John Healey MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, recently submitted a written question to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) regarding the Sea Viper missile system upgrades on the Type 45 destroyers.

The question referenced the MOD’s news story, published on 21 January 2024, about the planned enhancements:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to his Department’s news story entitled Navy Missile System used to destroy Red Sea drones to be upgraded, published on 21 January 2024, what the initial operating capability date is for the enhancements to the Type 45 destroyers Sea Viper missile system.”

Healey also inquired about which ship would be the first to receive these upgrades:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to his Department’s news story entitled Navy Missile System used to destroy Red Sea drones to be upgraded, published on 21 January 2024, which will be the first Type 45 destroyer to receive the upgrades to its Sea Viper missile system.”

Responding to these queries, James Cartlidge, the Minister of State at the MOD, provided specific information on the timeline and the selection process for the upgrades:

“On current plans the Initial Operating Capability for the Sea Viper Evolution on T45 destroyers is February 2028. The first in class to receive the upgrades to its Sea Viper Evolution has not yet been nominated.”

The Ministry of Defence is to spend £405 million to upgrade the Sea Viper missile system currently being used by the Royal Navy to down drones over the Red Sea.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps was quoted as saying:

“As the situation in the Middle East worsens, it is vital that we adapt to keep the UK, our allies and partners safe. Sea Viper has been at the forefront of this, being the Navy’s weapon of choice in the first shooting down of an aerial threat in more than 30 years.”

We reported previously that Britain was set to become the first European nation to operate a ‘Maritime Ballistic Missile Defence’ capability that can detect and destroy anti-ship ballistic missiles.

An initial contract worth £300m was signed with MBDA last year. The upgraded defence system, using the ASTER 30 Block 1 missile previously used only in French and Italian land systems, will help UK forces combat the increasing threats posed by anti-ship ballistic missiles at sea by developing the missile into a maritime variant.

According to the Ministry of Defence here, the UK will become the first European nation to operate a Maritime Ballistic Missile Defence capability that can detect and destroy Anti-Ship Ballistic Missiles as it commits to a significant upgrade of Britain’s fleet of Type 45 destroyers.

“The upgraded defence system, using the ASTER 30 Block 1 missile previously used only in French and Italian land systems, will help UK forces combat the increasing threats posed by anti-ship ballistic missiles at sea by developing the missile into a maritime variant. The Ministry of Defence has placed an initial contract for this work with MBDA which, when delivered, will be worth more than £300 million and support more than 100 jobs across the UK – including highly skilled technology roles in areas such as system design and software engineering in Stevenage, Cowes, Bristol and Bolton.”

Defence Procurement Minister, Jeremy Quin said:

“As we face global uncertainty, alliances and greater defensive capability are more important than ever. Joining our French and Italian counterparts will see us collectively improve the cutting-edge technology our armed forces possess. It is another example of us delivering on the commitments from the Defence Command Paper, helping protect our service personnel when faced with the most severe threats.”

The signing of the tri-national agreement is the first formal step in the upgrade of the six vessels, which will include converting existing missiles to the ASTER 30 Block 1 standard, as well as updates to the SAMPSON multi-function radar (MFR) and Sea Viper command and control missile system, under the full Sea Viper Evolution programme.

The Sea Viper Evolution programme follows the recent contract awards to introduce the Common Anti Air Modular Missile (CAMM) into the Type 45, which will see the missile outload of the platform increased from 48 to 72 missiles. You can read more about this news here.

Last year, I reported that there was concern over the lack of anti-ballistic capability on Type 45.

Concern over lack of anti-ballistic capability on Type 45

The following comes from a formal meeting of the Defence Select Committee, an oral evidence session specifically, discussing the recent defence review whitepaper ‘Defending Global Britain in a Competitive Age’. Just so you know who’s who, Dr Sidharth Kaushal is a Research Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute and Rear Admiral Alex Burton is the former Commander UK Maritime Forces. Stuart Anderson and Mark Francois are both Conservative MP’s.

Stuart Anderson asked, referring to the Integrated Review’s ‘Defence Command Paper’:

“Do you see any particular areas of concern with what has been set out, doctor?”

Dr Kaushal responded:

“I would not necessarily state that the force structure laid out produced any particular areas of concern for me. The temporary trough in capability that the Navy will endure when the two Type-23s are retired will probably generate certain force generation issues, although in all likelihood not insurmountable ones. The Navy, however, will need to look at two key questions: first, the absence of a capability to counter anti-ship ballistic missiles on the Type-45 destroyer. That was discussed in the 2015 strategic defence and security review, as part of a wider ballistic missile defence capability for the vessel, but it was absent in this review, which I thought was noteworthy.”

Rear Admiral Burton also responded by saying “I would just reinforce Dr Sidharth’s view on the anti-ballistic missile defence, which I think was a wrong absence within the review”, he added later “one of the gaping holes within the defence review is an anti-ballistic missile defence mechanism, both at sea and ashore.”

Mr Francois pressed the point, asking “To be clear, a gaping hole, in your words?”

Rear Admiral Burton responded:

“There is a gaping hole in our ability to defend a carrier against a ballistic missile without the support of our allies, so there is mitigation there, but it is mitigation that is reliant on our allies.”

Burton later added:

“The Navy has been clear that there has been a national capability gap, for the last 10 years, at least, in an anti-ballistic missile defence capability. That can be mitigated by working alongside our allies, just like the Americans use our capabilities to mitigate their capability gaps. Firstly, this is known, and, secondly, it can be mitigated.”

You can read the full transcript here.

 

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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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GR
GR
17 days ago

Absolutely damning that they didnt plan to upgrade to this 10 years ago.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
16 days ago
Reply to  GR

Something else to look forward to 😂 👍🇬🇧

Mark B
Mark B
16 days ago
Reply to  GR

I suspect that if you actually look back 10 years (with or without hindsight) there would have been other obvious priorities and I doubt anything would have been changed. We are where we are. We can only change the position now. We are all wasting our time talking about what might have been.

David
David
17 days ago

Seeing what damage is done to civil and military infrastructure in Ukraine by cruise and ballistic missiles its an absolute scandal that the UK will take a decade plus to even get a land based system , even the lack of pace on building up Camm batteries is a disgrace.
Always waiting for the next thing. Just buy some SAMP/T batteries for commonality in missile stocks, they would come in at £1b each. We could have a dozen with 18 months of foreign aid money, despite all the claimed “soft power ” it buys us.

Jim
Jim
17 days ago
Reply to  David

A purchase of four to six SAMP/T batteries with Leonardo’s Kronos land radar should be bought as a UOR given the situation we now face.

A lack of theatre air defence and ABM capability is the biggest capability gap in the UK forces and this has gone from a nice to have to operationally vital in the past 5 years.

CAMM is no substitute

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
16 days ago
Reply to  Jim

With you Jim. UK needs kinetic protection for what might come over the proverbial fence. Shared missile inventories/ logistics /maintenance etc for the RN, RAF and Army would make a lot of sense too. This must be going on to some degree with CAMM, Martlett/LMM.

geoff.Roach
geoff.Roach
16 days ago
Reply to  Jim

One hundred per cent Jim. The French are planning twelve in total.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
16 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Jim it depends if you want to protect a fixed site such as U.K or mobile for Army. If you want the former then I’d say Sod SAMP/T and leverage what we already have just adapt Sea Vyper (it works and we are upgrading it) and build a land based version (just like US did with AEGIS). In fact if you take a little look at the Sea Vyper Training site up on Portsdown hill your 75% on the way to the 1st one. And it’s in a pretty useful place. I get fed up with U.K procurement we always… Read more »

Jim
Jim
16 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I would be looking for a land based mobile capability able to deploy with army forces or something that could be forward based with Allie’s.

For UK I think European sky shield is the way to go and just buy some Arrow 3 inline with Germany and plug in to our existing radar network.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
16 days ago
Reply to  Jim

” Buy some Arrow 3 and Plug into our existing Radar network” ? Jim other than the Navy and the SAAB Giraffes tgecArmybhas for CAMM we don’t have Radars that can detect, track and provide targeting info for SAM or ABM missiles. Why would we ? The last ones were Bloodhounds. Fylingdales is fixed and is literally a distant and space Early Warning system. The nearest thing we actually do have that can detect, track and provide Targeting is Sea Vyper at Portsdown. It would need upgrading and 3 or 4 others around the UK. Job done ! Fixed is… Read more »

Jim
Jim
16 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Yes it does have ballistic missile defence radar on order, this will likely be our main contribution to sky shield.

“The UK is set to buy Ballistic Missile Defense Radar (BMDR) and other associated equipment from the US.
The $700m possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) was approved by the US State Department. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) was also informed the US Congress regarding the potential sale.“

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Jim BMDR is effectively the replacement at Fylingdales it isn’t a Tracking or Targeting Radar. It literally is a warning radar of what is en route and where they are going. It’s also a fixed panel system. And if you read the actual FMC the base reason for approval is it contributes to US Homeland Security. The reason we pay for one of them is because it’s our contribution to the cooperative agreement which includes the joint warning system for the US Triad and our CASD release (remember the Golf Balls). The US has separate Tracking and Targeting Radar systems… Read more »

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
16 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I wouldn’t mind seeing the “T45 on the hill” and knowing that the Sampson is actually doing something. The radar has a commanding position over the Solent on one of the taller hills around, you could probably pick out sea skimming missiles coming over sea and have advance warning of terrain-following missiles coming by land as they approach Portsdown. Proximity to Portsmouth also gives better ability to defend on a direct path rather than having to make a deflection hit with ASTER.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
16 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

I’ve never figured out why no one hasn’t just thought about it other than it’s only 1 Site.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
16 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

The range of the S1850m can be modernised to detect / track 2000km. And Sampson with even the existing Aster 30 can cover most of the South of England. As you say it’s up on a damn big hill.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
16 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

And it’s right next to one of the most nationally important sites we have. It is, on paper, a no-brainer. One issue could be that the site, according to Google, is owned by Qinetiq so would need to be purchased by the MoD to be used. Would probably have a Navy crew given the system and its role protecting Portsmouth.

Jay
Jay
15 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

I think this every time I drive past it. I presume there are plans in place to rapidly convert the site into a useful air defence asset should such an escalation occur.

Steve
Steve
16 days ago
Reply to  David

Not just landceptor purchases need to be speed up and expanded but also more phalanx ciws should be purchased so the army doesn’t have to steal from the navy to have them installed in their in theatre bases under C-RAM. Base air defence is going to become essential if we have another anti insurgency war.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
16 days ago
Reply to  Steve

And if there are spare 30mm lying around they can be converted to the MSI c-uas Terrahawk system. There’re several systems, options already available. Why is so hard for some stuff to get up? We’re full of good suggestions here on UKDJ! Lol. 😆

Last edited 16 days ago by Quentin D63
Steve
Steve
16 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

The working assumption seems to be that if the army is deployed than the navy isn’t, and that sharing gear is fine as they won’t be needed at the same time. Just it assumes its a small war where we can choose what we want to deploy.

Jim
Jim
16 days ago
Reply to  Steve

After the death of those 3 US soldiers it shows now that even small bases in non contested space need kinetic kill capability though and we will have lost of those even in a time of relative peace.

Steve
Steve
16 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Not that small a base, around 1-1.5k soldiers. It seems the attackers were very clever and followed a US drone back to the base and so it’s own defences thought it was friendly. But yeah shows the need as a UK equivalent would have nothing.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
16 days ago
Reply to  Steve

That’s fundamentally what I read a US drone was due to return and they thought that the Shahed was that drone. It’s the sort of clever tricks the Ukranians have become famous for so no surprise others have upped their game.

Steve
Steve
16 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Yeah somehow they knew it was due, and followed it in. Either intel leak or they have some form of radar. Doing it by visuals alone would be insanely hard as it takes time to get a drone up and US drones can be out for any amount of time from minutes to tens of hours.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
16 days ago
Reply to  Steve

There could be allocations to each and then a shared pool and then hopefully some more on order.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
16 days ago
Reply to  David

I’ve mentioned this many times on here over the past eight years or so including additional installations around our coastline of radars to track and detect incoming enemy missiles.

As for missile deterrents, I’m sure you must have seen my endless posts again recently on this subject.

Far cheaper and more important than building additional warships at this time that we cannot man and will not see until the next decade.

Wyn Beynon
Wyn Beynon
16 days ago
Reply to  David

Foreign Aid is moral imperative. Period. Otherwise we’re not worth being a nation of any sort. The soft power argument is irrelevant. Find the money somewhere else – from the rich rather than the poor, though.

Jacko
Jacko
16 days ago
Reply to  Wyn Beynon

Moral imperative is to defend US properly! Standard answer though isn’t it ? Take from the rich not the poor🙄 my son is self employed he pays 40% tax plus corporation tax,NI contributions etc,paying HMRC god knows how much due to covid despite the fact he didn’t get any help whatsoever ! Are you going to ask him to pay more?

Wyn Beynon
Wyn Beynon
16 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

I don’t know. It depends how much he earns. But maybe.

Jacko
Jacko
16 days ago
Reply to  Wyn Beynon

That’s the stupid answer that’s causing him and others in his situation to look abroad to do his IT work, losing the treasury his and others contributions🙄 that’s ok though I’m sure you can take up the slack.

Wyn Beynon
Wyn Beynon
16 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

I’m sorry, I’m not trying to offensive but I don’t know the circumstances and, anyway, it’s none of my business. I am well aware of the struggles of many enterprises. The point is that the rich must pay because, oddly, they have the money. The poor can’t pay so much because, well, they haven’t so much. But I also see the poor paying, sometimes disproportionately too much, for the economic downturn too. We pay for NHS, police, education defence etc by tax, and the wealthier we have become the more we owe the nation that allowed us to make money,… Read more »

Chris
Chris
16 days ago
Reply to  Wyn Beynon

You fail to understand an inconvenient truth. The Rich are mobile. If you tax them too greatly – they leave and take a substantial economic contribution with them in the form of investment and jobs. I’ve never seen a poor person single handidly employ anyone.

Wyn Beynon
Wyn Beynon
15 days ago
Reply to  Chris

I’m afraid I don’t buy that old chestnut, sorry. The whole point I’m making is that the rich always get away with it. They don’t care who wins or loses, or who is in power, because they always make money. But they are the ones with the real responsibility to pay up for extracting money from the rest of the population. Please let’s not act out the old fashioned “grateful serf doffing our caps to the nobility”. They fleece us at every opportunity. Creating jobs is just a by-product of making money. “Washback and trickle down” are at best unreliable… Read more »

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
16 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

I am no Socialist and if someone is making a decent living and paying their dues then fine we need Enterprise and it has to be nurtured. But there are folks out there who make Millions and some even Billions who probably pay less than your Son does, One thing that is monstrously unfair is the present Council Tax System. What we have is the same cobbled together temporary replacement for the Poll Tax that MT brought in PDQ, it was supposed to be reviewed. It never got reviewed and when you think a Band H pays 260% more than… Read more »

Wyn Beynon
Wyn Beynon
15 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

You make us important points. Thanks.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
16 days ago
Reply to  Wyn Beynon

The Moral element is fine but goes straight out the nearest window when something threatens our safety. COVID broke the back of U.K OS Aid, Ukraine and U.K politics has done most of the rest. It has been pretty well hollowed it over the last 4 years, it’s nowhere near where it was. The popular public image of OS Aid is very negative, hence neither Big Party is showing any real interest in putting it back up anytime soon. Peaked at £15.9 billion in 2019 and is about £8 billion this year. And £2.5 Billion of that is spent in… Read more »

Wyn Beynon
Wyn Beynon
16 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Thank you. Absolutely right. Aid has always been, shall we say, politically fluid!

GR
GR
16 days ago
Reply to  Wyn Beynon

NHS is struggling, poverty, thousands of homeless as well as struggling to afford the vital equipment needed for equipping the military with what it needs. Until all those problems are resolved, we have better things to do than fund India’s space program or adding another wing to some African dictator’s presidential palace.

Wyn Beynon
Wyn Beynon
16 days ago
Reply to  GR

It happens, but that’s not the principle point. The Daily Wail needs enemies and people to blame for problems (immigrants and refugees are easy shots), and aid is a prime target for misreporting. So I’m not inclined to take those complaints very seriously. Does some end up where it shouldn’t? Yep. Get over it. They learned duplicity from us. It’s the many who actually benefit that I would consider.

grizzler
grizzler
16 days ago
Reply to  Wyn Beynon

So we are to blame for teaching them duplicity then – Oh thats OK then….

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
16 days ago
Reply to  GR

We don’t do that anymore (thank god), but some Aid is a wise investment.

Jim
Jim
17 days ago

To a certain point the fitting for but not with nature of the T45 program is working quite well although it’s way too slow. However the decision to get the largest ship with the best radar possible and add capabilities later means we the ships have massive upgrade potential.

This is a massive contrast to the T42 program that was dated at the start and while sea dart was a capable weapon there was only so much that could be done to upgrade the T42 over their life.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
16 days ago
Reply to  Jim

It was a different concept.

Design a weapons system fit the ship around it as snug as possible.

The whole of a T42 was compromised from the start and very hard to upgrade. Even computer upgrades were a nightmare.

Now it is very different as any old blade server can do the processing. Adding memory/disk/processor is bordering on trivial.

So much of the wiring is fibre optic rather than bus based. So making things work together is so much easier.

Jim
Jim
16 days ago

It was criminal that sea wolf could not also be installed on T42 as well though. Nothing to stop sea skimming missiles.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
16 days ago
Reply to  Jim

There was absolutely no way to fit both Dart and Wolf onto a T42.

The computer systems couldn’t possibly run both at the same time.

Then there was top weight.

Wolf was also still in an R&D phase in ‘82 and did exceptionally well for a part finished system.

FieldLander
FieldLander
16 days ago

Not true.
Lightweight Seawolf (GWS26Mod2? (Type 911 and 4-barrelled trainable launcher firing conventional launch missiles) was going to go onto the Type 42s. It was cancelled as a part of the end of the Cold War peace Dividend.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
16 days ago
Reply to  FieldLander

The trainable launcher version was not full fat Sea Wolf as was fitted to T23.

It had a much poorer range and the cut down computer system (tested on T21) was not all that useful or reliable.

Nobody had figured out how to fit the Wolf backend system into T42 and the conversation was going round and round in circles…..

Fitted to T22 it had the full computer system so was a very different beastie.

It was junked because ultimately it wasn’t that good. I know that first hand.

FieldLander
FieldLander
16 days ago

I do not know what ‘full fat’ means. There were 3 variants of CLSW, two of which went into service (T22 (2 different trackers) and Leander (one tracker type)) and one on the T42 which did not. There was one version of VLSW which went onto the T23s, I assume that might be your ‘full fat’ variety.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
16 days ago
Reply to  FieldLander

The VL system on T23 [full fat] had a much greater range and was much more effective than any of the trainable launcher versions.

There was an attempt to make a very cut down version of Wolf to keep T21 in service. That was the version slated for T42.

The two systems were like chalk and cheese to each other.

FieldLander
FieldLander
16 days ago

Again wrong.
The widebeam Leanders used GWS25 Mod 0 (T910 and single 6 barrelled launcher). The T21 never had Seawolf fitted.
The T42 option used a variant of the T911 tracker, very different from T910, but similar to the T23 version.
Vertical Launch used a very different missile to the original Conventional Launch missile, although it from the outside the Dart looked similar.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
16 days ago
Reply to  FieldLander

Thanks, I know all that. I’m not quite sure what we are debating here? As I said above, in this thread, the VL missile had much greater range than the trainable version. It would have to be as the VL launch element uses more energy than horizontal. VT originally proposed a new build version of T21 back in the late 70’s with Sea Wolf fitted. There are plenty of drawings and images from VT around. This thinking was revived as the missile threat from EXOCET became clearer. A version of Wolf was chopped down to fit the existing T21’s –… Read more »

FieldLander
FieldLander
16 days ago

Agreed, a p*****g competition, but is stretching the grey matter which is good on a grey Friday afternoon. I have no idea about VT T21 concepts, before my time. I do not remember GWS27. Certainly never got of the concept board in Bristol or Stevenage. Maybe it was a part of the ‘Wolverine’ concept. Not sure that got beyond air show models. The T42 was to take the Lightweight system (T911 & 4 barrelled launcher) as described earlier. Indeed, I think that was the start of this ‘competition’. The CLSW trials ship was HMS Penelope (I think, also before my… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
16 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Didn’t a T42 take down a sea skimming missile in the Gulf war which the US systems failed to engage?

Jim
Jim
16 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

It’s did, it shit down a silkworm missile headed for USS Missouri however it shot at it in a tail on configuration I believe which made the shot easier. Sea dart did well enough but I think it was more a testimony to the crew of HMS Gloucester that made the engagement successful.

Jim
Jim
16 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Sorry shot down, don’t drink and type 😀

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
16 days ago
Reply to  Jim

See J Knott and M Thatcher for the T42 fiasco. The same 1981 DR that triggered the Falklands cancelled Sea Dart 2 and the planned mid life upgrades to Radars and illuminators. Shame as it would have been a pretty good system, faster, longer range, mid course correction and twice the number of Illuminator channels.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
16 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

But it would never have been in service for ‘82 – that is pretty certain given missile development rates back then.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
16 days ago

True but it would have been a hell of an upgrade, because the existing system became obsolete pretty quickly..

Last edited 16 days ago by ABCRodney
Jon
Jon
15 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I think both Mk 41 and ExLS are overpriced for the cold-launched CAMM family and a high-density lower cost CAMM VLS is preferable. There is conflicting information, but there’s a possibility that’s exactly what we are going to get. The Royal Navy website has the following descripription of the T26 missile silos. “These consist of 12 vertical launch system (VLS) cells for the Sea Ceptor surface to air missile (and another 24 multi-purpose MK 41 VLS cells). Each cell can house four Sea Ceptors, giving each ship a total of 48 missiles, and the MK 41 VLS provides flexibility to… Read more »

Jon
Jon
14 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Have we lost some posts? I’m pretty sure I responded to a question about Mk41 and XLS which no longer seems to be here.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
13 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Looks like it ! How odd maybe someone didn’t like my post but I still think that going back to fitting 2 MK41 where they were designed to go is the right move. And if you do that with ExLs then you have 48 Aster, 48 CAMM and 8 NSM and that’s fruity for an AAW ship.

Martyn B
Martyn B
17 days ago

Spent months increasing generating capacity in Birkenhead. Why didn’t they do it then.

Hugo
Hugo
16 days ago
Reply to  Martyn B

Because PIP is the priority, still 2 destroyers waiting to begin it

Martyn B
Martyn B
16 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

I have been in Dry Dock many times you can easily work on many different things at the same time. Not just do one thing.

Hugo
Hugo
16 days ago
Reply to  Martyn B

Course you can but in the end of the day better to have the Destroyers able to sail than with a few more missiles.
Defender has started doing PIP and Camm and so will Duncan and Diamond when they go in.

Last edited 16 days ago by Hugo
Bob
Bob
16 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

Defender came out of PIP how long ago?

Hugo
Hugo
16 days ago
Reply to  Bob

Defender has only just Started PIP, which will be combined with receiving CAMM.

Bob
Bob
16 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

My mistake HMS Daring.

Hugo
Hugo
16 days ago
Reply to  Bob

She’s not finished yet, due back sometime this year.

Bob.
Bob.
16 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

That’s my point, she was back in the water after PIP installation last January.

Paul T
Paul T
16 days ago
Reply to  Bob

Defender only started its PIP upgrade late last year – she won’t be out for a while yet.

Mark B
Mark B
16 days ago
Reply to  Bob

I thought it had just gone in. Back out 2026 I think?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
16 days ago
Reply to  Martyn B

Yup

But manpower and timelines are the issues.

There is a shortage of skilled shipyard workers who can work to modern warship standards.

The more things you do the more choreography is needed.

The harder the program becomes.

The less robust the timeline becomes.

T45 is desperately needed out doing work as T23 falls apart.

Nobody foresaw quite how fast the geopolitical situation moved and T23 became unserviceable.

I also think that there has been a rethink on how CAMM will be added.

I’d expect an announcement on that when whichever carrier deploys.

Paul.P
Paul.P
16 days ago

Rethink? Mk41 and Exls?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
16 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I’m not sure. My nose is that the threat dial has shifted quite a lot. Contrary to a lot of the chat on here RN admirals are not sat in overstuffed armchairs sipping port – there will be good if/then plans. The total snag is funding. Shapps and Key were over in the US for a reason and it is reasonable guess it is to do with the missile drone attacks as well as how UK can best help. Which is why I’d speculate that one of the UK asks in return for a QEC and T45 rotations is for… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
16 days ago

Future proofing. We are putting Mk41 on T31 and T26 so got to make sense. T45 is getting more PIP power and Aster Block 1 in the Sylver cells. Use Mk41 for Ceptor ….initially. NSM isn’t Tomahawk but you are almost getting another 6 Arleigh Burkes.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
16 days ago

Interestingly Poland has ordered sufficient LM MK41’s for 4X8 VLS on each of their T31 versions and they also bought the eXLS to quad pack CAMM. I bet their next little shopping item will be TLAM
To me going back to plan A from the original build was 2 MK41, and with eXLS that makes huge sense that’s 48 CAMM !
Which all of a sudden makes the T45 a very potent Air Warfare ship with 96 AD missiles. Just need the NSM and updates to the S1850m (SMART L MM(N) ?) and SAMPSON.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
16 days ago

Does the Aster upgrade also include any additional missiles being purchased to replace stock being used in the Gulf and for just bulking up on stock levels?
Any studies being done on Aster SAMP/T for the UK GBAD as used by France Italy? Could complement the CAMM/CAMM-ER/MR.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
16 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Others below have asked the same thing.

Jim
Jim
16 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

No it’s an upgrade to existing Aster 30 weapons rather than a new purchase. Although I think the existing stocks of aster 15 will be converted to Aster 30 as well once CAMM is on all the ships.

DaveyB
DaveyB
16 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Yes and no. The Sea Viper Evolution program is being done in two phases. The first phase upgrades the existing RN stock of Block 0 Asters to a Block 1 standard. Which is the same as the missiles used by the SAMP/T. The upgrade includes a new warhead along with firmware/software upgrades. The second later phase sees the purchase of the Aster Block 1NT. This is a completely new missile. Comes with a better higher resolution radar that allows it to define the location of a target much better.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
16 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

There are some very interesting pieces of new equipment starting to appear on the market. The Norwegian government has ordered new National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMSs) from Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace to replace systems donated to Ukraine, the company announced in a press release on 31 January. Kongsberg valued the contract with the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) at approximately NOK1.4 billion (USD133 million), with deliveries expected in 2026–27. The order includes new multimissile canister launchers and new fire distribution centres (FDCs) for NASAMS. Kongsberg said, “The delivery will provide Norway with the latest generation of NASAMS, developed to… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
16 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

The use of air to air missiles used for surface launched, is now an obvious choice. For missile companies it exploits their portfolio and means more are sold to the military customer. There is an issue though. The missiles themselves only have a single stage. Therefore it has to not only accelerate it from a stand still. But crucially push it through the sound barrier. Normally when launched from an aircraft, the missile picks up the assistance from the carrying aircraft. A significant amount of energy is expended accelerating the missile through the sound barrier and beyond. This is the… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
16 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Hi DavyB, Some very useful information as always.

What particularly interests ms me is how countries are starting to invest more heavily in homeland defence, something I’ve been mentioning over a long period of time on here and more recently, would it not be prudent for us to do the same?

DaveyB
DaveyB
15 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

I agree. For me the biggest shocker was when Germany signed the contract to purchase Arrow 3. Sort of out of the blue, as Germany is part of the EU program, investigating and conceptualizing very high altitude and sub/orbital missile defence. I have read somewhere that some of the Baltic states will be paying Germany for their defence, by buying additional missiles. The other question is why Arrow over the SM3/6 Aegis ashore? As SM3/6 has had more time/experience with decades of development. Sadly MBDA are a long way behind the drag curve. As Aster is primarily led by the… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
16 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Thanks again Davey. With the later 1NT this could then be totally new missile stock? From several posts here, having some land and or truck based Aster and decent radars seems very sensible as an effective as a backstop. You got to think that this is been discussed as the whole GBAD is a mighty 🐘 in the room. Prepare so you don’t get hit, not wait until you are!

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
16 days ago

Besides slotting the new missile in the boxes, assuming it WILL fit in the existing silos…what else needs to be done?
The existing radar can apparently track ballistic missiles, so is it a case of just fiddling with the software?
As far as I recall, the new Aster mod is not the proposed ICBM variant, so the Sampson would not necessarily need an additional top array to make it work with the block 1 upgrade.
AA

Meirion X
Meirion X
16 days ago

The ICMB variant is Aster Block 2 NT, being developed by France and Italy.

Jim
Jim
16 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

We should get in on that as well.

Jim
Jim
16 days ago

It’s a software upgrade for the radar and then an upgrade for the existing missiles, I believe they will also be converting the aster 15 to aster 30 block 1.

AlexS
AlexS
16 days ago

There are no Aster anti ICBM’s in serious developement.
There are basically 2 missiles available for that the Israeli Arrow and an US Standard version.

DaveyB
DaveyB
16 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

MBDA have been rather quiet on the Aster 2 BMD development. It might have been quietly shelved. In the meantime MBDA signed a contract with the EU to develop a missile that can intercept hypersonic glide vehicles (HGVs). In general HGVs flying between 150,000 to 250,000ft. This height is between what high altitude SAMs and missiles like SM3 can intercept. Both THAAD and SM6 are being upgraded to close this window. The MBDA program is called Acquila. This is still in concept phase, so will likely be a new missile. Though the Aster Dart with its mid-body reaction jets will… Read more »

FieldLander
FieldLander
16 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

MBDA cannot develop new capability on their own. They require a real customer requirement and funding. The first might exist, the latter does not.

DaveyB
DaveyB
16 days ago
Reply to  FieldLander

Agreed, for such an expensive project it will require multi-national funding. Not sure Europe has the stomach for it. Especially as Germany and some other Nations have banded together to purchase the Arrow system.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
16 days ago

It’s the same Sylver VLS that the French and Italians use. I think they have the inside length measured.

Pete ( the original from years ago)
Pete ( the original from years ago)
16 days ago

Can see/track ballistic missiles but not if they are coming in +/- directly from above….needs additional upward facing panel for that. Modified existing Sampson or additional panel located elsewhere on ship for that. 🙄🙄

QE1045
QE1045
16 days ago

It doesn’t need any additional panels, Sampson has complete vertical coverage. Not that that’s even particularly necessary for BMD.

Pete ( the original from years ago)
Pete ( the original from years ago)
15 days ago
Reply to  QE1045

It can see more of the vertical area for given periods with compromise to lower horizons.

Imagine day 1. BMs, skimmers, fast jets, hypersonics with multiple launches within 2000 km.

Plenty of public domain debate on extent to which the vertical exposures can or should be closed..including on this site over past few year’s. My view. …Think where PRC / IRAN /”Russian technology might be in 10 years. Type 45 will see a single BM capability upgrade. Make it robust

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
16 days ago

Does the Aster upgrade include greater range, speed and ceiling?

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

It’s got a new seeker head and a new warhead design to engage ballistic missiles. The body and booster are the same.

Meirion X
Meirion X
16 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I wouldn’t ask too many questions on this issue, if I was you! Why give our potential enhancedments info away to our enemies at an early stage?

Last edited 16 days ago by Meirion X
Quentin D63
Quentin D63
16 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Are you serious? This is public website and many other contributors ask similar questions and get equally detailed responses as well as have vastly greater knowledge than me. I like asking questions. Lol, you won’t change me on that. Lots of good contributors here on UKDJ too, with different angles, opinions, experiences, realism and good old banter.
I simply want the best for Britain and its armed forces. Lots of other sites too, like Janes, Defense News, Navy Lookout, etc, have good information but I particularly like it here.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
16 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Carry on I am sure any Russian and Chinese spies will already know far more than any of us on here though one should be rightfully careful on very sensitive aspects that an odd individual might be aware of, but that’s well beyond anything you have asked so again don’t worry about such comments your questions were no different to hundreds of others.

Frank
Frank
16 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

👌

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
16 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Thanks 🕵️.

Frank
Frank
16 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I’m a visitor of all those places too….. I like NL but it seems to be dominated by two or three rather disagreeable types….. I bet you can guess !!!!!
Questions are how we learn and this is the age of the Internet and Google and Wiki and Web Cams…… There’s not much you can’t find if you know where to look….. Anything secret or classified just remans that way…… Keep asking questions mate.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
16 days ago
Reply to  Frank

It’s a fair point though mate. Some contributors here do know certain things and you have to catch yourself.
But yes, Qs question was nowhere near that level.

Frank
Frank
16 days ago

👌…… I see this stuff all the time on these places…… nothing to worry about…. nothing to learn either…..

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
16 days ago
Reply to  Frank

And thanks Frank.

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
16 days ago

Maddening that it took being shot at with ASh Ballistic Missiles for this to become reality. Politicians all too happy to put our boys in harms way with no way to defend themselves

Sjb1968
Sjb1968
16 days ago

It was no different in the Falklands, Iraq x 2 and Afghanistan so situation normal except nobody yet has paid the ultimate sacrifice. Fingers crossed they don’t.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
16 days ago
Reply to  Sjb1968

It is true.

A variety of upgrades and mods were known to be needed to the early T42 and it wasn’t seen as a priority……there were big performance differences down South.

Let’s hope this time round that a few crash upgrade programs get going.

Sjb1968
Sjb1968
16 days ago

You are right, Exeter had a more modern radar fit and shot 3 aircraft down whilst her older sisters were definitely not so successful. Then of course post war, Phalanx was added to the whole class.
They then performed well in the 1st Gulf war just under a decade later.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
16 days ago

If we go down the Japanese route and use one or two of the T83s for homeland defence, does anyone think we could get a couple more off the Treasury?
As long as one is pootling around the North Sea, we might be able to get funding for more to escort carriers.

Meirion X
Meirion X
16 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

The Japan situation is more of an immediate threat, that is why they been forced to use the Aegis system for ABM using sm-3 at $45m a shot.
We really need to be developing A30 block 2 with France and Italy, now!

Last edited 16 days ago by Meirion X
Frank
Frank
16 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Agreed….. 100% we need to have this… it’s a glaring omission not to say a gaping hole in our mainland defence…. If now is not the time to rectify this then I don’t know just when would be….

Jim
Jim
16 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

T83 for UK defence makes little sense for the UK. We don’t face a North Korea style threat off the coast with a straight line of sight. The major issue the Japanese are dealing with is planning permission and NIMBY’s No one wants an interceptor battery near their home. Only one country could conceivably launch ballistic missiles at the UK and they would likely come from the sea which is a massive arch to cover for the UK. If they’re coming from Kaliningrad then better to have the batteries in Germany which we will have as part of sky shield.… Read more »

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
16 days ago
Reply to  Jim

I was thinking more as a technique to extract more budget, but I understand the impracticability of defending the UK by sea.
If we were to have UK-wide GBAD, it would probably be in East Anglia, Scotland, Cornwall (for the south west, unlikely) and Yorkshire to cover the majority population centres. It all depends on the missile range.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
16 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Well impractical or not the idea with T-45 was discussed at the highest levels within the past decade and I believe the Navy were highlighting the idea no doubt in hope of getting the Sea Viper upgrades they desired. Only they know whether they were serious about using it in that mode mind or just to help get the required funding.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
16 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Well, we could keep the T45s on, with their missile upgrades, so that they can act as BMD barges with a secondary OPV role. A very expensive way of doing OPVs, but quite a cheap way of doing BMD.

DaveyB
DaveyB
16 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

To be blunt, for all round ABM defence. The T45s will need the strike length Mk41 or Sylver A70 VLS cells. The current Aster farm uses the shorter Sylver A50 launcher. You need the longer cells to operate missiles in the same class as SM3 and SM6.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
16 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

So could ASTER be made longer? In Sylver A70, could you fit an “Aster 50” with a much longer range?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
16 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Could the then two MK41s spaces on the T45s theoretically be converted to A70s?
Has the MK41 even been brought up for the T45s? Okay, it’s more money but they’re buying 3*8 and 5*4 for the T26/T31s already. Isn’t it worth having this extra silo ability right now and over the next 10-15 years?
I’d like to see them make the 6 silo CAMM into an 8 (if there’s room) to give the T45s a 32 CAMM loadout … and then I’ll shut up about the MK41s and side silos… Lol 😁

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
16 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

3*8? There are 4 mk41 sets each for the T26s and 4 each for the T31s, I think
It might be 3 for the 26s. Sylver 70 will certainly be worth thinking about for T83 given we would have our own ASM and potentially ASROC-style for the FLT.

DaveyB
DaveyB
16 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Yes, the A70 launcher is 7m in length, whilst the A50 is 5m. So you could add nearly an additional 2m of booster. In this game size does mean everything!

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
16 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

So what do you think the range of “ASTER 50” would be? I thought the booster of the 30 was only about 3m long, so a serious increase?
You could probably fit the same thing in the longer editions of mk41.

Meirion X
Meirion X
14 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Aster 30 Block 0, is 120km range, and Block 1NT 150km.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
13 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

I know, but DB is advocating an extension of the booster rather than other upgrades, which would also increase range.

DaveyB
DaveyB
13 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Aster 30 is comparable to the active radar version of SM2. However, if you add the SM3 booster to the active SM2, you get SM6. Again by adding near enough an additional 2m worth of propellent, to the Aster 30 booster. You will have a missile comparable to the early version of SM6. Which means an interception height of around 100,000ft. You could go further by either changing the form factor of the dart. Basically make it wider to make more volume for propellent. Or you keep Aster 15’s booster as is and introduce a 2nd stage booster, but change… Read more »

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
13 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

So does the dart have propellant? I didn’t know that, I thought it was just a hittile like StarStreak. You could have a Meteor style ramjet, but you would be the expert on its effect on performance.

DaveyB
DaveyB
13 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Aster 15/30 is a two stage missile. The Dart contains the 2nd stage, whilst the booster is the 1st stage, which drops away after it has burnt out. In both stages the exhaust uses thrust vectoring. There are also four mid body reaction jets, that exhaust through the mid-body strakes. These are used to adjust the missile’s flight path to match erratically manoeuvring targets. Aster is considered a hittle, in all the published trials it has conducted, it has either been a direct hit or where one of its mid-body strakes has sliced into the target. It does have a… Read more »

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
13 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Aside from the loss of maneuverability, would just sticking Meteor on an Aster booster have the same effect?

DaveyB
DaveyB
12 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Yes in theory. Using either the Aster 15 or preferably the Aster 30 1st stage booster. The booster will critically push Meteor past the sound barrier towards Mach 1.5, to allow the ramjet (throttleable ducted rocket) to operate. It will likely push it to Mach 3+, before Meteor’s engine is started. When you consider the terminal speed of Aster 30 is over Mach 4. Meteor will be just as fast, potentially faster! The Meteor itself is 3.65m long, which is about a metre longer than the Aster’s Dart 2.62m, but is about the same diameter. So in theory it should… Read more »

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
12 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

I have two main questions. 1. How does AESA on a missile work? I’ve seen references to Aster getting an “imaging seeker”, but surely the resolution of the image would be limited by the number of elements, severely so on such a tiny platform? 2. How far could such a seeker “see”? There has been conversation on this site on the advisability of providing, say, the Bofors 40mm with its own fire control radar. Would a similarly miniaturised AESA panel have the required range and accuracy to provide a CIWS with targeting info after the main radar spots the target?… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
11 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Hi Sailor Boy. Sadly this is not a yes/no answer and will need a bit of background info. I won’t give any specifics away, but use published information. An AESA radar on a missile will pretty much operate the same as one fitted to an aircraft. However, on an aircraft you have much more available space for signal processing. Whereas on a missile you are quite limited. The other issue is cost. You can spend a fortune on really top notch signal processing. But as the missile is a one shot deal, is it really necessary? The size of the… Read more »

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
11 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Yes, I had intended the radar idea to be for CIWS role only, with main radar used for surface engagement over the gun’s horizon. It had occurred to me that with such tiny radar as a missile has it would be almost inconspicuous if you had a pair of them like ears on either side of the 57mm turret. I keep wondering who you work for, DB. I have a conversation with you on GMLRS on one thread and you speak like you work on it, then your missile/radar stuff is wonderful. Thanks as ever for taking seriously the musings… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
11 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Being as the missile’s radar is fitted to the turret. The signal processing unit is no longer constrained by the requirement to fit inside a missile tube. You can expand its capabilities by replacing it with something with more processing power. Likewise with the antenna array, now that you have more space to play with, you can ramp up the power output of the antenna array. But now you have the space to actively cool the array. Therefore it can operate longer at full power. For durability though, you would want the array to operate at a max power output… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
14 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

There’s the Aster 30 Block 1NT in development, and the proposed A30 Block 2NT awell, which the RN could take up.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
15 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Indeed.

At least with the upgrade UK has something fully developed and worked up.

So the tech is there to be rolled out to land assets.

Which is a lot better than waiting for the next good idea…..

Meirion X
Meirion X
14 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Now Sweden is soon to join NATO, it would be a ideal place for GBAD, for missiles from Kaliningrad.
I think we are more venerable to missiles launched from ruZZian subs in the Atlantic.

Last edited 14 days ago by Meirion X
DaveyB
DaveyB
13 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

If Russia did manage to get a sub in to the North Atlantic when the sabre rattling looks like its about to turn kinetic. I would hope a “NATO” sub would be trailing it. Its not the SSBNs that we should be primarily worried about. But the 11 cruise missile carrying Oscars and Yasens. The Oscars are being replaced by the Yasens. A modified Oscar can carry around 72 cruise missiles, whilst a Yasen can carry 32. Park one of these off the West Coast of Ireland. The whole of the UK would be in range of a cruise missile… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago

I’m honestly not sure why it’s going to take 4 years to get block1 mod0 on one ship..that seems a bit pathetic to be honest. This is not a new development of the missile it’s an old missile..it was announced in 2022 that the RN would get block1 mod0… Now I could understand 4 years for block 1 NT as that’s still being worked on and not on operational missile….but 4 years to integrate an already operational missile.that is just a slight modification of the missile your systems were specifically designed to be integrated with… what is worse is that… Read more »

Hugo
Hugo
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

HMS Defender has only just started it’s refit. It needs CAMM to replace aster 15 before they can add the ABM Aster30

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

Not really aster 30 block1 mod0 is not a dedicated ABM missile it’s a simple upgrade of the aster 30 when they get this done all the Aster 30s will be upgraded to block 1 mod0..it’s not an either or and it does not need to wait for the CAMM upgrade.

Hugo
Hugo
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

They want to upgrade the Aster 15s to Aster 30s too though, which will remove the short range defense hence CAMM

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

Indeed but that’s a different step and a different set of requirements…one is not dependent on the other. aster 30 block 1 mod 0 is for the missile nothing more than a change of seeker head and warhead..then maybe some integration work with the PAAMs…they are not developing anything new or having to do major refits for this….I suspect it’s because they don’t want to pay the money to do it quickly.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Exactly this.

Nothing stopping the A30’s being modded and not the A15’s

However, the various bits radar and software can be modded and then the missiles.

Buuuut I suspect it is to do with not upgrading the CMS to control A15 as sell as A30 NT……the capability being switched over to CAMM.

Pacman27
Pacman27
16 days ago

this is ridiculous really – its not a massive upgrade so why 4-5 yrs?

Hugo
Hugo
16 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

All the Destroyers need upgraded with Camm before Aster 15 is phased out. Which is part of this program

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

That’s not relevant to this, they can simply move to upgrade present stocks of Aster 30 to block1 mod0..the type 45 does not need to be upgraded with CAMM beforehand. The block 1 mod 0 is not a dedicated ABM it’s simply an upgraded aster 30, it can still do anything an aster 30 can do, it’s just go a duel function warhead and an upgraded guidance package…once they introduce block 1 mod0 they will gradually upgrade the entire stock of aster 30 to this.

Last edited 16 days ago by Jonathan
Deep32
Deep32
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Any upgrades to the missiles will be done at the RN armaments depots – ie Gosport etc, so will not interfere with any shipwide work packages. If we have the skilled dockyard workers, then we can accomplish more than 1 task while the ship/s are in dock/port.

Pacman27
Pacman27
15 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

a T45 has 48 VLS
given that CAMM has similar capability envelope to aster15 I would quad pack 16 tubes and have 32 Aster30s in the others.

net effect you have just doubled capacity with no discernible loss in capability.

given the above why are we really adding 24 CAMM to T45 when it is shouting out for a mk41/57 VLS fit out.

Hugo
Hugo
15 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Because there isn’t the funds for mk41 fit out and that’s includes the weapons for it.
Plus wete not investing in slyver quad packing which hasn’t been demonstrated yet anyway, cause we’re moving to mk41.
Plus I’d rather have more long range Aster 30 onboard as well as CAMM.

Meirion X
Meirion X
14 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

👍Agreed!

Meirion X
Meirion X
14 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

The result is, our T23s still go without CIWS?
Unfortunately, there are choices to be made.
The Uss Gravely was nearly hit!
CIWS saved the day again. Phalanx is proving its value!

T23s need CIWS soon!

Last edited 14 days ago by Meirion X
Hugo
Hugo
14 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

T23 was never designed to fit CIWS, almost nill they’d take them in for refit just to add that at this point in their lives.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
16 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

So industry get maximum benefit??

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago

I’m not even sure it’s that, I just suspect they cannot really be bothered to do it more quickly, greater speed generally means more upfront investment.They were I imagine asked to do it as cheaply as possible and that would mean..when they can fit it in. Like anything you commission..fast generally requires more upfront investment….

Last edited 16 days ago by Jonathan
Pacman27
Pacman27
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

from memory isn’t this just a bigger booster rocket?
the actual smarts are all the same as previously – it an extension of range that the booster provides.

same as the only difference between 15 and 30 is more fuel

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

No in the case of the aster30 block1 mod0 the booster and body are all the same as a normal aster 30, the changes are in the seeker head and a new duel purpose warhead..

Pacman27
Pacman27
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

isn’t there an EM version proposed?

+ I thought those seeker improvements had already been made and implemented (isn’t it similar to brimstone?)

if that’s the case I am thinking CAMM really become a light TLAM /brimstone replacement (as the RN have already tested but didn’t buy the software upgrade from what I understand)

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Hi no there have been no modifications to the Aster missiles so far..

“MBDA source explained that the main differences between legacy Aster 30 and the Block 1 variant are in the seeker software and missile computer software. There are also some minor hardware modifications such as the warhead: It combines a proximity fuse with blast fragmentation warhead. While Aster 30 is limited to “air breathing target” or ABT”

Pacman27
Pacman27
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

thanks for info and responses

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
16 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

There’s also a stretched Brimstone style thing that MBDA are putting forwards for the Land Precision Fires role after GMLRS, which could probably be adapted to launch vertically with 60+ mile range. In addition, MBDA have produced CGI of a SPEAR 3 coming out of a CAMM quad-pack. Both of these would probably fulfil the idea that you put forwards and be a really useful capability.

DaveyB
DaveyB
16 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

I’m a bit disappointed that MBDA haven’t looked at fitting Brimstone or Spear-3 to a M28 rocket used in the MLRS and HIMARS. If they can do the same for the US small diameter bomb (SDB). Then why not Brimstone or Spear?

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
16 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Well, if you look up the UKDJ article “Requirements for future British anti-armour revealed” from 2021 there is an MBDA concept image of what looks like a multiple launch rocket coming out of a Land Ceptor pallet attached to a Boxer with CAMM rear fins and a Brimstone seeker. (You may remember it, you have comments under that article)
This seems like it would be a mighty useful piece of kit as a combination of Mounted Overwatch and a more conventional artillery role, with more depth than ordinary Brimstone.

DaveyB
DaveyB
13 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Cheers, must have been having a brain fart!

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I make you right.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I think it is the risk/complexity balance – dare not make the package too complex otherwise the shakedown could take ages.

Also, I think, there is another layer of complexity to this – I think the upgrade may be more substantial in capability.

Frank
Frank
16 days ago

You old Cynic you !!!!😆

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
16 days ago

When I read the proposed timescale and did a bit of digging, I’m rather surprised but 180 degrees the opposite of everyone else on here. Set up a process to strip down the old missile with safe ways of working, secure the new boosters, upgrade kits, software etc etc. And at the same time upgrade the ships, radars, targeting systems and train the crews and maintainers to use it all. Wow all by 2028 ! Mmm just checked my calendar and it isn’t April fool so did anyone see if the Minister had his fingers crossed behind his back. Not… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
16 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Indeed! Missile technical specs well over my head as well.

Frank
Frank
16 days ago

It ain’t Rocket Science mate………… 😂

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Yes but we don’t need to wait for the long and complex job of turning a aster 15 into an aster 30 block1..we start with turning aster 30 into block1 that’s as the company itself have said is not a difficult job..it’s a software upgrade to the seeker head and a new warhead..the missile booster is not touched.

DaveyB
DaveyB
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

There are two parts to an Aster missile. The 1st stage booster rocket and the Dart that sits on top of it. The Dart contains the second stage rocket, warhead, sensor etc. Aster 15 and Aster 30 use the same Dart. The only difference is the1st stage rocket booster, where Aster 30’s is just under twice as long as Aster 15’s. To turn Aster 15 in to 30, you just replace the booster motor. So that part of the exercise is relatively painless. Its the bit changing a Block 0 into a Block 1. Where the Dart has to be… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
15 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

This is day to day maintenance level stuff.

It will be done as the missiles are rotate through the ammunition depot.

As you say no big deal at all.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
14 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

As I have said missiles are not my field, so perhaps you can explain something to me. Rather than buying New Builds we are updating the existing 30’s and upgrading the 15’s to the same Block 1 standard. As I understand it the Booster / propellant have a certain life expectancy and these are already @10 years old. So do they reuse the existing components in the case of the Aster 30 or replace and zero hour the updated / upgraded missile ? The 15 to 30 would be more complex as you need to fit the new bigger booster.… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
14 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

You are correct that when the missile reaches its shelf life or its air carriage life. The missile will get stripped. The rocket motor’s propellant will be sent for disposal, as it can’t be reused. The warhead will be the same. It’s very difficult to determine the chemical decomposition of the warhead. So it’s safer to assume it’s time expired and dispose of it. The missile’s battery is likely to be timex as well, so that will get binned. The forward body will be examined and if it’s within tolerance, cleaned up painted and reused. This goes for the fins… Read more »

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Mmmm That’s fine providing we bought sufficient Aster 30 in the first place to convert for a full load out in 6 ships ! I doubt we did that as these things aren’t exactly cheap.

Jonathan
Jonathan
14 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

remember we don’t keep all six vessels filled up with the missiles, they are loaded in and out as they come on and off refit..the missiles themselves are maintained etc..which is why I don’t understand why they cannot be simply refitted as block 1 as a normal part of maintaining them…it’s should not be outside the possibility of man that as the T45s come out of refit they they get the block 1 upgraded missiles.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
14 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

That still doesn’t mean we have sufficient 30’s to convert for a full 100% load. Just do Math if the present load out is a 50/50 split 30s / 15s that’s not a lot to work with. The number of Asters purchased has always been a nebulous number, but I’d be surprised if the MOD bought any more than the bare minimum (as per everything else).

Jonathan
Jonathan
14 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I’m not talking about a 100% load out of aster 30 block 1…we will still be using the 15 for a while….where did I say 100% load out of aster 30 block 1 ?

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
14 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

That’s the implication of the announcement. “Sea Vyper to have existing missiles upgraded to Aster 30 Block 1”. There is no mention in it anywhere about 1 NT as a 2nd phase (nor anywhere else I can find. The upgrade of the 15’s is when they replace their role by CAAM, What else would they do with them and that is a full load of 30s !
Or am I missing something ?

Jonathan
Jonathan
13 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I think we are getting confused, I have suggested that it should not take four years to field a number of Aster 30 as block1 mod0 as it’s a simple change…as it is it looks like the RN will not be fielding any block1 mod0 capabilities for at least 4 years..which means they are going to do the CAMM modification before moving to Mod 0..which to my mind is an unnecessary delay..as they could simply move to a mod0 aster 30 capability very quickly.

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago

R Admiral Burton tells it like everybody in the Navy has said for over a decade and now the threat is knocking on the door something is being done unfortunately 2028 for a Viper upgrade maybe too late . Just read an article 2nd Feb on how a Phalanx took out 1 Houthie ASMissle on the 31st Jan either Aegus radar failed too aquire or cost ratio Missle or 20mm came into play

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

The Ship in question was the USS Gravely

Frank
Frank
16 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Again ! She’s been rather busy…..

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  Frank

She’s earned her Stripes on this deployment that’s for sure

Frank
Frank
16 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

And a new paint job….. Have you seen her rust !!!!!

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Just a cosmetic touch up can’t have too much highly inflammable paint on board

Meirion X
Meirion X
14 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

A Freeman or Freeship sort of thing! 😄

Tommo
Tommo
14 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

The Stripes awarded are for efficiency something like that

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
16 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Not an inspiringly choice of a name…and apologies if it’s anyones surname here.

Last edited 16 days ago by Quentin D63
Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Unlike the RN who’s ships have history Cities ,counties Dukes and mythology for Ships names ,the USN have a Phone Directory I’m joking A lot of their ships have names of military personnel regardless of Rank even Winston Churchill gets a mention and the Gravely is named after Admiral Samuel Gravely Village People sang about it ” In the Gravely you can sail thec7 seas” I’m joking

Frank
Frank
16 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

😂 love it !

Frank
Frank
16 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Just goes to show that no system is guaranteed to be 100% effective….. Phalanx did the job it was designed for though. In other news, another Russian Missile boat was despatched using multiple Sea Drones… some pretty good videos on CNN and Youtube.

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Nice too see that the Ukrainians filmed the taking down of another Orc asset the kremlin will deny and say that they sunk this vessel in a “Goodwill gesture “

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
16 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Was Gerasimov on it I wonder.

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

🤞fingerscrossed another “Good will gesture”

JK
JK
16 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

It must be worrying if you’re on a ship when a drone/missile gets that close. You can’t do much apart from hope the phalanx takes it out.

Frank
Frank
16 days ago
Reply to  JK

Not sure if anyone on board would actually know if a missile was was that close to be honest….. it’s a Radar thing by then…..

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  JK

It’s what we went through in 82 I’m afraid to say no Phalanx, Goalkeeper, just 20mm ,40/60 and 4.5 oh and 3inch Chaff and Prince Andrew anti Exocet radar carrying SeaKing helicopter

Frank
Frank
16 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

“Randy Andy”… 😆

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
15 days ago
Reply to  Frank

He was doing something useful with that improvised underslung crate.

Can’t have been much fun as the foward airspeed wasn’t going to much with that lump dangling underneath. So it was a very vulnerable situation to be in.

Tommo
Tommo
14 days ago

And he could of spilt the pilots Cup of Coffee very risky holding a flask of coffee with a Radome swinging beneath you

Jonathan
Jonathan
14 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

I would imagine there was some stress, having your CIWS engage is not where you want to be…they are after all last ditch weapon systems…it was engaged within one mile..so for a sub sonic AShM..that’s 4-5 seconds from target. The crews of those ships must be getting very fatigued…that’s a lot of fighting they have done….what it does show is the absolute necessity of a close in weapon system..the T23 does not have any…the assumption being that sea Wolf and now CAMM are usable as last ditch weapons ( with and engagement range of less that .6 of a mile)..

Tommo
Tommo
14 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Alas Johnathan CIWs is the last resort if all else fails its down too the MK 1 eyeball there’s no where to run too and fatigue must be woven into the equation the crew must be knxxxxed they’ve been there since Nov 23

Meirion X
Meirion X
14 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

This is the disadvantage of only having bare minimum of numbers of high end escorts, resulting in long fatiguing
deployments.
Yes indeed the RN has a shortfall of AAD vessels, to relive long deployed vessels.
We need to be above bare minimum numbers!
Also should not T23s have CIWS defence, would Phalanx be too heavy?

Last edited 14 days ago by Meirion X
Tommo
Tommo
14 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Never r had a Frigate I served Hunts,Destroyers and Carriers Type 42s could manage Phalanx and Carriers had Goalkeeper a cheaper version of Phalanx I do believe 23s have Auto tracking and firing 30mm as Ciws with a lesser firing rate of either Phalanx, Goalkeeper

Bob
Bob
16 days ago

Why four years to start what is only a minor upgrade?

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  Bob

Business lunches drinks after work with company execs , the usual malpractices that occur when the MOD wants things done in a hurry .

George Amery
George Amery
16 days ago

Hi folks hope all is well. Although late, and has taken the Red Sea issue to take stock and for HMG making the right decision. On a sea theme, I note the Daily Telegraph has today has an article that the UK is literally not able to send a carrier to replace the US carrier? I along with many others read a couple of days ago that we are to deploy HMS Queen Elizabeth. So what’s going on? At the very least we should be able to send QE with a minimum number of F35s, and the rest of numbers… Read more »

Frank
Frank
16 days ago
Reply to  George Amery

hello George, It’s all a bit confusing, probably deliberately…..One of the carriers is having work carried out on her deck, with a fair bit of visible activity (HMS Warrior Live Cam) Not sure which Carrier it is though….. My thoughts about which Carrier might be sent to the Red Sea would be QE as she has the experience….. Will she go ? who knows, should she go ? only to replace the Eisenhower but only if she could embark enough aircraft either ours or with the USMC….. Then again, she would really need escorts and Solids/tanker support…. If she went,… Read more »

Last edited 16 days ago by Frank
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
16 days ago
Reply to  Frank

If the work is to the decks it could be a refresh of the heat resistant coatings?

Meirion X
Meirion X
16 days ago

Yes, PoW had a lot of test landings on the deck, last Autumn over the pond.

Frank
Frank
16 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Is it POW then… ? I can’t seem to recall which Carrier is which ATM….They are both tied up but only one is being worked on….. either way, it looks like something will be happening soon.

Frank
Frank
16 days ago

Looks exactly like that to me…. The Tent was there for a few weeks… then it was removed for a few days, now it’s back again……. There is currently a great big yellow crane and a whole bunch of containers and other stuff…. where as the “Other” carrier seems to be asleep ! …. It’s either the Red Sea or CSG 24…… either way, She will be passing through the Red Sea at some point…… I’d like to think she would be getting a 4th Phalanx (to cover the blind spot) and maybe a few “Land Ceptor” systems too…..but heck,… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
16 days ago
Reply to  Frank

If not a 4th Phalanx at least something extra!!! Lol. 😆

Deep32
Deep32
16 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Hi Frank, thats PoW being worked on, Big Lizzie is sailing on Sunday for a series of exercises. There is an article over on NL about her deployment.

Frank
Frank
16 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Thanks mate, Just read that….it seems odd that POW is having lots of work done but no apparent activity aboard QE if she is out on Sunday…. I’ll take another look at the Web Can in a while.

Deep32
Deep32
16 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Morning mate, believe that QE had all her work done just after she got back from Glen Malen a while ago.
Think since then everyone has been on leave and she is stored ready for the off so to speak. Suspect that she may well top up her ‘fresh’ food today in preparation for sailing.

Frank
Frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Cheers mate, I just had a look and still no activity but the view is somewhat obscured by the Museum buildings. plenty still going on with POW though.
The Draught thing was mentioned a while back when it was thought that POW might have touched the btm when her Prop broke and many years back there was some Dredging work carried out. I shall look forward to seeing the tell tale puff of smoke !

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  George Amery

Hi George concerning QE and her non deployment to the Red Sea , One excuse being bantered around Pompey is Health and Safety the QE has used up all her milage allotted for the year judging by her tachograph reading and can’t sail until April 1st

Deep32
Deep32
16 days ago
Reply to  George Amery

Hi George,
Big Lizzie is off on her travels this weekend, sails sometime on Sunday for Ex. Steadfast or something. Prior to that she is going to partake in JW24-01 in the North Sea which includes some stuff off of Norway(Nordic Response).
Believe the AG for the deployment is;
8 x F35
9 x Merlin (7asw/2CN)
4 x Lynx

Time will ultimately tell if she is required to go and relieve the US CBG in the Red sea.

Frank
Frank
16 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Lower Tides at the moment, can’t recall if there were certain draught restrictions ?

Deep32
Deep32
16 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Dont know about that, but HW in Pompey on Sunday is 0531/1800, so 1 hour either side of that would be my guess when she leaves.

Frank
Frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

I’ve been really lucky to have spotted both a few times Whilst on Portland… Had a great view a few months back, POW was sailing past Portland Bill really early and I spotted her by accident whilst just looking out to sea from the heights… got some great pics.

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Pompey has a split tide range due too the Isle of Wight so high tide lasts longer by 1 hr compared to other places along the south coast either time on Sunday it won’t be light when she sails

Frank
Frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

This is a Huge Exorcize…. 32 nations and 90000 personnel and 5 months duration…. wow.

Geoffi
Geoffi
16 days ago

Another 4 years.
Let’s hope we are still here by then…

Colin
Colin
16 days ago

The Only reason the a carrier has not gone to Sea is there is only one RFA to replenish her Fort Victoria RFA Fort Victoria, the UK’s only vessel capable of providing solid stores logistic support to the Carrier Strike Group has been non-operational since late 2021 with mechanical and crewing issues putting a question mark over her future. They have no crew so they cannot send carrier to Red Sea

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
16 days ago
Reply to  Colin

Yes they can put a carrier to sea. Both are crewed. They are not reliant on fleet solid support vessels. We have tankers that can support them. We have friendly ports in the region for stores. And we can use allies support vessels like they have used ours. Solid Support Vessels are very useful for long deployments. But they won’t stop the carrier’s from putting to sea.

Frank
Frank
16 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Exactly…. as was the case with POW on her visit to the States.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
15 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not ideal not having sovereign solid fleet support vessels readily available. But it’s not a complete show stopper.

Last edited 15 days ago by Robert Blay
Frank
Frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

I agree mate… we are part of a Team…. luckily !

Steve
Steve
16 days ago

The interesting story of the week was the Ukrainian attack on the Russian Air field. Clearly there is conflicting stories from both sides, but it appears Ukraine fired off 25 missiles and 6 got through and did some serious damage. Not sure the UK as any platforms outside the t45 that could deal with 25 incoming missiles.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
16 days ago
Reply to  Steve

I think a T23 could deal with the first 25 missiles, but it would then be completely out of CAMM so wouldn’t survive another “wave”. It’s funny how warfare is becoming more and more like a tower defence game, isn’t it?

Joe16
Joe16
16 days ago

I was also a little puzzled why it takes 4 years to IOC for a software update on 6 vessels (no hardware, by my understanding?). I’m guessing it’s going to take that long to get a sufficient quantity of the missiles upgraded, and then integration testing etc? Assuming you need a certain level of missile stocks to qualify for IOC, let’s call it sufficient Aster 30 to equip 2 T45. Even before the CAMM upgrade, that’s 24 Aster30 per vessel (assuming a 50/50 split of 15s and 30s), for 48 missiles minimum as Block 1 mod0. However, with the CAMM… Read more »

Steve
Steve
16 days ago

It’s interesting that AEGIS got beat by a missile and the phanlax had to deal with it. Similar to what happened in the Iraq war.

Will be interesting to read about what happened and what went wrong when the details start coming out in a year or two.

farouk
farouk
16 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Steve wrote: “”It’s interesting that AEGIS got beat by a missile and the phanlax had to deal with it. Similar to what happened in the Iraq war.””   That’s a very interesting question, and whilst I don’t know the answer, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Iranians (lets be honest it is the Iranians behind all these attacks) have started using Carbon fibre (or even fibre glass as I don’t think they are that savy regards Carbon fibre)  in their Drones, Missiles and Loitering munitions. Allow me to expand on this, The Iranians as middle easterners love to pontificate ,… Read more »

Steve
Steve
16 days ago
Reply to  farouk

If true it nullifies the t23 and t31 as they don’t have phalanx

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
16 days ago
Reply to  Steve

The T31 has the EO turrets so isn’t entirely dependent on radar but it would certainly reduce the accuracy of the 40mms in the CIWS role.

Netking
Netking
13 days ago
Reply to  Steve

It’s interesting that AEGIS got beat by a missile and the phanlax had to deal with it. Similar to what happened in the Iraq war.”

I wouldn’t speculate right now that aegis got beat. Could be that they didn’t want to waste a missile or it could just be the geometry of the engagement that made using the cwis the best solution. Like you said, we’ll know for sure when the info officially gets released.

Steve
Steve
13 days ago
Reply to  Netking

I would guess not a decision, as you wouldn’t want to rely on your ciws as its a defence of last resort, anything goes wrong and the ship gets hit.

Rob N
Rob N
16 days ago

The UK should urgently upgrade its ASTER 30 missiles to the block one asap, before the full SVE phase one. You can upgrade the missile without the whole upgrade. It is mainly a software update and a new warhead….. we need this now and for ships in the Gulf not in 2028… we could buy a few from Italy or France….

TR
TR
15 days ago

5thnlargest budget in the world
Numerous MOD studies
Still end up with no weapons and our pants down.
Even after the upgrades it will still only be 6 hulls and not enough sailors for them.