Royal Marines have arrived in the Baltic Sea to play a pivotal role in amphibious operations as Finland leads its first major military exercise as a NATO member.

In a news release, the Royal Navy say that the commandos are about to carry out waterborne operations with specialist troops from the Uusimaa Brigade and US Marine Corps along Finland’s jagged and complex coastline.

“Amphibious ship RFA Mounts Bay is currently in the Gulf of Finland, off the Uusimaa coast – with capital Helsinki contained along it – ready to land forces ashore on commando raids/covert missions as part of the exercise – codenamed Freezing Winds. Specialists from across the UK Commando Force have been deployed and will be taken ashore by 4 Assault Squadron, who are expert landing craft pilots – used to navigating difficult waterways to get commandos inland to hit an adversary where they least expect.

Among the teams to be landed ashore are 148 Battery of 29 Commando Royal Artillery, who are responsible for calling in naval gunfire from nearby warships and air strikes in their specialist role but are also experts in covert patrols behind enemy lines, concealment,  encrypted communications and battle damage assessment. “

All of this is part of Littoral Response Group (North) (LRG) operations. The Royal Navy has two LRGs – North and South – which are designed to deploy rapidly to strategically important locations in response to world events.

LRG South is in the Mediterranean currently as LRG North works in the Baltic, you can read more on this from the Royal Navy 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. He also previously worked for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
19 days ago

“ Among the teams to be landed ashore are 148 Battery of 29 Commando Royal Artillery, who are responsible for calling in naval gunfire from nearby warships and air strikes in their specialist role”

What will that be provided by in the long term one GP T26 is OOS?

I can’t believe we are going to risk £1Bn ships doing NGFS? Or are we?

A 57mm is useless for most NGFS tasks.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
19 days ago

A RM slide on FCF that was briefly available on X a few years ago, which I didn’t see but read about, mentioned MLRS type precision munitions supporting the RM.
Maybe NGFS has had its day?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
19 days ago

True but would we have the stockpiles to do that.

Can you put them in a VLS?

Even if they do go into a VLS, which I doubt, there is still the issue of reloads which HIMARS and the like can do on land.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
19 days ago

Took it to mean not necessarily from ship but a weapon used by 29RA itself, maybe Brimstone? With 148 acting as the eyes in conjunction with the Future drones.

Whatever it is, I think that unit is one of our elite formations and needs using.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
19 days ago

I agree that 29RA is central to things.

I just hope we have things for them to direct that are in sufficient numbers and have sufficient range.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
19 days ago

A pity the slide I reference was pulled before I got a good look at it. A chap on the X page that had it commented that it may have been published in error.
I recall it mentioned precision weapons for FCF featured heavily.
Watch this space I guess.
As others have said, 148 have other toys they can call in.
I’m reading that the Rangers are also getting involved in the deep battle STA so defo a growth area.
Sorry, doesn’t answer your original question though.

Deep32
Deep32
19 days ago

Think what you may be alluding to is the RA Land Precision Strike requirement Daniele. Basically a longer ranged bigger Brimstone type missile with a 100NM range for use against mobile/static targets.
TBF don’t know if we have the money to get this up and running given all the gaps in the RA portfolio, but it is on the wish list I believe.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago

Was that MLRS ship borne?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

As I said to SB, unsure mate. I only recall reading precision munitions featured heavily with FCF. I didn’t read the Twitter page in detail.

Jim
Jim
19 days ago

I agree can’t see NGFS being that big a deal in the future given the proliferation of other systems. However it’s important to train for and the same people calling in NGFS will be calling in air, drone and missile support as well.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Those other systems are expensive and in short supply. Can also be degraded by bad weather.

Jon
Jon
19 days ago

Call in missiles. Sea Venom, Martlet, NSM, CAMM-MR, FC/ASW. All potentially available from a T31 with a Wildcat. Also with new smart ammunition being developed, 10 years from now 57mm might not be as useless as you think. Fixed wing air strikes could use Paveway, Spear or Storm Shadow. Also the same team could be responsible for calling in deep fires from land units, perhaps the Land Precision Strike missile.

There will be an increasing number of options, even without Tomahawk bombardment from an Astute.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
19 days ago
Reply to  Jon

All true – but shells are cheaper to stockpile and fire in mass.

Jon
Jon
19 days ago

I think the idea is to substitute precision for mass. Nevertheless, I fear you are right and it won’t be a cheap solution. I’m not even sure how that equation works with suppression fire.

Last edited 19 days ago by Jon
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
19 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Whenever I was involved in NGFS it was quite precise enough.

BobA
BobA
17 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Sometimes, you use fire effect not to destroy but to deny space to the enemy. For example, you might use fires to provide flank protection, or as a distraction. In which case, the better option is an area weapon, not a precision strike. Also, as light forces, you might come up against massed armour. When it’s manoeuvring against you, massed fires are more effective than precision strike as you can basically ‘lead’ the targets. So for the ground commander, precision fires are a great tool to have in in the golf bag, but you’d definitely want to keep traditional arty… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
18 days ago

If you have a T26 with a Marine Team onboard doing a raid then NGS is a very nice to have on call.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
18 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I agree.

It is really good to know that some big accurate backup is right behind you!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago

I see it is now called NGFS, rather than NGS – another Americanism?

Is there a serious risk from enemy shore-based fire being directed at a ship close in delivering NGFS? Did this happen in the Falklands conflict?

I understand that Type 26 will have a 5″ gun, but T31 and T32 will have the 57mm gun.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
15 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Sorry going all ‘merican…… Yes, there is a serious risk from shore but that needs to be counterbalanced against the CIWS and defensive/offensive systems like Sea Ceptor – those systems did not exist in any firm in ‘82. Yes, Glamorgan was hit by a shore fired Exocet in the NG(F)S role. My point was more that the 4.5” and 5” guns give the standoff range for the defensive measures to be effective as well as the 5” having the punch and variety of shells to be a really strong support. I’d love to see T32 with a 5” as an… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
18 days ago

NGS isn’t just shells that go Bang!

Troops on the ground may need Star Shell especially an IR variant.

John Clark
John Clark
18 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I’ve got to say, not fitting the 5″ gun on the T31 might well prove a big mistake. The expanding range of XR guided 5″ munitions is a game changer and changes NGS into a quasi precision airstrike capability.

The thought of having risk one of our precious T26’s to extend the range as far inland as possible is dangerous. Gunfire support should be one of the GP Frigate core roles.

While the mix of 57mm and twin 40mm represents an excellent defensive screen, it’s certainly lacking in the NGS arena.

Last edited 18 days ago by John Clark
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

What is the logic for a 57mm gun and twin 40mm unit, rather than a 4.5″ or 5″ gun?

John Clark
John Clark
15 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Evening mate, Simply down to cost I believe Graham, the 5″ gun was outside the cost parameters of T31.

The stand in was a 57mm main gun, it fitted the budget, has some NGS, but it alternatively has a ferocious bite in the anti air and anti surface role.

Ian M.
Ian M.
18 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Thinking outside of the box, could a dismounted Loader Launcher Module from an M270 be mounted on the deck? Self loading capability with inbuilt hoist assembly, 12 rounds of Prsm or M31, stabilised, electrically powered and not intruding into the deck (much)?
Just pondering.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
15 days ago
Reply to  Ian M.

Problem is that the self loading is designed to work on land.

Land doesn’t pitch and yaw.

[I appreciate that USMC have tested this a seem to be reasonably happy with it on their gators.]

So the reloading would be limited to low sea states at best.

This is why a 5” is probably the right solution. Even if the mag is just full of cheap dumb shells an accurate radar guided servo 5” gun will be a formidable backup for RM.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago

If your bootnecks are doing a beach assault and it is an opposed landing, I guess the enemy might be dismounted, infantry-centric – and operating from a raft of foxholes and maybe a few strongpoints only if they have had time to construct them.

Better to have chunky airburst dumb 5″ artillery in support rather than using precision strike weapons – one drone or PGM launched at each foxhole would be very expensive – and stocks would soon dwindle.

IanM
IanM
14 days ago

Agreed. Good points😁👍

David Barry
David Barry
16 days ago

Should we go back to Sierra Leone, the NGFS that was on call was adequate, this was not a hostile landing.

B2 T31, should have the 5 inch mounted and the gun made standard throughout the RN – reduce training costs, ammo costs and increase options.

The next Govt need to introduce this standardisation.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
14 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

That is an RN operational and budgetary decision not a ministerial one.

The minister can, however, change the budgetary apportionments.

David Barry
David Barry
14 days ago

Like the powerplant on the T45, right?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
14 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

You are right that it was political interference that lead to the specific high risk flagged recuperator design.

That doesn’t happen often and it is a salutary case of why it shouldn’t happen.

David Barry
David Barry
14 days ago

You’re not wrong.

However, I think it happens far more often than the great unwashed like myself, will ever know.

T26 for me is a scandal of intervention / inaction that cost us an export to the USA of huge proportions to our economy.

Political decisions made the Chally force too small to be credible.

The QECs also had interference – CATOBAR anyone?