The procurement of the Batch 2 Type 26 Frigates is expected to happen “in the early 2020s” according to the Government.

Luke Pollard, the Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs recently asked via a written Parliamentary question:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he plans to order the next batch of Type 26 frigates.”

Pollard was directed to a statement made earlier in the year by Baroness Goldie which states:

“The procurement of the Batch 2 Type 26 Frigates will be subject to a separate approval and contract which is expected to be awarded in the early 2020s.”

Eight Type 26 Frigates are to be built in total with three in the first batch.

Ordering in batches is common for projects of this size around the world and was last seen with the Royal Navy for the Type 45 Destroyers and recent Offshore Patrol Vessels. The Type 45s first batch order was for three vessels for example.

Last year, the next batch of Type 26 Frigate propulsion motors were ordered. At the same time Nadia Savage, director of the Type 26 programme, was quoted as saying:

We will enter into the negotiation phase in the next 18 to 20 months. As we progress through the maturity of the design, it allows us to commit to the next batch and the timeframe around them.”

Asked by The Scotsman newspaper if the company had a contingency plan for any political uncertainty regarding their order and build, Ms Savage said:

“The political situation will play out. We can’t control that, but what we can control is that entry into service. We understand what the navy’s requirements are and we can work back from that and engage with stakeholders when we need to.”

The Type 26 Frigates will be named Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast, Birmingham, Sheffield, Newcastle, Edinburgh and London.

 

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Andy

Will the next batch be open to other companies or consortia?

I really wish we would build these properly, it’s such a daft strategy to build these so slowly, it looks like there is only about 6 guys putting these things together.

Let’s build a Type 26/46 large warship factory, build these ships at a fast clip in small batches, finish each batch ASAP and iterate.

If we run out of batches or there is a gap just furlough the workers, or second them, or have them build large surface drones.

Cam

I think there’s actually only three men and an apprentice working 9-5 Monday to Thursday then half day Friday. Bob, Frank and Dave are there names, the apprentice is called lee.

Mr Bell

Well done Cam. Very funny. Appreciated that.

Robert Stevenson

The build rate is not base on production, it base on when the treasury want to pay for them. In addition the reduction from 13 to 8 means there a gap between the Type 26 and the Type 45 Replacement and like everything treasury related they won’t bring the Type 45 replacement forwards

Meirion X

5 Type 31 frigates are to be built to make up for the reduced in number of Type 26 frigates.

I agree it is the bare minimum of number required, and it does not meet the rule of three.

Dern

1) The Type 31 is being built in a different yard to the Type 26, great for keeping multiple yards open, less good for keeping one yard going until the type 45 replacement arrives.
2) The good news is that because the Type 26 is being build so slowly there shouldn’t really be a gap.

Cam

It barely meets the rule of one mate!

4thwatch

Treasury: Its Six then sorted; sort of.

Dern

Well there’s a few problems here: First of all if you furlough the workers they look for other jobs, and then the yard closes and by the time you want to build something new in 5 years time all the expertise is working for Navantia in spain. Second, Small Batches? Smaller than 3? Hrm. Now building fast doesn’t really mean building more. Steel is cheap and all that but the stuff that really costs money is the stuff that goes inside the hull. This is why a Type 31 at 6,000t costs only a quater of a Type 26 at… Read more »

Andy

If we build slow we don’t get gaps, but we lock in slow building. There is no incentive to become more efficient, just to go slow. So when we need to speed up we can’t.

If we build as fast as we can then our processes and people become streamlined and efficient.

I’m saying I’d rather have gaps because we can get creative once we have efficient processes, or we can just pay people to sit at home, it’s still better than the alternative.

donald_of_tokyo

That is what has happen to SSN build. Aren’t the lessons learnt?

When you say “we can just pay people to sit at home”, I think you are talking about something like TOBA. So, you liked it (actually I do).

The TOBA with BAES was to “sustain work force in Clyde”. It was ~£230M per year. If there will be 10 years of gap, MOD need to pay ~£2.3G FOR NOTHING.

I do not think it is a good idea?

Andy

Not the best solution indeed.

AlexS

“If we build slow we don’t get gaps, but we lock in slow building. There is no incentive to become more efficient, just to go slow. So when we need to speed up we can’t.”

Not only that. If you build a ship that long you loose know-how of how to build them from scratch, it is only variations.
See the Arleigh Burkes with an obsolescent propulsion system and comparative large numbers of crew.
It is a project already almost 40 years old.

Dern

Well no. The US problems with post AB stem from the fact they dont design new ships anymore.
The RN has at least avoided that fate by periodically making new classes over the last 40 years.

AlexS

They did not designed new ships because they keep making AB variants.
So that is my point if Type 26 is being made as variants in next 30-40 years.

Dern

But it isn’t. It’s 2 batches totally 8 ships being built over 15-20 years, while the RN was also designing and building a completely seperate class of frigates.

This is a very different situation to the USN that didn’t touch any form of surface escort between 1988 and 2016

AlexS

The Type 31 might change things a bit but i think should have been decoupled in time from Type 26, there isn’t enough temporal separation, so they have same technological generation.

4thwatch

That’s good. When we finish the type 26’s we can design and build type 47 replacement for the type 45 and sell them to the USN.

Ron5

+100

Pacman27

This news is really disappointing and totally counterproductive so we have a plan for 8 of these – we should have ordered 8 of these and get them built. Realistically we should be launching a single large combat ship every single year and fund accordingly (say £1bn per ship), for that we can get something really good and keep the tempo and investment high. a 25 ship combat flee is not outside of our capabilities and actually we could go further and launch a T26 every 2 years and a T31 each year and still come in at this number.… Read more »

Cam

After cutting the fleet in the 2010s defence cuts there’s No will to have a larger fleet sadly!

And I was looking at Type 22 HMS Chatham in 2010 in Portsmouth And she looked clean and tidy, she was only built in 1990! But nope let’s send her to Turkey to be chopped up! Sad.

Meirion X

But the Type 22s were noisy, for suppose to be anti submarine warfare vessels!

Gunbuster

Well yes compared to a T23 with electric drive they where noisey and are probably comparable to a current USN Arleigh. T22 did have rafted and enclosed GTs. Most equipment onboard was anti vibration mounted or raft mounted and they had Agutti and Prairie masker for the props and machinery space areas of the hull. Prior to doing TA ops you did a top to bottom bow to stern walk through and used a length of rope to find noise shorts and remove them. The rope you tie below a piece of equipment and undo it at every mount or… Read more »

Robert Blay

Try selling that to the tax paying public who want more money spent on the NHS, schools, adult social care, housing, COVID-19 economic recovery. It’s a nice idea, but let’s be realistic. The problem we have, is that warships cost 1bn each, which is completely unsustainable, and why the numbers keep getting cut back.

Meirion X

The T26 build rate is going to be every 20 months, e.g. the third new T26 stating build in spring 2021.

David Flandry

So batch one is 3 ships. If batch two is also 3 ships, that leaves 2. Why not just have batch two with all 5? A navy need hulls in the water.

Dern

I’m pretty sure that batch 2 is all 5 remaining hulls, but if it isn’t this would be my guess at the logic:
See how the first Batch 2 hull goes and negotiate improvements. Ordering in Batches doesn’t slow construction down, eg when batch 2 will be ordered there still won’t be space for the hulls on the clyde, and it’ll be a few months before they phyisically can start work on the ships.

donald_of_tokyo

Although very simplified, 3 T26 build spends £3.6B within ~10 years (2016-2026 = time between 3-hulls Batch-1 contract and expected 8-hulls Batch2 contract). So, very roughly, it is £360M/year. T31 is a £2B program. Contract signed late 2019 and last ship to be delivered (not commission) to be 2028 = 9 year program. In other words, it is £220M/year. Because UK split these orders, T26 build rate was FORCED to be slow. Just imagine what if £500-600M/year was all allocated to T26? There will be 5 T26 in place of 3 T26 and 5 T31, all delivered by 2029 or… Read more »

Roders96

It wasn’t a choice between 13 Type 26 or 8 Type 26 and 5 Type 31.

It was a choice between 8 T26 and 5 T31 or 10 Type 26 and an ever shrinking fleet, in perpetuity, until there is nothing left.

That final externality is important.

donald_of_tokyo

Agreed. (I intended to wrote so).

Actually, I think RN must have went with 10 T26 from the beginning. And, if that decision was early, what RN should have been ordered to fulfill TOBA, in place of 5 River B2s, can be;
– 3 large OPV with helicopter hangar (using Khareef hull?)
– or 4 River B2 with more “fighty” equipment (like 57mm and LMM added),

[2 T26 + 3 or 4 “enhanced capability OPVs”] vs [5 T31 + 5 basic OPV (River B2)]

Anyway, we cannot change the past, and shall focus on future…

Cam

I wish the names weren’t city names. They should be old battleship names like, hood, or king George, Rodney, Nelson, Repulse ect. Ok that might be weird after thinking about it. We have thousands of old great Fighting frigate names though with great history’s.

T.S

Naming ships is getting a bit boring these days, rivers, cities and royalty. Dull really, it’s like they are scared to give them fighty names. Expect more dullness for the T31’s.

Cam

Probably T.S

Watcherzero

Is it not better saving those fir the largest ships (currently destroyers), they have been using battleship names for the dreadnought class SSBNS.

Cam

We don’t have many destroyers to name mate. I supose City makes affiliates the ships with city’s and might increase numbers of new recruits from those citys.

Airborne

The one good thing about city names is that it becomes harder to chop the order, from 8 to 6 or less, as MPs from the respective cities world argue the toss if there town was removed! Especially if it’s a Jock town! Maybe a small point but I believe a relevant one. Your average civvy (excluding a number of very well informed lad on this site of course) and political rep wouldn’t give a monkeys toss about decent fighting names for warships!

Cam

Yeah that’s makes sense, it could turn a whole city against the Gov.

AlexS

Cities and locations have votes to pay for the Royal Navy

Arethusa, Achilles, Ajax do not vote.

Like an US Admiral said when someone complained why the submarines names had not anymore relation to sea creatures:

Fishes do not vote.

ChariotRider

I’d like to see HMS Kelly back in the fleet. She was Lord Luis Mountbatten’s ship and had a sadly short but impressive career. If you have ever seen the old film “In Which We Serve” with Noel Coward it stuck very close to the real events (although names were changed). I believe that there has only been one Kelly in the RN and she is still remembered on Tyneside where she was built. There is a pub called HMS Kelly and apparently on the Metro the Hebburn station has paintings of the she on the walls… A great destroyer… Read more »

maurice10

This is the first tangible evidence of post-COVID defence policy. With new money under threat, the MOD may have to adopt a slower drip-feed process for all new equipment. Metered supply could see extended build periods for all the RN’s planned vessels. The next Type26 batch will possibly be no more than three, and that might be it until the economy recovers enough to complete the fleet? The Navy will prefer a slower rate than cancelation, which is highly unlikely. As for Type 31, the same could apply leading to a much more protracted rate of delivery. We can expect… Read more »

Patrick O'Neill

I remember when Gordon Brown did exactly that with the T45. Reduced numbers from 12 and when they were eventually capped at six promised to speed up the Global Combat Ship (which became T26) procurement. That was in 2008 and here we are, 2020, and the first T26 is not in the water yet!

Spyinthesky

If Tempest can be given an in service date in the early thirties I would actually be supportive of that, I think it will be a seriously superior aircraft in nearly every way to the F35 which I do wonder if it will be competive by the 30s but is simply too expensive a programme to fail. That said I very much doubt that Tempest, assuming it happens at all will be in service before 2035 at the earliest so I fear there will just be an equipment gap again that will be sold as a commitment to British Technology… Read more »

maurice10

I was skeptical about Tempest’s chances however, some important knobs and switches have been activated, to make me think this might be a project that could tick so many boxes. Post-Brexit attitudes could rekindle the TSR2 passions that actually deliver, though the same pressures from the same scourses could kill it stone dead, if it outperforms designs from the aforesaid. Aw well, Nothing changes really, does it?

TopBoy

13 down to 8…. and the poor admirals slashed the type 45 numbers for this!!

Paul T

On reflection the Admiralty should have been a bit more cute – A Bird In The Hand …………………

Dern

Erm, pretty sure the Type 45 numbers where slashed for carriers/astute and due to their cost rising higher than expected.
As for the 13 Type 26’s… as late as 2015 (aka years after the entire Type 45 fleet was in service) the plan was still for the Global Combat Ship to be a 13 ship class (8 with sonar, 5 without). Only after 2015 was the decision taken to split off the 5 sonar-less GCS’s into the Type 31 class.

Mr Bell

No Dern you are wrong. The RN were told and the defence select committee were on record as confirming that Type 45 numbers were reduced from 12 to 8 then 6 to bring forward the urgently needed multi role global combat ship aka type 26. With an initial promise of 20 ships planned, reduced to 16 then 13 then defence review under Cameron and hey presto only 8. So to summarise type 45 numbers should not have been sacrificed. The type 26 was not brought forward it was delayed and delayed and delayed again. Then promised numbers reduced. History has… Read more »

Cam

Wow, 20 type 26 frigates would be an amazing sight, hell I would be happy with 10.

Meirion X

That was at the point the proposed T26 size was only around the now T31 size, then it want bigger again to present size set in 2015.

Dern

My sources say the RN cut the Type 45 for the Carriers. I’ll go with those.
At any rate the decision to cut from 13 GCS to 8 GCS and 5 T31 happened long after, so my point stands.

Daniele Mandelli

Just watch them do the same trick with Tempest.

Tempest later but cut assets now to pay.
Later arrives and Tempest cut.
Could have just had more F35 originally.

I just used Tempest as an example. Insert any asset. The MoD/ HMG are the masters at spin.

Gunbuster

One admiral and he is now sat on the labour benches in the Lords. He sacrificed the surface fleet for carrier strike. As for T45 we are lucky we got 6. It was going to be 5 with a full stores package. The MOD said no…6 and no upfront stores and support package. So in the end the RN got 6 and the stores and support package ( Contractor Logistic Support) contract then cost a fortune. CLS was a different budget so it was someone else’s problem but CLS has now gone and that golden goose no longer lays for… Read more »

r cummings

To be fair to Adm Lord West, the defence budget under the Blair administration was 2.7% of GDP. That was 50% more than today (defence committee estimated that our real spend, minus pensions and other HMG tricks, is 1.7%). So carrier strike maybe looked just about feasible to a dreamer. It should have been firmly tuned down to two smaller Invincible+ successors, which is all we need in peacetime or to play our minor part in a peer conflict.There was never any possibility of our being able to afford or man 70 naval fighters to equip the QE with 36… Read more »

Qbit

So why is it illegitimate to count pensions as part of the GDP wise contribution to defence then? It isn’t tricks at all, pensions are part of this countries, and all NATO countries’, defence budgets and it’s wholly right these be included in the calculation.

Ron5

It’s not illegitimate to include pensions. But what is very illegitimate is to compare spendig on defence before and after adding pensions and saying “look spending hasn’t gone down”. Which is exactly what Geo Osborne & Cameron did.

TrevorH

The US?
It was Brown Blair for political reasons that these carriers were built. We now have them and we need to pursue a maritime strategy not a land one.

r cummings

The US Navy top brass have been quoted in the defence media as hoping to see one operational UK carrier with a strike wing of 36 Lightnings (therefore 70 in total). That has been their stance ever since they had to reduce their operational carrier numbers. And a US ‘ hope’ is pretty much a command to us as a very junior partner. The next military encounter we are involved in will most likely take one of two forms. (a) An allied expeditionary force facing a 2nd or 3rd tier power, such as Iran or similar, where the principal force… Read more »

TrevorH

So you want to reconstitute the British Army of the Rhine? …or the Oder?

How do we pay for that?

Everyone is a junior partner to US, but together we all take part in NATO. And we should do our part according to what we can provide, and provide best. You seriously suggest we put boots into Iran? Iran is crumbling from within, and so frankly is Putin’s Russia.

Air power in the clouds is more important than boots .

Paul C

A key issue was no ‘Plan B’ for the carrier requirement. By the time the QE class were ordered in 2007/8 UK defence was in a different place to where it had been 10 years earlier; MoD funding crisis, more deep cuts, the fallout from Iraq/Afghanistan etc. No work had been done on alternative designs for several years so there was no smaller, cheaper option on the drawing board which could have been substituted within a realistic time frame. Having gone firmly down the ‘big carrier’ route the project was by this time too advanced to cancel. Having said that,… Read more »

TrevorH

How cheaper would have a smaller carrier been? And how small would small have been?

Paul C

I think 35-40,000 tons to be a credible design. Difficult to judge the cost as it depends upon the specification. For example, the America class LHAs (45,000 tons) cost roughly £2.6 billion each. A simpler RN equivalent would no doubt be significantly less, maybe ~£3.5 billion for two ships. The QE class cost significantly more than they should have as the build was slowed down due to MoD cash flow problems. They are a better option in terms of capability versus cost than light carriers which no doubt swung the argument in their favour. On the other hand you can… Read more »

TrevorH

Why would a RN equivalent be cheaper? Does a relatively larger ship cost more and physically weigh more than the displacement it weighs? You point out, or claim, that the cost was increased because of slow build… well if so a smaller ship would be the same. More to the point, do the RN, Army and RAF talk to each other? Who actually are they defending? Us or each other? Just what is the fundamental purpose if our defence forces. And if we were able to work that out, what is our structure to be. No doubt lots of words… Read more »

Paul C

There is no single project that is to blame for the catastrophic cuts to the escort and SSN fleets. The carriers are partly to blame but the simple fact is there is a massive gulf between ambition and resources. Too many expensive ‘irons in the fire’ which the defence budget cannot cover. They would still have made deep cuts to destroyer/frigate and SSN numbers even without the carriers.

JohnHartley

I would be happier if RN batch 2 T26 had the torpedo tubes of the Australian/Canadian versions.
I think CAMM-ER should also be added to the SeaCeptor system.
I wonder if the hull can be cheaply/easily strengthened for basic ice protection? I fear future conflicts over resources in Polar regions.

Gunbuster

You struggle doing ASW that far up north. The ice noise seriously messes up the acoustics and the fresh water melt throws out the environmental’s . ASW in the north is a Sub tasking for those very reasons.

JohnHartley

But it won’t just be ASW will it? Submarines are great in Polar regions for the reasons you mention, but they are unseen. You need some surface ships for visible deterrence.

Qbit

Now torpedo tubes really are whites of the eyes stuff. If your red SSN/SSK really does get that close, and hasn’t already been dealt with by MERLIN, vectored WILDCAT (or perhaps ASROC?) then there really is cause for concern.

JohnHartley

Why is everybody else fitting them? A good SSK/SSN can be a hole in the ocean. A few years ago, a Chinese submarine surprised an American Carrier group by surfacing in the middle of it.

Andy P

Don’t know the story about the Chinese submarine JohnHartley but aye, unless the surface dwellers are really looking for a submarine it can be hard to find, especially when they’re in a hurry to get some place. Its a different story when they’re actively looking for a submarine, that makes it a lot harder for the boat although it can tie up a few units (surface and air (and possibly sub surface)) trying to find it. Open ocean stuff, if a ship is using lightweight torpedoes to combat a submarine, they’re probably screwed. They have helos to do that stuff… Read more »

Andy

Do you mean a Swedish sub?

JohnHartley

No, it was a Chinese sub. Speaking of the Swedish. They are keen on their latest wire guided torpedos, as they say that lets them pick between hostiles & friendlies in narrow, shallow congested waters.

Dave G

Could the sub have engaged from much further away?

US carrier groups are often supported by SSN. Do we know that there wasn’t an SSN keeping an eye on it but keeping quiet?

Dave G

What about small subs in littoral waters such as when transiting choke points or supporting amphibious operations?

Gavin Gordon

Referred back to a statement made before Covid.

AlexS

So there is only order for 3 Type 26 and the next batch negotiation only start in + 1 years from now?

Dern

3 batch 1 currently on order/in build, batch 2 (hulls 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) long lead items ordered, waiting on what the lesssons learned from batch 1 to negotiate the construction of batch 2.

AlexS

Thanks.

Andy P

My fear is that we might lose two T26’s to replace them with two T31’s. I’ve nothing to base that on other than cynicism. Just my take but the MOD are going to be asked to sacrifice more on the back of covid related cuts and on a ‘on my watch’ approach it will produce the same number of hulls.

Hope I’m wrong.

Mr Bell

Andy I’m actually hoping we might get an offer from industry to build a few more at a reduced price. Especially as Australia and Canada are ordering the class.
Did you know after the RN was reduced to 6 type 45s the MOD was offered type 45s hull numbers 7 and 8 at a much reduced price of just £450 million each. The MoD declined to take up this reduced price, once in a lifetime, opportunity. Hopefully some such offer could come for the type 26 so we end up with 10 or more of these vital ships.

Jonathan

That’s the idiocy of the present public financing, a department or organisation etc has an annual budget and it’s not allowed to go beyond that even if it’s sensible or needed. For instance we know that if we got ahead of the game in child mental health And specifically invested in that, we will save a fortune in the next 70 years.. but we won’t because the budgets are set and it all gets eaten up supporting dysfunctional adults who suck up massive resources and don’t really contribute. Those dysfunctional adults were created or allowed to be created by an… Read more »

Qbit

No public financing isn’t idiocy but rather harsh reality. Taxes are paid on an in-year basis and go into HMG’s BofE current accounts of which one is MOD’s. The reason it can’t go beyond it is that there’s no more money left in the current account, and to do so would require even more borrowing, which is an expensive way of increasing taxation in later years.

Jonathan

That’s why public financing is idiocy, the spending and investment rules are set by political dogma a year at a time, not available cheap funding/investment/need or good sense ( look at PFI, it was a madly expensive borrowing method invented to protect idiot public finance rules, if the government had borrowed directly the same money would have been around 10 times cheaper for the tax payer) that’s just a false premise when you are looking at things like upstream care ( which is fundamental an investment to Save money or improve productivity in the long run). If you borrow now… Read more »

Andy P

I didn’t know that Mr Bell but it doesn’t surprise me. Personally I don’t know how much ‘the Brass’ have an influence and how much its the Government/Civil Service, I can understand why there would be reticence to take a chance given the amount of overrun/overspend’s there have been in government spending across the board. I know a similar scenario where Rosyth Dockyard (whoever owned it at the time) offered to finish the new (at the time) submarine refit ‘hole’ for the new V boats if the contract stayed there. Politically the decision had been made though. Its probably a… Read more »

Paul42

I believe active surveys are being carried out to establish recommissioning costs for HMS Victory, Warrior and Belfast lol

Gfor

Victory already is commissioned, and is indeed the oldest commissioned warship in the world.

Cam

Very true, don’t the admiralty still conduct some business on HMS Victory?

Paul42

They do, but it requires an extensive refit to get it seaworthy again!

Cam

I’ll settle for HMS Bristol mate, we have to save that ship…

David

Also hope you are wrong. But my worry is that we end up with 6 Type 26 and no extra Type 31……

Jonathan

Hopefully by the time they are on the way to finishing the first 8, they can just roll another couple of batches off to replace the type 45s. Let’s be honest the 26 has a good size hull and will have been built by the bucket load by then. bae have always sold it as easy to turn into an AAW destroyer. so it would be a good way to get an air defence destroyer cheapish, strip as much as possible from the 45s ( let’s be honest even if the hulls Of the 45# are knacker In 10 years,… Read more »

geoff

Interesting post Jonathon. Longer runs with increased numbers is the only way to reduce unit cost and refine the product. Warships nowdays can be and many are built to perform multiple roles from the same platform so it would make sense to go forward with just one hull instaed of two with T45 replacement. The old distinctions between the frigate and destroyer seem to have blurred over the years as do those between destroyer and cruiser so perhaps a good time for a reset.

geoff

..one cannot produce a cost effective vessel such as the Type 31 with only five units. This applies universally to assembly line production. When our American friends effectively killed off Concorde by limiting its landing and overfly rights, the massive investment-in real terms the most expensive commercial aircraft setup in history meant that the capital costs could never be recovered with a build of just 20 units and operation of about a dozen. What a different picture would have emerged with a run of say 200!!

Stephen

In the years ahead I would like to see out Royal Navy enlarged to 8 x Type 26, 8 x Type 31, 8 x Type 45 replacement based on Type 26, 8 – 10 River class O.P.V.s and 8 x Astute.

This would provide a useful uptick to our Royal Navy without delving into the realms of fantasy.

Meirion X

These numbers still don’t meet the rule of three, with exception of the T31s being forward deployed.

Gunbuster

Efficiency has nothing to do with the time taken to build a vessel. The efficient methods of production are already in place. Build panels to make units, use units make blocks and then blocks to make super blocks. The use of automated cutting and welding machines remove labour (a big cost) and deliver a standard weld of a known quality 24/7 making the quality control and assurance a lot easier. No worrying about a shipyard matey doing a poor welding job the day after Celtic lose to Rangers and them then having a skin full of 80 bob to drown… Read more »

Ron5

“Efficiency has nothing to do with the time taken to build a vessel”

Yes it does. Historically cost savings over a class of warships is because the later ships are built faster than the earlier. Most of the reason for that being better project management i.e. fewer skilled trades sitting around waiting for their turn to work.

The current policy of building ships at the same speed is costing the taxpayer billions. The Defence Committee estimated the money wasted by doing this with the Astutes would have paid for an additional sub.

Gunbuster

I am speaking as someone who is in the ship repair and building industry. Modern build methods are about as efficient as it gets.
Lessons learnt will improve the way the design matures but it won’t be much if anything of an efficiency in build time. The time taken to build them has been specified by the customer and that’s what they will get unfortunately.

Ron5

You are incorrect despite your background. Later ships in a class can be built quicker and cheaper than earlier ones. It’s only if the customer (in the UK’s case, the Treasury) insist on a fixed delivery schedule and fixed annual payments that efficiencies are not realized. They end up paying more for the same, but its the tax payers money so who cares. You might wish to look at US shipyards and their performance if you don’t like my Astute example.

Andy P

Sorry Ron, the delay with the Astutes isn’t down to the government dragging arse on wanting them, there have been MASSIVE delavs in the build for a number of reasons that can’t be mentioned. Nothing to do with either the RN or the Government being shy of putting their hand in their pockets.

Ron5

Sorry Andy P but the Parliamentary Defence Committee has a different view than you do i.e the Treasury imposed fixed “drumbeat” wastes a shed load of tax payer money.

Andy P

Fair enough Ron, I’ll take my first hand experience of taking an A boat out of build and the obstacles that delayed our sailing many (many) times and the same thing happening to the other boats that experienced similar or different issues and shut my pie hole.

Ron5

Good decision.

geoff

Haha-the day after Celtic lose to Rangers. Oh Happy Monday Gunbuster 🙂 🙂

David

Usual procedure. Next batch will be different as happened in the Leanders, 22’s, 23’s, 45’s, Forths. Nothing to see here.

David Barry

With the work done by the Australians and Canadians could the Batch 2s not emerge as significantly better by building upon the Commonwealth iterations?

Geoffrey Roach

Excellent idea…early 2020’s. Where are we now..oh yes 2020. How about next week then.

Mark L

When Ministers say ‘early 2020s’ they mean not before 2024.

Geoffrey Roach

Bit of wishful thinking Mark!

r cummings

With 3 classes of escorts, totalling 19 ships, the logical procurement process would be to build one class at a time, as quickly as the meagre budget allows, working up the design and development of the next class so there is is a steady drumbeat of orders to the yards. After the T45, the logical next step wold have been to replace the 5 older T23s, the GPS ones, which are already 30 years old. Instead of knocking out the T31s to do so and then moving on to build T26, we have somehow contrived to be building two classes… Read more »

Geoffrey Roach

I have lost count of the number of times I have heard the phrase “We will build our way out of recession ” meaning houses, hospitals etc. I’ve no argument with that but we could also be building frigates T26 and T31 …at the same time. Also replenishment ships and hospital ships Thousands of skilled jobs. Come on Boris. To paraphrase… Lets get the Royal Navy done

Cam

Actually Britain has one of the largest merchant fleets on earth and that’s many thousands of ships, Imagine if all merchant ships had to be built in the UK Just like warships..

Anyway my point is we still need hundreds of new ships every single year for our merchant fleet so why don’t we open a super yard and build some of the dam Things here there’s multiple citys that could sustain a huge yard again, how about Newcastle?…

Stephen

I am from Tyneside and would love to see ships built on the Tyne again, it has an extremely long proud history of shipbuilding. Our proudest ship is Mauretania, the 1906 ocean liner which won the Blue Ribband for Britain for fastest crossing of the Atlantic, a title she held for 20 years, courtesy of that cutting edge (for the time) technology Charles Parsons steam turbine, which was also a key component in the revolutionary British battleship class the Dreadnought. Parsons vast works on Tyneside were fairly recently taken over by Siemens, who promptly ceased steam turbine manufacture there and… Read more »

Cam

Tyneside has built some of the best ships fir a Britain, it’s a shame we sold all the works and cranes to an Indian company who came and sailed it all away to India!…

However we can and could build a great yard on the Tyne again.

Stephen

Also a new Royal Yacht Britannia could be on the cards.

Ron5

Building one new escort a year for a 25 year life would lead to a fleet of 25 escorts and a steady income for 25 year old ships being sold on. The escorts being built quicker would also be cheaper.

ChariotRider

Fleet size depends on the operational life of the ships as well. One ship per year with 20 year lifespan is a 20 ship fleet. The last 5 would replace the first five into service. This approach would give you a young fleet – average age obviously being 10 years – which would represent a potential significant reduction on running costs. You could then sell the older ships to developing navies such as Chile whilst there is still some significant life left in the hulls. This also pushes the cost of disposal onto someone else..! As you say it also… Read more »

Ron5

@ChariotRider

What part of “building one new escort a year for a 25 year life” didn’t you understand?

ChariotRider

Sorry Ron, miss read your post. DOH!

Ron5

Sorry for being rather snippy. Bad mood, my team lost.

ChariotRider

No worries mate. Sorry to her that your team lost.

Aaron rowe

Tbh building in batches makes sense for some complex projects such as this, the main point is to keep the price low, as production is streamlined and problems encountered are ironed out and solutions are incorporated into following batches prices come down. Similar strategy to the F-35 programme with the LRIP contracts, just look how the price has come down from initial contracts.

Ron5

On the other hand, if Bae had an contract to build all 8, they would have been incented to invest more to improve efficiency. As it stand with just an order of 3, why would they bother? And they didn’t.

In fact it was widely reported that Bae offered to build all 8 for the cost of 7 if they received a contract to build all of them. The Treasury, naturally, turned them down. Not their money so why try to save any.

peter french

Could it be that their is Political intent at work. Build slow, string it out, and keep the bait fresh for the SNP to understand the build can moved . However I wonder what English yards could now build Warships , Swan Hunter , Belfast perhaps. Appledore was binned last year

Ron5

Seeing that these ships being built in Scotland has in no way diminished their desire for independence and that the constituencies building them voted solidly for independence, I’d say your theory was crap.

BB85

Is there any chance the Batch 2 will have an upgraded Aesa radar or will all 8 effectively be the same spec.

A. Smith

With the current political and economic climate I don’t think we will get more than six Type 26s to go with the six Type 45s. The next ships are likely to be the Type 45 replacement.

I hope I am wrong as I would like to see more Type 26s built.

David Barry

https://www.defenceconnect.com.au/maritime-antisub/6908-pm-visits-osborne-shipyard-as-hunter-class-prototyping-nears?utm_source=DefenceConnect&utm_campaign=29_09_20&utm_medium=email&utm_content=1&utm_emailID=*|MMERGEEM|* Who would not love to hear this type of support coming from our Government: ‘Prime Minister Morrison noted the contribution of the project to the broader economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. “it’s all about jobs. The way we grow ourselves out of the challenges we have economically is what will determine our future. And you don’t grow unless you build these sorts of facilities,” he said. “You don’t grow unless you train thousands of workers who will come and be part of this magnificent venture. We’ll have around 2,500 people involved in these projects — thousands of jobs… Read more »

Geoff

18 to 20 months ? For crying out loud….