 and it will now be replaced before an even better missile comes along in 2030.

Peter S
Peter S
2 months ago

The UK knows better than any country what heavy AShMs can do. It is baffling that we have not devoted more resources to giving our warships and aircraft this capability.
USN is re-equipping its submarines with Harpoon to enhance their firepower. Perhaps we should follow suit.
Harpoon in its latest upgrade seems the obvious choice.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

Probably because we have been fighting a land locked insurgency war for the last 20 years, with little threat from anyone else’s Navy’s.

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

…and never again I hope.

Rogbob
Rogbob
2 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

Be quite happy if we never fight a navy or air force again tbh.

But the Army, and the RN and RAF need to plan for what if we do.

Rogbob
Rogbob
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

Why? If we know what they do – we need to defend against them first and foremost! Plus it was air launched Ashms, SSMs were irrelevent in 1982 was the lesson as they were operationally and tactically immobile and their platform was easily tracked and target outside their firing range if need be. As Conqueror showed, the main anti surface capsbility was an SSN. The lesson for the RN is have air launched weapons and be able to defeat them actively and passively and have SSNs to sink enemy ships. Which its spent 4 decades trying to do. What would… Read more »

Paul42
Paul42
2 months ago

So we’re talking over two years until the first delivery of missiles? Looking at the spec I suspect the chosen missile will remain in service after 2030 and effectively become the replacement for Harpoon with a possible limited purchase of the new advanced weapon which may or may not come to fruition in 2030? I suspect a purchase of Tomahawk Va for the subs will occur initially with an option for additional stocks for Type 26.

farouk
farouk
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

I was just thinking the same, but I feel that the acquisition will take a little longer, Id put my money on 5 years.

Paul42
Paul42
2 months ago
Reply to  farouk

I reckon it will come in on time albeit over 2 years in December 2023. I suspect the RN has already made a decision on what it wants, just a case of getting it at the right price….and let’s say its LRASM, it would be the first time a cannister launched version was installed on a Warship, a Royal Navy warship at that, …..and at the end of the day thats worth a fair amount in advertising for LM generating valuable additional orders from other Navies…

Martin
Martin
2 months ago

Have to wonder how much time and money goes in to these industry surveys and the power point presentations not to mention coming up with new four letter acronyms just to then give Boeing a call and go with harpoon block II like they were always going to. I wonder if anyone at kongsberg even bothers answering the phone to them.

BobA
BobA
2 months ago
Reply to  Martin

When responding to a tender or a Request for Information, it’s an investment by the firm; Crown Commercial don’t pay for it. Even a response for something like a people transformation project will costs tens of thousands, but if the prise is millions / billions it’s worth it. Government contracts, particularly procurement of equipment normally have to go to tender in order to be fair and transparent. That’s why they kick up a fuss over things like the E7 project being ‘Direct Awarded’. So in summary, public money doesn’t go on the actual work to generate a tender. Firms invest… Read more »

Marked
Marked
2 months ago

So they are doing what should have started 20 years ago!

Short of competely saturating enemy defences, which we don’t have the numbers to achieve, harpoon has been of limited use for most of if not all of the 21st century.

Stand Off Rocket Man
Stand Off Rocket Man
2 months ago

What is it with the British?

Ships that can’t fight back? It makes the mind boggle, really does. Especially as they found out the hard way what an anti-ship missile can do. Other navies are regularly arming their ships with 16 such missiles now, but we have 2 destroyers with no such weapon, and the missile we do have is outdated and under-ranged.

Before anyone says it, i’m British lol

Last edited 2 months ago by Stand Off Rocket Man
Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
2 months ago

And in the real world, the use of such weapons would be very limited. Rules of engagement, the kill chain. The difficulties in targeting tracking and engaging modern warships at range. Finding modern warships that don’t want to be found is very difficult in open ocean. The fallout if you hit a civilian vessel. Plus we all ready have the deadliest weapon in the world for anti ship warfare. The Astute class hunter killer. The threat of one in the area of operations would keep most Navy’s in port.

Stand Off Rocket Man
Stand Off Rocket Man
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Rules of engagement would go out the window come wartime with an adversary such as Russia. Rules mean nothing to them.There’s a reason the likes of Russia and China have armed their ships to the teeth.. they are ready for come what may!! We, the British, seem to be always planning for the future but not for today, eg when a war could start at anytime.

Stand Off Rocket Man
Stand Off Rocket Man
2 months ago

By that I mean that their rules of engagement in reality will be very different to the ones they have written in the book.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago

Except, wars don’t just start at anytime, not with peer countries like Russia. Monumental political fallout would need to happen before conflict is the last and only option left on the table. And the Russian navy is not the big threat it’s bigged up to be. The can’t even keep one very old carrier running. And the last time I checked our escorts today are fitted with a anti ship missile.

Stand Off Rocket Man
Stand Off Rocket Man
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

I believe we must be prepared for war, even if a world war is less likely to happen now. Is it really that much to ask to put 8 anti-ship missiles on each and every one of our escorts? And nowadays many of the missiles have a land attack capability too, which could come in useful.

I’m not so sure about the Russian navy not being a big threat, but you are right about their carrier. Their navy is definitely a threat to our undersea cables, but that is off topic here.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago

I guess that brings us back to the topic of the article. A new anti ship missile to replace the current system. Not sure if T45 will get them, but definitely T23 and T26. Don’t get me wrong, anti ship is important, but looking at the budgets, and the threats, other capabilites might be higher up the priority list. Spear 3 and Meteor for F35 for example. And we have the superb Spearfish on our Astute boats.

Stand Off Rocket Man
Stand Off Rocket Man
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Only five T-23s are to get this interim missile (or at least that was what was stated before).

Although Spear etc are probably really good, they aren’t really long-ranged, ie I feel we should be prepared for war with the big boys not just with lesser adversaries.

I suppose for me it’s all very pertinent as although i’m British i live in Russia, and I see how militarised society is here.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago

I’m not sure how many vessels will get it. I think we need better cyber warfare capabilites and the spread of disinformation from countries like Russia. Where in Russia do you live if you don’t mind me asking?

Stand Off Rocket Man
Stand Off Rocket Man
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Definitely true about cyber and disinformation. I’d rather not answer the other questions, but i’m not a spy if that’s what you’re asking lol

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago

? that’s ok, I’m just intrigued. Don’t get talking with to many people who live in Russia.

Andy a
Andy a
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

I think your playing by Cold War rules. Russia has shown a complete disregard for rules, have used chemical weapons on Uk soil, Ukraine, Crimea. When they do act it won’t be a 1970 warfare as extension of politics your used to.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

But what has Russia to gain from conventional conflict with the west? apart from economic ruin. Putin has been in power a long time, they would get annihilated by the west in conventional conflict. And it certainly wouldn’t be the UK against Russia on our own. Cyber and espionage needs to be beefed up against Russia.

Andy a
Andy a
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Conflicts are sometimes emotional not logical, happen for many reasons. I also doubt many NATO members would actually do anything, think many talk a good talk but if they aren’t threatened would do little. Putin is also getting old, I fear more for when he dies or looses his grip. Never assume enemy thinks logically or like you. That’s why if you want peace, prepare for war

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

But we are prepared for war, people seriously underestimate and seem to enjoy putting down our own capabilities. We are just about to deploy a carrier task group to the far side of the world, yes, it’s still early day’s in the carrier and F35 programme, but know other country apart from America can do this. Certainly the Russians can’t.

Stand Off Rocket Man
Stand Off Rocket Man
2 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

Exactly! When shove comes to push I reckon some will do nothing and throw their hands up. We need to be prepared to fight and defend ourselves alone. We need to be armed to the teeth really, but there seems to be no appetite for it. I often have conversations about what will happen when he drops dead. He’s getting older now, and there are some signs that he wants to go into retirement of a sorts, but he knows he can’t as all his dirty dealings would be brought to light. For this reason he has brought in a… Read more »

David
David
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

We seem to get the bit between our teeth and concentrate on that. The threat at sea would probably come from the Russian Navy submarines – Astute this, Astute that, how many are actually at Sea? How many are under build. How many T23 can you throw at the problem – what is the total area one 23 can sanitize? I think the RN are in a dire state and a war with Russia might happen in double quick time – did we know Afghanistan was going to happen? So, conventional British wisdom is that we will have a heads… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago
Reply to  David

That is a very good rant David ? as I’ve said to others, what has Russia to gain from conventional conflict against the west? America alone could wipe them off the face of the earth. And the future of the RN is pretty bright considering the strain on the economy.

Andy a
Andy a
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

It’s a serious mistake the West keeps making assuming our potential enemies think like us with our “logic” , we thought Germany was all talk and would be mad to go to war with everyone as they just couldn’t win, Japan, Ukraine Crimea, the list goes on, especially with a form of government much different to our own you can’t assume anything as they are so different to us. An aging putin swears to take back their old empire to deflect issues at home, something like that is usually hugely supported by his population as they are willing to endure… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

We also have diplomacy, we live in a small world now, with interconnected economy’s. All these countries need our trade. And what effects one part of the world effects another too. It’s not like the old days anymore. Want trade deals with China, not conflict. I work for a offshore wind farm company, we are building wind farms in the straights of Taiwan, less then 50 miles from the Chinese coast with European vessels and crews, and guess what, not one has been threatened by any Chinese warships, or swarms or land based anti ship missiles, not one, nothing. Some… Read more »

Andy a
Andy a
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

That’s not logical it’s like saying because I haven’t been murdered that no one gets murdered. I suppose the reports from fishing and trade vessels in the area are all lies?

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

That isn’t the experience the vessel’s that work for us have had, or past RN deployments to that part of the world.

Martin
Martin
2 months ago

In fairness to the British they are the only navy to actually have sunk a warship since 1945 and face off against an anti ship missile threat and as a result of that experience they have always relegate ship borne ASM to a second tier of weapon.

Paul T
Paul T
2 months ago
Reply to  Martin

Other Country’s Navies have Sunk Warships since 1945.

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
2 months ago

Can’t help thinking the RN know best about this. Given the prevalence of anti missile systems ( hard kill, soft kill, CIWS etc), shooting an ASM at a modern warship seems virtually pointless. In theory, an adversary would need to launch at least 50 ASM at a type 45 to have any hope of a strike and maybe 3 or 4 times that number at the newly formed carrier group. This is probably in excess of the entire inventory of most countries and way more than is carried aboard any ship. Probably more effective to close to range and use… Read more »

Sonik
Sonik
2 months ago

Agreed – ASM are much like ship launched torpedoes, look good when playing top trumps but of limited tactical value in practice. Which as you noted RN have probably taken into account in their decision making.

Last edited 2 months ago by Sonik
Stand Off Rocket Man
Stand Off Rocket Man
2 months ago

You have a lot of faith in the RN! Some Russian ships are now being armed with 24 ASMs, if we are to believe the propaganda, and it only takes one to get through the layered defence.

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
2 months ago

True. It will take only one. The scenario you describe suggests a near WW3 conflict between Nato and Russia. There are no winners there, although it is most likely that the protagonist Russian fleet would be gutted. The RN’s most recent experience of being at the receiving end of anti ship missiles and attacks are that it is airborne platforms that present the greatest threat, not surface vessels. All the RN and RFA ships lost in the Falkland conflict were directly attributed to air attack. Surface to surface missiles undoubtedly are useful in certain scenarios, not least a land attack… Read more »

Sonik
Sonik
2 months ago

I agree, I think the mistake many are making here is looking at the tactical picture while ignoring the strategic one. WW3 would by definition invoke the entire NATO fleet, and the capability that brings. For any smaller adversary an ASM attack might take out a single RN ship but it would be an act of suicide.

ASMs are a poor cousin to airbourne delivery hence their popularity with Navies without effective carrier strike and/or SSN. Good luck getting your ship in ASM range of a CTG. The US only have them in abundance because they have everything.

Andy a
Andy a
2 months ago
Reply to  Sonik

But if you look at China and there huge roads in area denial even strongest navy in world doubts carriers and air power will do it alone, hence newer long range fire power. Against a tier 1 force things will be very different to the Falklands

Sonik
Sonik
2 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

That’s my whole point – China is WW3 scenario, Falklands is obviously different. What I’m saying is look at the bigger picture and don’t conflate the two arguments. Would China really start WW3? They have far too much to loose for little potential gain, no winners here. Argentina invaded the Falklands because their government was on its @rse and had nothing to loose. Hence the IR policy to reach out to China, while maintaining boundaries, is a sensible one IMO. Forcing people into a corner always ends badly.

Andy a
Andy a
2 months ago
Reply to  Sonik

True but assuming we don’t need a weapon because they would be illogical to fight invites them to think they can win. Was Hitler fighting logical? No. Can’t assume enemy will be logical. Walk quietly and carry large stick

Sonik
Sonik
2 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

But again Germany was on its @rse after ww1, that’s my whole point. China is not in the same place. They will carry on doing what they are doing as long as it works for them.

DaveyB
DaveyB
2 months ago

No, I disagree if you are basing your evidence on a conflict in 1982? The Argentinian Navy didn’t have much in the way of SSMs. Their main punch came from the Skyhawks using iron bombs. If the Belgrano got within 15km of the carrier group, life would have got interesting. However, HMS Conqueror put paid to those plans. If you look at other regional conflicts, such as Egypt vs Israel. Then the SSM has been used to good effect. The recent conflict in Yemen has shown that if a side has SSMs they will use them. Thankfully the Houthis don’t… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
2 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

For the RN Harpoon carriers the Helo’s do carry out OTH drills on a regular basis. With the Passive identification devices on the Wildcat it does mean that OHT is much more effective. No radar involved and the PID lets you see a target from a lot further away than you could with a pair of binos on Lynx Mk3s. To ensure the ROE is easier for the RN a data link capable missile will be essential for long range engagements. IIR has advantages over radar homing and a dual homing solution on the Absolutely Final Future Missile Choice would… Read more »

Rogbob
Rogbob
2 months ago

Why do we need to imitate? The Russians are doing that becasue: 1) they cant deploy missiles effectively abroad by air (bases, quality of aircraft and targetting, lack of carrier) and their subs also dont deploy well. 2) they know active and passive defences against their missiles are effective. We (including allies) have massive deployable air power, and our subs are our principal ship killers as 1982 proved beyond any doubt. So we dont need to do what they are and should concentrate our efforts on a “reinforce success” basis (a principle of war, one the Russians love!) eg air… Read more »

Andy a
Andy a
2 months ago

Agreed and since most of these top end missles and soft kill systems are never tested in a real world scenario I have trouble trusting them completely, falklands and most wars show when the s##t starts flying things are very different in real life

Netking
Netking
2 months ago

The leading militaries in the world seem to disagree with that point of view. The sheer numbers and sophistication of asm being procured worldwide is staggering. As are the new defenses being developed to try to defeat them. Underestimate this real threat at your peril.

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
2 months ago
Reply to  Netking

I’m not saying ASM’s are obsolete, just that the relatively limited number of them that can be deployed on a surface vessel seems to render their tactical effectiveness limited.

Netking
Netking
2 months ago

render their tactical effectiveness limited”

Imagine you’re on a enemy’s ship for example and you know a T-26 armed with a naval tomahawk with very little warning can reach out and send you to the bottom from over a thousand miles away. The deterrent effect alone can paralyze an opposing fleet.

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
2 months ago
Reply to  Netking

Maybe so. Although I’m not convinced about the deterrent effect. The RN , like many other Nato navies regularly patrol in seas where protagonist navies are supposedly armed with an abundance of ship killer missiles (Black Sea, Gulf, South China Sea etc.). No paralysis there.

Netking
Netking
2 months ago

As they should but I’m certain in a conflict the thinking would be completely different. China’s entire SCS strategy is based on making the SCS a shooting gallery for the USN in a conflict. Anti ship missiles are probably the main reason for all the debate in the US military about how survivable the surface fleet is in a conflict with China. So yes they do patrol all these hotspots during peace time. The issue there is generally you don’t get a barrage of ASM fired at you during peace time. With the advances in propulsion, seeker technology, and ISR… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Netking
Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
2 months ago
Reply to  Netking

I don’t think the threat from them is taken lightly. A type 45/23 or future type 26 is very capable of defending against an ASM attack. The 4 or 6 or even 8 SSM that may be carried by a RN warship probably won’t make much of an impact against a Chinese or Russian task group.

Rogbob
Rogbob
2 months ago
Reply to  Netking

China is doing that, but the logical countermove is improving defences, not imitating it. China is doing that because it cant project power and to overcome CBGs would require such huge missile forces. China has a smallish surface fleet of limited projection capability – the counter to that is air and submarine power. Hence the US going for those in terms of aircraft numbers/programs and sub strength. What would be daft would be trying to get into a surfafe to surface battle against an opponent with land bases on its side. Use air to neutralise them. It’s not taken lightly,… Read more »

Netking
Netking
2 months ago
Reply to  Rogbob

“China has a smallish surface fleet of limited projection capability” I don’t think anyone who is paying attention to the way they are building modern, capable ships would make that argument. Yes they are not able to project that power yet, but they are certainly working towards it. It is almost a certainty at this point that their next carrier will be nuclear powered. That’s just the next one. there are plans for even more carriers after that one. But getting back to the argument about anti ship missiles. In my opinion, it seems the USN acknowledges it can’t out… Read more »

Rogbob
Rogbob
2 months ago
Reply to  Netking

I dont think anyone who understands what each side is trying to acheive would consider that the US needs to out SSM China and that SSMs are the be all and end all. The Chinese fleet is large and growing but it is still defensive orientated as the USSR one was – bar peacetime expeditonary deployment of course to interfene. But its not trying to cross the Pacific. The US has largesse so a spread of capabilities is inevitable, but its main effort is very clearly in air, anti air/BMD and sub power. If anything, the missile investment provides reality… Read more »

Netking
Netking
2 months ago
Reply to  Rogbob

SSM are not the be all end all but they are a great way to be ahead of China on the cost curve. As I said previously the USN can’t out build china but it’s clear that part of the plan is to negate the numerical advantage by building ever more capable weapons similar to what they did in the cold war against the soviet union. Remember all that third offset talk from a few years ago? You don’t hear the term anymore but building an ever increasing arsenal of these weapons is that in action. If they can fire… Read more »

Pete
Pete
2 months ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Air would be ideal but there is nothing on the horizon that will give the F35b in UK service a truly killer punch against larger capital ships. Spear 3 may have a disabling effect and paveway IV brings you too close unless you are confident in say nightime stealth. Astute is fantastic but can it cover 3-4m sq kms of ocean? China is a real growing threat in SCS, wider pacific and the Indian Ocean. They have a lot of mouths to feed and their fishing fleets are encroaching on many fronts. Danger, I suggest, is a territorial flashpoint that… Read more »

Rogbob
Rogbob
2 months ago
Reply to  Pete

But we dont need to do it all ourselves.

Spear3 isnt going to arrive singly, and P8 us Harpoon.

As we saw in 82, air and subs is where its at, SSMs feel almost a waste of money – if youre in that range youve been in land/air/sub range for a long time.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
2 months ago
Reply to  Netking

And how do you target and provide midcourse updates ?
Tomahawk flies at 500mph. 2 hours to arrive at the target area which in all likelihood the ship will have moved outside of the missile homing head seeker basket.
Its also a fairly slow missile so its quite easy to detect and engage with missiles and CIWS.

Netking
Netking
2 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I’m pretty certain a modern data link was added in one of the upgrades a few years ago which allowed it to be retargeted during flight. It also has a loitering feature which has become a lot more appreciated in the conflicts recently. You are correct that it is a slow missile which is the tradeoff for the huge range. In terms of being easy to detect and target, cruise missiles by default due to their size and flight path(map of the earth and/or flying in from a direction and angle that mask it’s presence) are difficult to detect and… Read more »

The Artist Formerly Known as Los Pollos Chicken
The Artist Formerly Known as Los Pollos Chicken
2 months ago

Ships that can’t fight back? Not sure where you are getting that from? the 4.5” gun on front and the surface to air missiles are not toys nor are the 2 quad packed harpoon launchers on the T23 and T45 ,Under ranged ? The Harpoon has a 150nm range how is that under ranged?by comparison The NSM only has a 100nm range . and as has already been pointed out the premier numero uno undisputed king of the naval arena is the hunter killer submarine of which we operate . Just 1 of which can cause the entire surface fleet… Read more »

dan
dan
2 months ago

Either Harpoon 2 or the NSM would be a good choice for now.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
2 months ago
Reply to  dan

NSM is light on range for the surface launch version.

Rob
Rob
2 months ago

It will be Harpoon Block II as this is bolt on, replaces like with like and is available. Agree that this will become not a stop gap but the norm until a next gen missile system is available. I bet too that that next gen system will be American. This Perseus thing has gone on for years and has produced precisely nothing.

Steve R
Steve R
2 months ago

Harpoon Block II is the best choice; fits the launchers we already have and should beed minimal alterations to operating and training.

It already works on the P8 Poseidons; integrate it onto Typhoons and F35s so we can use if from air and sea.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

And how much would all cost?

Paul42
Paul42
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

Its not the best choice, I note the spec stipulates next generation, Harpoon 2 doesn’t fall into that category, next generation is something like LRASM, subsonic, but stealthy and able to evade defences…..I don’t believe whats coming will be the stop gap its supposed to be? 4 years plus option for a further 9? For whatever they choose to be upgraded and up there with the best in 13 years time, it has to be cutting edge now

RobW
RobW
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

AsM for Typhoons and F35 will come from Spear 3, highly doubt Harpoon would be integrated. We should get it for P8s though.

David
David
2 months ago

Part of me wonders whether it would be more effective for a heavy anti-ship missile to be integrated on the F-35, since submarines and carrier aircraft have historically been the main ways of fighting enemy ships since World War Two. Stocks could then also be shared with the RAF.

David
David
2 months ago

Is it still for only 5 ship sets as originally intended or will it go across the entire escort fleet including Type 45? Since the budget is only 100-200 million, I’m guessing only 5 ship sets.

Paul42
Paul42
2 months ago
Reply to  David

Whilst labelled as ‘interim’ the spec/requirement is clearly for a next generation missile designed to be around for a long time yet, possibly 13 years…….so it’ll be on more than 5 ships

Last edited 2 months ago by Paul42
David
David
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

Thank you Paul – I sincerely hope so but would 100-200 million buy more than 5 ship sets?

Paul42
Paul42
2 months ago
Reply to  David

I think the whole concept of the ‘interim purchase’ has changed, due in the main to the latest round of defence cuts. A bit more forward planning and better financial management is coming into play……Will we actually have a super duper missile in 2030? That’s 9 years away and a lot can happen in that time, The RN needs to focus on the here and now, and utilise what it has to the maximum and the acquisition of a new Ashm has more urgency as the RN seeks to expand its role via the carrier battlegroup. A new generation missile… Read more »

PaulW
PaulW
2 months ago

I think it’s fair to say that anti-ship missiles are not particularly useful, on their own. A high-end warship on alert would look rather silly to be hit by one. Modern CIWS systems should easily deal with them; unless they are out of ammo. But they are a very important part of the overall picture. Ask yourself, would you approach someone with a gun? You might think twice. You probably wouldn’t worry about approaching someone who didn’t have anything to attack you with. A warship without an anti-ship weapon is like someone without a gun. They are basically not a… Read more »

Hermes
Hermes
2 months ago
Reply to  PaulW

You totally overestimate the capabilities of CIWS.

They are very good in movies but not so much in reality…
Especially the Phalanx due to his ammo and by extension, his caliber (Too small/old for effective 3AB shell).

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
2 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

Has the Phalanx ever been successful in shooting down a missile in an actual conflict scenario. I seem to remember it took a UK defensive missile to take out a far from state of the art Iraqi land based missile fired at a US warship? It’s claimed it’s a far better weapon now but then so are the threats.

PaulW
PaulW
2 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

I wasn’t thinking of Phalanx, as we don’t tend to shoot at each other. The Russians have an interesting wall of lead concept, and the Chinese appear to be improving drastically is this area. So unless you swarm attack a ship and overwhelm it, there is a good change your missile won’t be effective.

branaboy
branaboy
2 months ago

If not an upgrade Harpoon missile then i suspect the navalized ship launched storm shadow based Missile de Croisière Naval used by the French FREMM frigate would be the logical choice.

OldSchool
OldSchool
2 months ago
Reply to  branaboy

Hope not. We should have as little to do with EU based systems as possible. EU now trying to ban UK from Horizon Europe – the UK can’t be trusted it seems. But they want us to defend them…..hypocrisy….thats a French word….right?

Branaboy
Branaboy
2 months ago
Reply to  OldSchool

The missile is built by MBDA the Pan European missile manufacturer in which BAe has a stake. The air launched Storm Shadow is also in the UK inventory.

OldSchool
OldSchool
2 months ago
Reply to  Branaboy

True. But the Missile de Croisière Naval uses the Sylver 70 vls – I’m not sure the RN wants that – esp on ships not fitted with it already. Better to go with a Mk41 i suspect.

Meirion X
Meirion X
2 months ago
Reply to  OldSchool

The Mk. 57 would be better for the RN, with 28 inch wide silos to quad pack CAMM ER.

David
David
2 months ago
Reply to  OldSchool

Oldschool did you not learn Latin?

https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/hypocrite-meaning-origin

Greek is your friend.

OldSchool
OldSchool
2 months ago
Reply to  David

Sadly not. Tho my late uncle did.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago

Reading some of the comments, it’s like the upcoming CSG deployment is sailing off to war.

It’s proving the capability should the UK require it, not going toe to toe with China.

USMC are aboard as F35 fleet not fully up to speed yet ( B4 and do on ) And they helped the UK.

Sitting at home would be seen as worse, moaning about no planes and un unused carriers.

OldSchool
OldSchool
2 months ago

Yes. It’s a good exercise for the CSG to practice power projection and exercise with allies. Not just a paper exercise – note US & Aus have been having discussions about a Sino-Taiwan conflict…..

One thing I’d like the CSG to include is a hydrographic survey ship of all things – don’t think China would like it snooping aroung the SCS…..

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
2 months ago
Reply to  OldSchool

The RN has had Hydro Ships out that way a lot of the time anyway doing its thing on its own. It didnt need a CSG with it then so it won’t now.

Andrew Tearle
Andrew Tearle
2 months ago