More details about the Type 32 Frigate project have emerged as it is announced the warship has entered its concept design phase.

Earlier this month, during a meeting of the Defence Committee, it was announced that the general purpose ship had entered its concept phase. First Sea Lord Tony Radakin added that it was too early to define its characteristics but being a “Type 31 Batch 2” frigate could be an option. You can read more about that proposal here.

Up to five ships are planned, which, in combination with the planned five Type 31 frigates and eight Type 26 frigates, will grow the Royal Navy’s surface escort fleet from 19 to 24 vessels.

Radakin also reiterated the intent of the programme to provide “additional volume” to the fleet and embrace emerging technology. Below is the transcript from the committee session.

Jeremy Quin, Minister for Defence Procurement, kicked things off by saying:

“On all the things about Type 32, everything is changing very rapidly. We are very conscious with Type 31 and Type 26—we will get on to this with the lethality—that the kit that we will use in future will be very different from what we are used to at the moment. If you look on FCAS, in terms of future combat air systems, with swarms of loyal wingmen, it will be a different world. I am conscious that anything we say now may change during the course of the concept phase.”

First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin added:

“We are just kicking off the concept phase now. In terms of whether it will be an ASW platform, an AAW platform or more a general-purpose frigate, it is in the general-purpose frigate class. Does it have a wide spectrum of what it might be? At the moment, absolutely. The debate we had was whether this is really a Type 31 and just call it a batch 2. That could be one answer. Or, in the world that we are in, where the technology is moving so quickly, should we challenge ourselves about whether this could be a very different ship? It could have a lot more automation, a lot fewer ships company and a lot more in terms of some of the new technologies, whether drones or directed energy or some of the weapons that are coming through. That is why we have now started the concept phase to better understand what those choices are.”

Sarah Atherton, MP for Wrexham, asked the First Sea Lord what the timelines are for this project, he answered:

“The timelines for this are towards the end of this decade and stepping into the 2030s. From my point of view, this is about frigate and destroyer numbers that we have heard before are anchored around a 19 figure and potentially start to grow to 24 in the early 2030s. That makes a substantial difference to the Navy. The earlier debate that we had about having 60% availability and potentially 80% availability in the future gives me twice as many frigate and destroyer days than I currently have. This is a substantial change.

Atherton then asked:

“When you are feeding into the ideas of the concept that you want in a decade’s time, are you looking at capability gaps, or are you looking at new capabilities, or both?”

Radakin replied:

“This is more about additional volume in the fleet. In terms of the capability gaps, it is about embracing the technology that is out there. My wariness around some of the programmes we have had in the past—which get initiated, take forever to deliver and are fixed—is that you cannot ever introduce technology that is moving along at a faster pace than you are designing or building the ships.

If you look at how long it took to initiate Type 26, build it, and bring it into service compared to Type 31, the speeds are hugely different. It is the same with Type 32. Can we start to accept that the correct way to build our ships is to have a lot more flexibility and introduce the technology almost as you are designing and building the ships, rather than something that was cemented in aspic 10 or 15 years ago? You then get the wrong capability too late, and it is not good enough in terms of what we need.”

Atherton then asked about real world examples, saying:

“The Russian-Israeli corvette is a punchy bit of kit by all accounts: well-armed, speedy, adaptable. Are you looking at that?”

Admiral Tony Radakin replied:

“That would be part of the option set. If I take Type 26, one of the best things about Type 26 is this enormous mission bay that can take 16 containers. One of the other best things is that we have not decided precisely what will be in those containers and what will go into the mission bay. It is the same with Type 31 and Type 32. We are trying to avoid over-engineering and deciding too early, when I think, selfishly, that we want to maintain the amount of choice that we can have for as long as possible, and a level of ambition that allows you to embrace more lethality and is at the cutting-edge of technology in a better way that we have done in the past.

That does mean that we do not have the easy answers as to what this frigate will look like in 10 years’ time. It is deliberate. This will be a platform which will be able to host, ideally, a different set of capabilities that we can swap in and out, but will be much more modern and lethal in terms of what it can deliver.”

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Robert Billington
Robert Billington
7 days ago

So they’re building the hulls and think later what to fasten to them! Fair enough.

Paul H
Paul H
7 days ago

Think Millennium Dome!

maurice10
maurice10
7 days ago
Reply to  Paul H

With the hurricane of drone technologies currently being developed, it may be wise to build a general purpose platform with maximum scope for future remote systems?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 days ago

At least they are then built.

This is why I do not get the wailing about T31. It has room for expansion. So do it incrementally.

Ron5
Ron5
7 days ago

The “wailing” is about the fact that upon delivery the Type 31 is pretty useless.

As for incremental improvements, look at the interim Harpoon replacement program to see how that works.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

the Type 31 is pretty useless.”

In your opinion. Not all.

andy a
andy a
7 days ago

does make me laugh that so many people are saying that the 1SL and others are totally wrong, please guys the last thing we want is another T26/ajax, over specified project that spends more on talking about kit than delivering hardware.
T31 is what the sea lord and navy need, in WW2 was every platform heavily armed battleship? No most were frigate/ corvette/destroyer platforms to do unglamerous work. He is saying above lets get them built and add hardware through its life otherwise its out of date by the time built.

James Fennell
James Fennell
7 days ago
Reply to  andy a

Also in WW2 simple designs like War Emergency Destroyers, River, Loch and Bay class Frigates and Flower and Castle class Corvettes were rapidly improved during build and lots of equipment added after ordering and even comissioning.

Last edited 7 days ago by James Fennell
Ron5
Ron5
7 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Yeah that’s relevant (eyes roll)

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
7 days ago
Reply to  andy a

The same principles are being used by TeamTempest.

John Stevens
John Stevens
7 days ago
Reply to  andy a

Agree.. Sounds like a sensible plan to me. I think there is a lot of potential for the Type 31’s and 32.

Ross
Ross
7 days ago

Have to agree with you Daniele, the type 31 has bundles of potential, upon launch however it will be a significant up gunned replacement (capable of it’s own air defence) for the OPVs in foreign stations.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 days ago
Reply to  Ross

Yes. Though I hope the T31 joins the RB2s rather than replaces them.

Klonkie
Klonkie
7 days ago

Hi D. Aren’t the the T31 ultimately replacing the three batch 1 rivers?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Morning.

No, they are replacing the GP T23’s, as “replacements” for the 5 dropped T26.

Based on comments made by the 1SL, people suggest the T31 will be forward deployed like the RIver Batch 2’s.

From that, it is suggested some Rivers will return toto replace the 3 Batch 1’s.

I’d keep the Batch 1’s as is and augment the River B2s with T31, not replace.

Last edited 6 days ago by Daniele Mandelli
Klonkie
Klonkie
6 days ago

Thank for that D. That seems like a sensible Batch 1 retention plan.

James Fennell
James Fennell
7 days ago

The idea that we order bare bones with lots of power a good digital backbone and upgradable combat system and space for growth, and make as much equipment GFE which can be bought nearer to the in-service date seems better than spending a 1,000 years trying to agree a meticulous specification and another 1,000 building it, by which time it needs a major upgrade, seems senisble.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

If only we had done that with Ajax!

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
7 days ago

Don’t get me started with Ajax or it will cost some peeps a fortune in popcorn 😂

Last edited 7 days ago by Nigel Collins
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

I don’t actually recall any Ajax rants mate. It’s F35 we do not want to starting on. 😉

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
7 days ago

Don’t encourage him 😄

Jonathan
Jonathan
7 days ago

Is that the “flying pig that costs ten times any other fighter/bomber and can’t even out fight a yak 38“ vs the “F35 could clearly take out the Death Star and destroy the empire” type debate.

Last edited 7 days ago by Jonathan
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

You got it mate.

Ryan Brewis
Ryan Brewis
7 days ago

If Ajax was to be the Warrior replacement, I’d agree. A colossal high tech recce vehicle that’s bigger than the nation’s IFV just seems self contradictory.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Yup

Very well expressed.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 days ago

+1

It will all depend on PODs and wether it gets Mk41 VLS (as 1SL has clearly stated he wants) and that does have a budget line if the IAShM is taken out.

At least they will be capable platforms that will actually exist.

Ron5
Ron5
7 days ago

Where will the PODs fit on a Type 31?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

Try listening to 1SL -> HoC Select Committee.

Where he is saying the POD’s spots are “one of the most exiting parts of the T21 concept”……

Some of the POD’s go over where Mk41 is in Danish service. But that does still leave clear space for others.

Ron5
Ron5
6 days ago

Yeah, I’m excited about the type 21’s too.

P.S. that space is occupied by CAMM VLS.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

Based on the renders maybe.

But the CAMM VLS could also be going where the AShM box launchers are going.

Again 1SL is an enthusiast for Mk41. So maybe, just maybe this has been though about?

But you will probably saying that 1SL is talking hot air……or something else profound like that…..

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

I think you know I meant T31 not T21…..typo….

James Fennell
James Fennell
7 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

There is a small mission bay for 6 TEUs under the flight deck and 3 rather than the usual 2 boat bays – nowhere near a big as Type 26, but useful. Babcock have an idea for a stretched Type 31, with a hull insert for a larger mission bay.

Ron5
Ron5
6 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Under the flight deck is a container sized hold that’s totaly unsuitable for any of the PODs that have been mentioned so far,

The boat bays are not designed for containers or PODs. For one thing, they are not long enough.

A stretched Type 31? Good grief.

Jonathan
Jonathan
7 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

Every time someone mentions PODs I can’t stop thing about patients own medication ( PODs) lockers.

Ron5
Ron5
7 days ago

It’s all about what the Navy is going to get vs the dreams of what it may turn into.

And what it’s going to get is rather feeble. 3 small guns and a dozen small missiles. All pointless in a shooting war because it can’t protect any other ship so why bother attacking it?

The Navy sent Type 21’s into San Carlos Water to see if it was mined. The Type 31’s could do that.

Jonathan
Jonathan
7 days ago

Seconded, Good gun armament, very new AAW missile able to engage surface targets at Mach 3, good size hanger and rotor, with mission bays, space for marines etc. Looks like a light frigate for the 21c to me.

Ron5
Ron5
6 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

It’s replacing type 23’s. Have you compared their respective capabilities?

Jonathan
Jonathan
6 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

Well if you compare it to a GP T23 in a number of tasks it’s probably better, not so good in some others.

Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts
7 days ago

Well if the MOD had said from the get-go that T31 would have space reserved for future AShm / long-range strike weapons, then maybe be we would have avoided many debates here. It is the vagueness and doubts that often cause concern.

Ron5
Ron5
7 days ago

Sure, this forum loves nothing more that FFBNW.

Meirion x
Meirion x
7 days ago

Why let our adversaries know years in advance? Just Short notice only, with some vageness set in which will cost them a lot of money of having to go back on their plans to counter the RN.

expat
expat
7 days ago

So lots of space, loads of power, high bandwidth network capability and open architecture.

Ron5
Ron5
7 days ago
Reply to  expat

A cruise liner meets those criteria.

Ross
Ross
7 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

well to be fair we have a long history of arming said cruiser liners! lol

Tommo
Tommo
7 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

All that’s missing is a Pool Ron

Ron5
Ron5
7 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Pool POD ?

Tommo
Tommo
7 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

RON We had one on the Bristol when we removed the Mortars ,had the Russians thinking Vhat da Veck Capitalists

Ron5
Ron5
6 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

😀

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
7 days ago

Must admit I found reading that not especially clear about the plan but the gist I got doesn’t quite fit your take. It seems to me that they are wanting to design a hull open a wide range of weapons or sensor developments as they anticipate them developing, but accepting that represents movable goal posts, so equally trying to make any such design once they have nailed down as far as possible its overall purpose make it as flexible as possible to both accept changes and allow adaptation even re-design as it progresses towards an eventual concrete design that will… Read more »

Last edited 7 days ago by Spyinthesky
Ron5
Ron5
7 days ago

Any and all naval architects will say (and have said) this is complete nonsense.

The last time any country tried this for real produced the LCS.

The key remark was that the primary reason for the Type 32’s was to increase the number of RN ships. Not to expand the navy’s capability, not to improve the defence of the UK but just to make the RN bigger. That’s complete nonsense too.

Tommo
Tommo
7 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

But at least a Spithead review will look better with more ships Ron

Ron5
Ron5
6 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Very true. I wonder what event would trigger one?

Tommo
Tommo
6 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

Platinum jubilee at a push Ron

Frank62
Frank62
7 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

We need to have a larger pool of escorts to cover our present comitments. Numbers have been below minmum for too long & it is getting worse before it will get any better.

James Fennell
James Fennell
7 days ago

Babcock have said they can stretch the Type 31 design to slot in a Type 26 (Rolls Royce) mission bay. That might be an option (I read this in a written submission to the Defence Committee)

Ron5
Ron5
7 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

They can’t fit one on 6,000 tons so they have to make the ship bigger? Yikes.

James Fennell
James Fennell
7 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

Type 31 has a small mission bay (for 6 TEUs) but the Type 26 bay is for 16 containers and / or more UAVs as its connected to the hangar. I think the idea is to fit the Type 26 mission bay (designed by Rolls Royce) into the design without loosing the space for VLS.

Ron5
Ron5
6 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Once again totally confusing what the Navy will actually get vs what they might get in some dream universe.

David Steeper
David Steeper
7 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Now that sounds like a plan.

Charles Verrier
Charles Verrier
7 days ago

‘Lethality’ is the new favourite word that has to be included in all procurement announcements – I think there’s an actual law…

expat
expat
7 days ago

So lots of space, loads of power, high bandwidth network capability and open architecture.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
7 days ago
Reply to  expat

Damn, wish I could have explained it so succinctly.

Ron5
Ron5
7 days ago
Reply to  expat

Which one of those is lethal? space, power, open architecture or high bandwidth?

Jonathan
Jonathan
7 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

power, it’s power, power cables are nasty: 1) never stick a power cable up the orifice you urinate out of ( it makes for a great X-ray, but is really nasty to treat and remove). 2) drilling through a power cable really really hurts, honest. Open architecture can be quite lethal as well, especially fully opening windows up high: 1) never ever ever drop your mate head first out of a fourth floor window, he won’t like it and will take ages to speak to you again. 2) never fall out of a tenth floor window as it makes resus… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
7 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

It probably says too much about me but that genuinely made me laugh.
👍

Ron5
Ron5
6 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Me too Full marks !!

Tommo
Tommo
7 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

You weren’t in Keppal block HMS Nelson by any chance Johnathan Beer barrels from the 10th floor window what a laugh

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
7 days ago

Bit like the ‘Passion’ buzzword, really seems to mean a lot but probably just a smoke screen for not knowing how to explain it.

James Fennell
James Fennell
7 days ago

🙃

Jonathan
Jonathan
7 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

You’ve made my headache with the upside down emoji, I kept on turning my iPad upside down to see it and the screen kept moving around……..no more upside down please.

Frank62
Frank62
7 days ago

Unless it’s backed up with real effective kit rather than few too light weaponry, lethality is just spin.

Ron5
Ron5
6 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Dam right.

Marked
Marked
7 days ago

Some sensible talking there, makes sense to plan to add kit as it becomes available. It’s a known problem that between planning and ships actually launching tech can develop rendering the ship out of date before it enters service. Really do need to take the approach of future proofing all military vehicles so new tech is as close to plug and play as possible.

BigH1979
BigH1979
7 days ago
Reply to  Marked

Agreed. Surely the goal of all new marine systems should be containerisation or similar for a mission bay. In this way a decent hull with standard ‘hardwired’ armament could be customised to a range of tasks. Im not talking LCS style quick switch but incremental upgrade as and when the systems are available.

Meirion x
Meirion x
6 days ago
Reply to  BigH1979

Yes as a refit to upgrade, instead of taking a year/s, taking a number of weeks instead, to upgrade.

Last edited 6 days ago by Meirion x
James H
James H
7 days ago

Im actually reading common sense answers from someone in the military and who’s not just saying buzzwords….wow
Its a great way of looking at it, it stops the madness of equipment already being obsolete from the start as development takes so long.

David Steeper
David Steeper
7 days ago
Reply to  James H

👍

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 days ago
Reply to  James H

Exactly.

And that is pretty much what 1SL said.

Tech evolution speed is now accelerating if anything.

Jon
Jon
7 days ago
Reply to  James H

Planning the flexibility to add kit later is easy: you earmark £200m+ per ship in the budget for the years they are being fitted out and worked up, ring-fenced for TBD systems. Anyone can spend money on the latest whizz-bangs. Loads of flexibility. No money in the budget tells you everything you need to know about exactly which PODS and modules will be fitted. A £2.9bn black hole in this decade’s equipment budget….. (To be fair, I think some of that was filled with the extra money announced a year or so back, but let’s wait to see if we’ve… Read more »

Last edited 7 days ago by Jon
Ron
Ron
7 days ago

Why reinvent the wheel the T31 is based on the Danish Iver Huitfeldt class, which in turn is based on the AbSalon class. So by slight improvements to the AbSalon class such as larger boat bays that open internally onto the open deck to take an LCVP, a full stern ramp and an extra 3 knots we have the T32. I think AbSalon is now being equipped with a towed array so that addition could be worked in as well.

Goldilocks
Goldilocks
7 days ago

Common Sense to the rescue!

Steve
Steve
7 days ago

This is the classic tech start up mistake, design a solution and then look for a problem for it to overcome. It fails every time.

Designing a hull without a plan for what it’s role will be, will result in one that is not optimal and /or requires expensive modifications after the event.

I get the feeling that the navy isn’t convinced that the program will ever happen.

Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts
7 days ago

Actually not much detail at all, but at least a sensible plan, build the hulls, fit the seafaring equipment, then procure the weapons. He is right in the sense that weapons tech changes so quickly you can no longer take the long view on requirements.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 days ago

Interesting comments as usual guys. I have said for sometime that there is a problem with the life cycles of systems. Commuters have a average in service life of about 7 years, missile systems and radars need up dating after about 10 to 15 years (it seems) but hulls can go on for 30 years (50 years for carriers). So if it takes 4 years to build a platform, with say half the time being spent on fit out, it is possible your commuters systems are already 2 years old and hardly been switched on by the time your first… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry
7 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I think most commuter’s system will be at least 18 years old…

Lusty
Lusty
7 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

I’m wondering who the commuters are – are they waiting for a bus or something? HMS Double-Decker!

David Barry
David Barry
7 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

HMS Route Master, leading the way for mastering British exports.

Lusty
Lusty
7 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

Hah!

David
David
4 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

My commuter’s in service life was 38 years…..

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
7 days ago

A floating plug socket for plug-and-play stuff.

James
James
7 days ago

A navy grown by 5 ships is not a navy that has grown substantially. In the year 2000 the navy had more ships than that even . The Royal Navy should aim for a 30 ships navy

James Fennell
James Fennell
7 days ago
Reply to  James

I step at a time – this has taken work to achieve.

Tommo
Tommo
7 days ago
Reply to  James

A 30 ship CLASS not a 30 ship Navy James

James Fennell
James Fennell
7 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

These ships are the size of light cruisers – we normally bought those in batches of 8. Batch 1 and 2 Leander class frigate of the 1960s were 2,500t, Batch 2 3,000t. OK we bought 18 of B1/B2 and 8 B3 Leanders. Type 21s of the 1970s 2,850t and Batch 1 Type 22s 4,500t. 8 of the first and 4 of the latter built. Type 22s of 1980s = Batch 2 5,000t, Batch 3 5,300t. 6 B1s and 4 B2 were built. Type 23s of the ’90s/00s 4,900t. 16 of those built. Type 26s of the ’20s will be 6,900t,… Read more »

Last edited 7 days ago by James Fennell
Lusty
Lusty
7 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

It’s the other way around – 4 B1 T22 and 6 B2 T22.

The B3 T22s were 5300t. They’re still the biggest frigate the RN has ever had, although not for long. I know of a good few people who referred to them as cruisers when they were in service (much to the dislike of the higher-ups)!

James Fennell
James Fennell
7 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Should read B2 and B3 – my mishtake

Lusty
Lusty
6 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Ah, not being picky or anything! 😀

Klonkie
Klonkie
6 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

I do wish the naval powers that be would standardize what constitutes a frigate , a destroyer and a cruiser. I seem to recall that AAW platforms are generally referred to as destroyers, but I find it all confusing.

Tommo
Tommo
7 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Too project to the World especially the likes of Russia and China .Britian if it wants now to be classed as Global power should have assets too back up this claim A 30 ship Navy doesn’t impress any country flexing their military muscle and a Spithead review would be over before standeasy .At least the Leander Class had an impressive tally for class built

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

If we suggested a Leander now – twin 4.5″ semi auto gun, seacat 4 round v. short range optically guided SAM, light helicopter and a depth charge mortar, everyone here would go ‘just a jumped up OPV’.

Tommo
Tommo
6 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Probably James , but at least they were a, Multi- Role Hull AA,SU ,Sub SU they were value for money oh and a “good call round ” ship many a good few tinnies were downed

Klonkie
Klonkie
6 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

and a good export earner to boot!

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Yes new build Type 12s were sold to Australia, South Africa and India, and Canada used the hull form as the basis for their St. Laurent class. Type 12M (Leander) were also new built for New Zealand, India, Chile and the Netherlands. We seem to be rediscovering that tradition.

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Agree they were wonderful seaboats and for their day quiet, the hull form was re-used on the Type 22s, and derived from the Type 12s before them. Yet Type 31 has that flexibility too. The Danish Absolons (from which Iver Huitfield was derives) are fitted for ASW with a towed array and a SH-60, and would not be difficult to provide a lightweight one and other kit in PODS for Type 31/32.

Tommo
Tommo
6 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

The Hull progression from type 12 to 22 showed that Naval architects got it right Hope they’ve passed on their knowledge on too the touch screen generation

Klonkie
Klonkie
6 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

and sold well overseas.

Tommo
Tommo
6 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

We’re they the kiwis even offered the Canterbury EX leander as a gulf patrol whilst the Falklands was on

Klonkie
Klonkie
6 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

that’s correct – I forgot all about that! Bloody heck, 40 years on re the Falklands conflict next year, how time flies!

Tommo
Tommo
6 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Thanks Klonkie it’s nearly 40 but it’s like yesterday too some

AlexS
AlexS
7 days ago

The earlier debate that we had about having 60% availability and potentially 80% availability in the future gives me twice as many frigate and destroyer days than I currently have. This is a substantial change.

So the availabality is between 30-40% now?

“The Russian-Israeli corvette is a punchy bit of kit by all accounts: well-armed, speedy, adaptable. Are you looking at that?”

Did the admiral answer about a ship that do not exist?

Paul T
Paul T
7 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Indeed – this mythical Russian – Israeli Corvette sounds quite interesting.

Jonathan
Jonathan
7 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

I was thinking it was a typo and was meant to say Russian and Israel’s corvettes are punchy…..that would make sense.

AlexS
AlexS
7 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

If it was a typo it would not have “is” singular. You don’t make a typo between “are” and “is”.

James Fennell
James Fennell
7 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Historically you needed 3 ships to have one permanetly operational – this takes into account time for schduled maintenance, refits, downtime, rotations and training – i.e. even if the ship is not in the dockyard a much time is eaten up training and resting the ship’s company. They have introduced double crews, and a 4 months on 4 months ashore schedule for Montrose and the OPVs as well as a forward maintenance model that allows ships to remain on station for longer. This provides much better availability.

Last edited 7 days ago by James Fennell
Ryan Brewis
Ryan Brewis
7 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Must have meant the Sa’ar 6, as best as I can find a match for. Maybe they got mixed up with Russo-Indian and Germano-Israeli? Journos being what they are.

AlexS
AlexS
7 days ago
Reply to  Ryan Brewis

This was Sarah Atherton MP.

Albert Starburst
Albert Starburst
7 days ago

Economics and practicalities aside, as a layman in these matters compared to the many sages that post here, IMHO the whole thought process of arming UK military is one of a defensive mindset. e.g. RN ships are often barely able to defend themselves, let alone be a credible offensive threat to a potential foe which surely is the whole point – else why bother? OK Astute class subs are very credible, but are vulnerable from surface/air threats.

Is this mindset something that can change in the future with the Type 32 etc.?

Or am I wrong?

SwindonSteve
SwindonSteve
7 days ago

A fair point and I agree, we seem to be armed for defence.

At some point, someone will realise that sometimes, the best for of defense, is in fact offence.

Tommo
Tommo
7 days ago
Reply to  SwindonSteve

Swindon Steve , Showing my age here ,As my Latin teacher would say ” If you Seek peace, Prepare for War”

David Barry
David Barry
7 days ago

So, no longer able to say ffbnw as these ships will not have weapons as this future proofs them against obsolescence… what a cunning plan 😉

AlexS
AlexS
7 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

Haha!

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
7 days ago

Open architecture that can be enhanced and is quick to design and build. Let’s hope the army take note. I guess our army is still fighting the Boer war though instead of being in the 21st century….Thank god the senior service is there to show them the way!

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
7 days ago

Please let it be a t31 batch two. Babcock have invested in a nice big shed to build them in, and they will have got the hang of it by the time the last rolls out on its deluxe go-cart.
It can (presumably fairly) easily be modified to provide a large mission bay.
Commonality of spares, training…surely the way to go?.

Christopher Smith
Christopher Smith
7 days ago

Babcock didn’t pay for that “shed” and perhaps its only logical that they should only get further MOD work if they manage to deliver their existing orders on time..

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
7 days ago

According to Navy Lookout, Babcock spent 50 million squids on the “large shed” as they called it, amounting to 4% of the £1.25 million pound budget for the 5 ships. Babcock seem to be sticking to the plan, and having money “up front” as it were and not having to negotiate in batches along with the contract that has locked the errant customer (MOD) into a no-touchy situation should help them deliver the goods on time and budget. Obviously they should only get the T32 work if they deliver but only time will tell. As for the radiated noise issue,… Read more »

Sean
Sean
7 days ago

I’m no expert on the technical minutiae of evolving weapons systems, naval procurement, etc. But Radakin certainly seems to talk sense and inspire confidence in his decisions.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 days ago
Reply to  Sean

There is a certain clarity to his though process and this expression of it that does inspire a higher degree of confidence that this predecessors.

Ron5
Ron5
6 days ago

Not when he espouses nonsense. Warships are designed as a complete system with protection, survivability. effectiveness built in. It’s not possible to replace that with an empty ship that later can have capabilities added in boxes. The mistake is thinking of a warship as a platform. It is not. It is a system of systems each interdependent on each other. Radakin thinks ships are like your laptop. Want it to do something totally different then just add a new app. Want your frigate to do something totally different like ASW or AA or mine hunting or aviation? Just add a… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

Wow, just wow.

I bow before the man who is more expert that a well respected 1SL.

NOT.

What you are painfully missing is that in the next generation of weapons (some of which may not be kinetic as we know them) the platform and the fusion are really in the software layer.

Meirion x
Meirion x
6 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

He did say the T32 will essentially be a ‘general purpose frigate’. The only difference will be extra flexibility to embark extra warpons and surveillance fittout to incl. UAVs etc.
I agree you cannot change this kind of vessel into an ASW type of vessel, without a complete redesign.

Last edited 6 days ago by Meirion x
Jon
Jon
5 days ago
Reply to  Meirion x

I’m not so sure. The Danes are converting the Absalon class to ASW. I don’t know how much redesigning is going on.

Robbo
Robbo
7 days ago

re the discussion on highly capable but complex T26 versus rapidly built, cheap T31 would wish to add the following comment. Consider we should be developing a solution (together with our allies) that can counter the Russian and Chinese nuclear submarine threat. WW2 taught us that even after May 43, the submarine threat in the Atlantic was relentless and stretched our ability to counter that threat until VE day . The Cold war taught us that having silent platforms for ASW is critical (T22 and T 23 designs). A lot of effort has gone into this for T26. Not so… Read more »

Jon
Jon
7 days ago
Reply to  Robbo

Iver Huitfeldt is AAW not ASW. It has a bow sonar (one up on the expected fit of the Type 31s), but it’s not supposed to hunt subs. I imagine it would be a lot easier to upgun these GP frigates for AAW than ASW.

However, it’s possible distributed thin-line passive sonars could be trailed from USV drones sending info back to either class of frigate. Distance from the parent frigate would help mitigate noise issues.

Paul T
Paul T
6 days ago
Reply to  Robbo

The Russian/Chinese Submarine threat is being countered,the P8 Poseidon being adopted by many allies being key,plus in Royal Navy terms you have Type 23 leading onto Type 26, and the Jewel in the Crown which is Astute.Chinese Submarines came out to play during CSG21 and swiftly made an exit,that alone should be very telling.

Paul.P
Paul.P
6 days ago

Radakin talks sense. If his ideas on how to develop T32 are carried through then I can believe that by the early 2030s the RN will have 24 effective escorts with Mk41 a standard fit.
In a way I am more keen to know how he can being some clarity to the discussions on MRSS, FSS, replacement of LPDs, Argus, Ocean, LSS etc..
I read somewhere that Radakin would have liked the Aircraft Carrier Alliance to nave carried on to produce a couple of LHDs.

Cripes
Cripes
6 days ago

I puzzle over what role these T32s are meant to fill. I daresay 1SL would like more escorts but there is no money in the budget for more escorts. Nor is there spare manpower for 1 more escort let alone 5, previous leaks to the media suggested the RN needed 3 000 more sailors just to man adequately the ships they’ve got. I would think that the 5 T32s will inevitably be replacements for 5 current ships. The next procurement priority is the MHC, the replacement for the 13 (now 11) Hunt and Sandown MCMVs and the 2 Echo survey… Read more »

Klonkie
Klonkie
6 days ago
Reply to  Cripes

That’s a good post Cripes.

I think your MCMV observation is regrettably spot on! Not cynical at all, but clearly you have learned from prior MOD clever little surprises!

Humpty Dumpty
Humpty Dumpty
8 hours ago

So FFBNW all over again then? Or just a different variation on the same theme.

Last edited 8 hours ago by Humpty Dumpty