In a historic first, the Royal Navy has participated in a trilateral exercise with the Australian and Japanese navies in the Indo-Pacific region.

The joint exercise saw HMS Tamar, a River-class offshore patrol vessel, training alongside the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force’s (JMSDF) JS Noshiro and the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Choules ahead of the Tongan International Fleet Review.

“This is the first joint exercise between Japan, Great Britain, and Australia,” said the JMSDF.

HMS Tamar shared on social media:

“Three-mendous. Some excellent training with our friends and allies from the Royal Australian Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force en route to the Tongan International Fleet Review.”

The JMSDF also added:

“Great Britain and Australia are special partners for Japan in realising a free and open Indo-Pacific. JMSDF will continue to strengthen cooperation with allied and partner navies, contributing together to maintaining and enhancing maritime order.”

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Lisa has a degree in Media & Communication from Glasgow Caledonian University and works with industry news, sifting through press releases in addition to moderating website comments.
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Baker
Baker (@guest_832731)
13 days ago

“The Tongan international fleet review” HMS Tamar would look like a Battleship next to the Tongan ships !
Joking aside, great to see these joint exercises and I can’t help being impressed with just how valuable the Rivers are and a big part of me would like to see a few more built to fly the flag in even more areas around the globe. 👌

DB
DB (@guest_832743)
13 days ago
Reply to  Baker

Nah, for the money, 8 more T31s please.

That would impress.

Baker
Baker (@guest_832746)
13 days ago
Reply to  DB

Ha, 8 more T31’s would be a great additional capability but at @£300 million a pop, I’m not sure it would be feasible or doable especially now we have a new bunch of clowns at the helm.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_832744)
13 days ago
Reply to  Baker

And the Japanese Mogami frigate type there is one of the contenders for the RAN light frigate requirement. Looks very neat and compact.
Talking of the B2 Rivers, I’d like to see if an extendable hangar can still be developed for these even if means moving the crane to one side. And I hope they get the nod for Brazilian order for up to 9 ships as a licence build.

Last edited 13 days ago by Quentin D63
Baker
Baker (@guest_832750)
13 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I’d like to see the UK working a lot closer with the Japanese and South Koreans to be fair. Would love to see a UK/Japan Flying Boat programme based upon the ShinMaywa US-2. Re-open the Calshot hangers and have a whole new capability in long range ASW.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_832767)
13 days ago
Reply to  Baker

What about Japan and Korea for licence build for ASW T26? Hell, why not even the QE carrier? Japan is also building two super 20000TN Aegis ABM type cruisers, so wonder if anything from those might influence the T83?

Baker
Baker (@guest_832775)
13 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Hello, it is always good to partner with up and coming countries especially when they are developing such great products. Tempest seems to have attracted attention and I remember reading some articles regarding the QE class carriers and Japan was never really our enemy before WW11 or the initial build up to it. I’d like to see a “Global Britain” working with the rest of the so called free world again, after all it was this sort of trade that put the “Great” in Great Britain. Good shout on the 20000TN Cruisers too. Metal and space are cheap in comparison… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_832973)
12 days ago
Reply to  Baker

Not sure if “MBGA” is pc or not but sure like the UK to be a good global citizen and get some more T26 sales in the mean time! 🇬🇧 🛳

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_832987)
12 days ago
Reply to  Baker

Steady on, Boris Johnson was on about Global Britain for years and got hammered for it, including by this new government.
People kept trying to spin it as militaristic. It wasn’t, it was about trade.
We are Little Britain, remember, we must obey our EU masters and withdraw up our own arses into Europe only.
Sarcasm from me, I agree with you.

Baker
Baker (@guest_833005)
12 days ago

It seems we both view the bigger picture both historically and futuristically. I also believe a global Britain would be a good thing again just like it was in the past for so many different Country’s, forget North America and Canada, Australia and India, they have all embraced and developed their economies and prospered unimaginably since Britain gave them the tools. I would like to see more joint ventures with Africa, Asia and Turkey and Greece not to mention certain South American country’s.
It just needs a bigger Royal Navy. That was the key to World trade.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_833017)
12 days ago
Reply to  Baker

Agreed. I always take a RN, RAF, SF, Intelligence 1st doctrine any way. I know the army posters disagree and point out the pitfalls there. For me, beyond Eastern Europe, the Army is a projectile fired by the RN and the RAF. I also fear Labour will be pretty sea blind and prioritise the army for European NATO. The left also throw about their pathetic “empire” and “colonial” nonsense whenever the issue rises of the UK being somebody on the world stage and continuing with its world wide role, in defence, culture, politics, trade, soft power, diplomacy, many fields. I… Read more »

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_832819)
12 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I don’t think Japan would want QEs due to the whole carrier taboo thing, but I could see them buying the Hunter class and hence into the T26 family as a reciprocal purchase for mogami frigates.

Baker
Baker (@guest_832827)
12 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

But to be fair though, their Hyuga and Izumo class are both F35 capable and their latest political standing might just evolve to embrace such developments. Given the current and clear threats, I wouldn’t bet against it.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_832972)
12 days ago
Reply to  Baker

On the contrary, I think the amount of propaganda coming out of China will make Japan’s politicians even more sensitive to breaking that sort of barrier.
They seem content hiding behind their current “aircraft-carrying destroyers”.

Baker
Baker (@guest_833007)
12 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Fair enough, I guess only time will tell how that will all pan out. China does seem hell bent on producing a potent Navy and it does make you wonder for what reason, it’s not like they are doing this just to threaten Taiwan or even go through with the threat of invasion, I think it’s a far wider ambition to dominate the whole area and beyond.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_832967)
12 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Evening SB, Like the trade idea, T26 for Mogami… sounds like what the RAN might be doing… so who’s following who? .. Lol 😁

Last edited 12 days ago by Quentin D63
SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_832971)
12 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

The eventual aim should be to make the USN and MN look silly by being the only people not using a T26 derivative

Baker
Baker (@guest_833009)
12 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

You have a very avid point ! It’s one I’ve pondered too.

Baker
Baker (@guest_833186)
11 days ago
Reply to  Baker

“valid” doh !

Branaboy
Branaboy (@guest_832856)
12 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

In my view, the starting point for greater UK/Japan defence cooperation is the P1 maritime patrol aircraft. Instead of the UK buying more Boeing P8 and E7 based on the 1960s outdated Boeing 737 airframe, the UK should look to the more modern Mitsubishi P1 airframe as the platform for its maritime patrol and AWACs aircraft. The P1, a more efficient and capable aircraft in the maritime patrol role, can be anglicized with engines, weapons, electronics, combat software etc., more so than the Boeing 737NG offering due to it digital nature (fly by optic fibre), modular software architecture (plug and… Read more »

Jim
Jim (@guest_832748)
13 days ago

I could see a hypothetical T32 with small crew requirement of around 50 slotting in to this role in future but providing something more useful for joint exercises than an OPV.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_832757)
13 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Exactly this.

RN can’t afford T32 and Rivers to it will be T32 as there needs to be some fighty mass to the fleet with VLS etc

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_832762)
13 days ago

The Rivers should be repurposed for coastal defence and manned by composite full time and reserve forces.

TBH I think T32 will need to look at hybrid crewing too.

If you had asked the question 20 years ago I’d have been very interested in doing a month a year.

dc647
dc647 (@guest_832774)
13 days ago

I totally agree with you the River Class should be kept closer to home UK, Europe, Gibraltar deploying them across the Atlantic or Australia in my opinion it sends the wrong message as in the UK no longer have the resources to deploy a blue water vessel so we send all we have available which doesn’t project global power anymore..but desperation. As for your idea they also could be used to train older cadets/ junior officer to prepare them for time at sea but not so far from home break them in gradually for longer deployment. I remember my first… Read more »

Last edited 13 days ago by dc647
Baker
Baker (@guest_832786)
12 days ago
Reply to  dc647

Yet if it wasn’t for the Rivers, we would have next to bugger all to send. It’s about investment in defence that dictates our presence in these far off places. Rivers are doing a splendid job in my opinion.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_832785)
12 days ago

Yes the rivers probably need to be refocused on our coastal infrastructure defence….we don’t really want them trotting off all over the globe. They could make quite good bases for the autonomous capabilities that are coming on line. The other possibility is around mine warfare..in reality the automation mine warfare stuff is good but they will still want mother ships to cart them Around and we don’t really want frigates doing that and larger commercial mothership my not suite all situations and we will not have many. Although with the crew, I’m not sure if you could get a fighting… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_832990)
12 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I’m surprised you said that, J. I thought you agreed with the need for global engagement?
The Rivers are doing a great job. So we withdraw them.
Then, say, Labour cancels CSG 25 into the far East.
Equals, very little left and signals zero interest in the region.
Juuuust what Healey was signalling for years.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_833068)
11 days ago

hi Daniele, indeed, I just think the world has become so iffy that essentially anyplace east of Greece should have a fighting warship doing the engagement…I think as suggested we need a low manning long range warship with adequate defensive fit for this……sending a rivers into the eastern med, down the Red Sea, western Indian occean or western pacific is now asking one of our many bolder and bolder enemies to take a pop ( North Korea has a history of sinking patrol ships, Hezbollah have anti ship missiles and drones…Iran likes to play games….it’s a nasty place points east)… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_833102)
11 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

OK, I’m with you, apologies, I thought you were advocating withdrawl!

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_833111)
11 days ago

No it’s important we are in the Indian Ocean and pacific…

The western Indian Ocean is simply important for our direct security and with the pacific we need to do our bit to deter china from kicking off a war.

Jon
Jon (@guest_832882)
12 days ago

I couldn’t disagree with this more. The Rivers are doing exactly what they should, and the upgrades they need are Sigint and drones. Coastal needs smaller and cheaper hulls. Why waste a global resource on something an Evolved Cape class could handle for a third of the price?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_832884)
12 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Then I don’t think the Rivers have a function.

T32 is very much needed.

If you want to use cheapo for coastal then there is no gig for Rivers?

Jon
Jon (@guest_832933)
12 days ago

Presence has two main desireable effects. It helps others to know we are there for them. Small countries especially prefer something like an OPV to exercise with rather than a frigate, as that’s all they have. Most navies are constabulary. When we help out in disaster relief situations that cements our image. A couple of years ago HMS Spey helped out in Tonga after the volcanic eruption and this is the second visit of Tamar this year. The other part is we can listen to them and hear what they have to say. Humint if you will. Consider countries like… Read more »

geoff
geoff (@guest_832951)
12 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Good post Jon.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_832989)
12 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Spot on, Jon.
SIGINT. And keep them where they are!

Last edited 12 days ago by Daniele Mandelli
Baker
Baker (@guest_833010)
12 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Wow, so good to see this sort of understanding of the excellent use and value these River’s are providing. I’m thinking that these little ships are taking huge strides in the re-birth of our global influence.
“Soft Power” is hugely valuable in itself. Am I right in thinking the UK is still ranked No 2 in this ?

Saccharine
Saccharine (@guest_833066)
11 days ago
Reply to  Baker

We do still hold our silver medal in this, in spite of everything.

Hopefully, we can start locking that in again for the next 5 years, rather than clowning around and ruining our reputation of upholding international standards.

Very very cautiously optimistic.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_833071)
11 days ago
Reply to  Jon

The problem Jon is the rivers are not just pottering around benign small islands..they are playing in some very unpredictable seas…sending a rivers onto the North Korean UN sanctions patrol was a really bad move…that nation will attack patrol ships. The geopolitical situation in almost all seas and oceans baring the Atlantic, north sea, Norwegian Sea and western med..is no longer truly benign. The reality is the Rivers 2 are only where they are because the frigate procurement was messed up and delayed for a decade..as soon as the RN has the frigates they will be back where patrol boats… Read more »

Baker
Baker (@guest_832778)
13 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Hello Jim, I just think that these Rivers are pretty good VFM given their peacetime role and ability to be in far away places with relatively small crew numbers. Yes it would be way better to have more capable ships but only when war is likely. Let’s all hope the Labour will realise this and find the money to invest properly in this Unions defence. I did read an article where Diane Abbott said that 25% was easy to find but I had to just dismiss it as a typo.😎

Jim
Jim (@guest_832949)
12 days ago
Reply to  Baker

I think the rivers are great at forward presence, I just think they are of limited use in the training exercises with major navy’s in the pacific.

Baker
Baker (@guest_832954)
12 days ago
Reply to  Jim

The trouble is we have so few bigger ships available to send out there. Let’s hope that this new government keeps the orders coming and adds a few extra.

Jon
Jon (@guest_832959)
12 days ago
Reply to  Jim

For every major navy in the Pacific there are half-a-dozen minor ones who can’t exercise with a large warship. We need a mix.

Our warships should be threatening — that’s the point of them. However, there’s also an advantage in having less-threatening ships in the region. It’s not always about deterrence. Some countries that would welcome a visit from a patrol vessel would see it as too contentious to host a warship. Also China bristles when we send a warship to the South China Seas but has no problem with our OPVs.

Peter S
Peter S (@guest_832896)
12 days ago

The Mogami class looks very well armed with main gun, heavy ASM, SAM, ASW sensors and weapons and mine laying capability. The crew is only 90. Makes T31S look a bit feeble.

Jon
Jon (@guest_832991)
12 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

Mogami is a second tier jack of all trades, but I don’t think it looks all that good, particularly against swarms. Its AAW looks poor compared with T31, with up to 16 missiles covered by an X-Band radar. Given the T31’s expected 24 Sea Ceptor plus up to 32 larger missiles in Mk 41 covered by an S-band radar, I think I’d rather be in a T31 spec than a new Mogami spec in the Red Sea right now. Mogami wins out on mine laying as the RN doesn’t do mine laying at all. It also wins out on ASW,… Read more »

Bill Glew
Bill Glew (@guest_832903)
12 days ago

The UK is not a world power and we should stop spending money on training exercises with countries at the far side of the world. We have wars in Europe and in the Middle East and we need to focus on operating in these areas and our coastal waters. Our training needs to be carried out with NATO forces because if it ever came to the crunch we would be working with NATO and receiving support from them.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_832947)
12 days ago
Reply to  Bill Glew

Morning Bill, the UK mayn’t be a “world power” in the US category but it does have its economic place, military relationships, international trade and investment and influence spread all around the world. That has to be continuously maintained and defended in partnership with like minded nations. If the UK shrinks back it’ll be lesser than it is and then where to from there? I think Europe is able to stand on its own feet but still appreciates the UK, US, Canada being there as in NATO. There are the historical linkages with Aust/ NZ/Oceania, Malaysia/Singapore and even India and… Read more »

Jim
Jim (@guest_832950)
12 days ago
Reply to  Bill Glew

The strategy is by involving our self in the pacific we gain allies like Australia, Japan, South Korea and the USA who in turn help us in Europe.

The pacific islands are a massive concern to these countries and Britain is well placed through historic links and its diplomatic missions to help counter China in the region.

geoff
geoff (@guest_832952)
12 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Exactly Jim. China’s bold influence is spreading the world over and the UK needs to affirm its position in its overseas territories paricularly in the Atlantic. Also, Pitcairn has only about 40 inhabitants and although it is isolated and small, it is situated in the middle of the Pacific-potentially a vital strategic spot in a rapidly changeing world. Think on some not so far fetched scenarios a-la-Solomons!!

Baker
Baker (@guest_832955)
12 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Pitcairn has no real facilities though, no harbour or airfield, no real services hardly any roads and only small boats can reach it, not sure what strategic benefit it has other than it’s location.

geoff
geoff (@guest_832956)
12 days ago
Reply to  Baker

Good Morning Baker. I understand what you say. Pitcairn itself is way too small to accommodate an airport with no suitable flat land to boot, but Henderson Island is nine times the size of Pitcairn and could easily accommodate a runway and other infrastructure. All the other problems relating to Henderson including a lack of potable water are also easy to fix with rainwater capture and desalination. What if an emboldened China occupied Henderson under some pretext challenging British sovereignty-would the UK or even the USA go to war over this? It certainly would not rank with an invasion of… Read more »

Last edited 12 days ago by geoff
Jon
Jon (@guest_832960)
12 days ago
Reply to  Baker

We need to develop Pitcairn. It’s the centre of a huge maritime reserve and giving up on a strategic location because we can’t think what to do with it right now is extremely foolish. I have often wondered if we could place a decommissioned aircraft carrier alongside the island to kick-start the economy. Done right it would create a harbour, an airport, power generation, desalination, office space, hotel space, satellite connectivity etc etc.

I should say that we don’t actually need an airport to reduce the isolation. We just need to subsidise a regular seaplane service from French Polynesia.

Last edited 12 days ago by Jon
Baker
Baker (@guest_833012)
12 days ago
Reply to  Jon

I’m not disagreeing with Pitcairn’s significance at all though, It’s just that to develop the infrastructure and facilities would seem nearly impossible for any Country, I do see huge issues building an adequate sized runway, Harbour and protection, Hitlers Channel Islands obsession does spring to mind. Besides, it’s so remote from anywhere else I just don’t get why vast sums of money would be spent by any Country.

Jon
Jon (@guest_833029)
12 days ago
Reply to  Baker

How much effort/cost would it take to have twice weekly flights to Pitcairn by seaplane? It’s not a lot, but it’s a start.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_833158)
11 days ago
Reply to  Baker

We already spend a lot.. infact each of the 42 residents costs the British taxpayer almost £100,000 a year…it costs a lot to keep 42 people alive on an island with no real meaningful income, food or resource generation that’s completely dependent on imports from thousands of miles away….add in ten new residents and thats an extra million a year from the treasury…

Baker
Baker (@guest_833187)
11 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Yes and building military infrastructure and manning it would cost a staggering amount.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_833198)
11 days ago
Reply to  Baker

Yes indeed….staggering amounts for an island that literally has less than zero strategic or economic Importance….geostrategic location is possibly the most irrelevant on the planet ( it’s literally parked in a place no one needs to use to get anywhere else and itself has not resources or importance) if we did but infrastructure there we would be laughed at by the international community to be honest…what we are doing at present with supporting the Pitcairn population is an act of charity that most nations would not even consider.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_833081)
11 days ago
Reply to  Jon

literarily no one wants to live on Pitcairn..it’s population is hanging by a thread. It has almost zero resources and is completely dependent on UK money to keep it afloat…tourist wise…I’m not sure you would ever be able to get any level worth the effort….all materials need to come 2500 miles by sea…and quite frankly what has it got to offer…? It’s got 42 people living precarious lives ( down from 67 in 2011)

The likelihood of the population surviving more than 20 years is remote ( there are only 4 children).

Jon
Jon (@guest_833091)
11 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Mumble mumble Rwanda mumble mumble.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_833107)
11 days ago
Reply to  Jon

God no…as tax payers we are essentially paying each resident of Pitcairn almost £100,000 a year to live there. The quicker it’s abandoned…the quicker we are not wasting taxpayers money…

Last edited 11 days ago by Jonathan
Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_833161)
11 days ago
Reply to  Baker

Literally none…it’s got nothing worth the effort of having in its EEZ…costs the UK taxpayer almost £100,000 per resident per year ( 42 residents) and its population is literally dying..dropped by 20 in a decade..so it’s got maybe 2 decades left before we are forced to relocate the last citizens..by 2045 it’s estimated there will only be 3 residents under the age of 65..( since 2005 exactly zero people have moved to the islands..even with the offer of free land and zero tax) .We have better places to develop.At least our south Atlantic and Antarctic overseas territories have stable populations..and… Read more »

RB
RB (@guest_832940)
12 days ago

The Indo-Pacific forward deployment of the two OPVs is a huge success, but they are punching far above their weight. Will they be replaced, as expected until last week, by two Type 31 frigates is now the big question. Presumably the soon to be launched Defence Review will address this, and also decide on the prospective order for Type 31 Batch 2s. I think it is safe to say that there is now no possibility of the MOD spending £100 millions on a new T32 frigate design. The silence regarding the T32 programme from senior RN officers has been notably… Read more »

Jon
Jon (@guest_832974)
12 days ago
Reply to  RB

It’s worth mentioning that James Heappey (the former Armed Forces minister) openly speculated whether T31s should replace the OPVs, or whether they should add to them. Replacement was never a done deal.

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_832958)
12 days ago

While the B2 Rivers provide valuable training & technically a presence, in most conflicts they’d just carry their invaluable crews to an early death. Shame we don’t have enough Frigates to provide far greater value in far east exercises.

Jon
Jon (@guest_832964)
12 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

In conflicts they’ll mostly carry out the same duties as during peacetime. Do you think smuggling and piracy goes away during wartime? Do you think natural disasters stop happening? Is the need to visit third-party countries to cement relations any the less important?

Last edited 12 days ago by Jon
Jon
Jon (@guest_832969)
12 days ago
Reply to  Jon

I say mostly, because their ability to globally deliver recce teams and small insertion craft (in place of the engineers/medics for HADR) should not be overlooked. Nor their ability to lilypad and refuel helicopters. And if that places them in wartime danger, well sobeit. We don’t whine about RFA craft going to dangerous places and the Rivers are arguably far more survivable.

Angus
Angus (@guest_832978)
12 days ago
Reply to  Jon

100% correct as life goes on in war as well as peace time. The OPV’s are making a show that was lacking for many many years at little cost to the budget.