The Defence Committee has published correspondence from the Ministry of Defence responding to questions from the Committee on the Navy and Naval procurement.

The correspondence follows the Committee’s report “We are going to need a bigger Navy” and the subsequent Government response.

Of particular interest to me, is the confirmation that two streams of the Type 45 PIP will now be carried out concurrently.

The Defence Committee asked:

“The timings given In the response for the Type 45 PIPs add to our concern that the programme is slipping. For two ships the length of the programme has been extended beyond 12 months…Since that response, the Government has said it is now looking at accelerating the programme. Does this mean a change to the predicted timings for the PIP given in the response? What other options are the Government and industry considering to address the Industrial capacity Issues that were Identified in the response as a constraint on the PIP programme?”

The Government replied:

“Since our response to your report, good progress has been made on the Type 45 Power and Improvement Project (PIP). HMS DAUNTLESS has successfully completed PIP harbour integration trials at Cammell Laird and is on schedule to sail for sea trials in June 2022. HMS DARING’S PIP conversion Is making progress at Cammell Laird and is forecast to complete by December 2022. HMS DARING will then be towed to Portsmouth and go into dock for planned maintenance and recertification.

HMS DRAGON’s PIP conversion will take place concurrently with her upkeep period in Portsmouth, which commenced in March. Conducting these two PIP streams concurrently in Cammell Laird and Portsmouth will help maintain the programme.

The Department is assessing options to accelerate the programme to complete PIP as early as possible, before 2028. This needs to be balanced against the Royal Navy’s current and future operational commitments, as choices to accelerate PIP by advancing ship conversions will impact Type 45 class availability in the short term.

Any changes to the schedule will also be subject to commercial negotiations with BAE systems as the prime contractor. Type 45 Destroyer availability continues to meet Defence’s operational requirements. HMS DIAMOND recently deployed to the Mediterranean on NATO duties and HMS DEFENDER participated in Exercise COLD RESPONSE in the High North. HMS DUNCAN has also commenced sea trials following a refit period which did not include a PIP conversion.”

What was the issue?

The Ministry of Defence previously confirmed that all Type 45 Destroyers will have received upgrades to their power systems by the mid-2020s. HMS Dauntless was the first.

In 2016 it was revealed that due to a design flaw on the Northrop Grumman intercooler attached to the ships Rolls-Royce WR-21 gas turbines, power availability was diminished considerably when functioning in the warm climate of the Persian Gulf; and it quickly became apparent that the class was not operating as originally envisioned with some losing power mid-deployment.

Therefore a planned refit was scheduled to fully resolve the problems with the six ships in the class.

According to the as always in-depth and comprehensive defence analyst NavyLookout here, the vessels WR-21 gas turbine itself is of a sound design, however, the intercooler unit “has a major design flaw and causes the WR-21s to fail occasionally. When this happens, the electrical load on the diesel generators can become too great and they ‘trip out’, leaving the ship with no source of power or propulsion.”

The First Sea Lord, Admiral Philip Jones, clarified in evidence to the Defence Committee that the “WR-21 gas turbines were designed in extreme hot weather conditions to what we call ‘gracefully degrade’ in their performance, until you get to the point where it goes beyond the temperature at which they would operate… we found that the resilience of the diesel generators and the WR-21 in the ship at the moment was not degrading gracefully; it was degrading catastrophically, so that is what we have had to address”.

The Ministry of Defence is funding the Type 45 Power Improvement Programme, known as ‘Project Napier’. The current contract value is approximately £189 million.

HMS Dauntless was the first ship to receive fixes designed to end the power issues that had impacted the availability of the Type 45 Destroyer fleet. The warship was treated to a flypast from a Typhoon jet as she left the Cammell Laird yard on the 14th of June, the vessel spent 770 days at the facility.

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 works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Rob
Rob
1 month ago

Get a move on. Get the new engines in and while you’re at it get the Sea Ceptor missiles onboard. We might need these ships in short time…

Nathan
Nathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

Yes, by 2029 it would seem from the article

farouk
farouk
1 month ago

Silly question time: Ive noticed that most warships dont have a box around their VLS missile tubes so to that end, why does the RN do so?

David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

Can’t find anything on Google, But the Horizons also do , which shares the same lineage.
Possibilities, a) less water on the VLS covers in a heavy sea or when maintenance is required at sea?
B) more likely IMO, part of the radar signature reduction measures ?
C) damage control in the event of a hit or misfire in the VLS?

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

On a USN AB the tubes are flush with the deck and dip several meters into the structure,. the center area of any ship is prime Real Estate for ship systems and if you use it for VLS you lose it. the RN has ithe top part of its VLS poking out above 1deck so it takes up less space below. this also results in the warheads being outside of the main structure of the ship which is a bonus. The block house built around the top of the silo has compartments around its edge things like upper deck lockers,… Read more »

farouk
farouk
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Mrs Miggins says Ta:
comment image

Last edited 1 month ago by farouk
JohnG
JohnG
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

That’s a sultry cat pic if ever I saw one 😂. Great info GB, always interesting to read your comments.

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

A well pampered happy cat!

Nicholas
Nicholas
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

How vulnerable are the tubes for blasts and fragmentation above them?

Martin
Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

Same reason RN carriers had closed bows in ww2 as USN had open. The Atlantic is very rough compared to pacific and IO.

Rob N
Rob N
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

It was feared that bad weather with waves breaking over the bow cold encourage freezing ice on the VLS. So hence the weather protection. Theoretically it also helps with stealth – all those little VLS hatch covers are not very stealthy – so the enclosure hides the covers…

barry white
barry white
1 month ago

I would think that there are a few unused drydocks at Devonport that could be used

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  barry white

No there are not mate! The ones that are in use contain SMs, There is currently work in progress to refurbish and modernise others bringing them up to date. You might be lucky and get one to use at a push.
Unfortunately the frigate sheds at Devonport are to small to house anything bigger than a T23, so will be of no use other than to refit the OPVs we have. Not entirely sure what can be done with said Frigate sheds in the longer term, as our warships are getting bigger!

barry white
barry white
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

I stand corrected
I left Plymouth 20 years ago so a bit out of touch

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  barry white

I left a while back too, but there is a lot of work going on to modernise the place over the next decade, which the facilities need.
Then of course you have the Babcock/BAE bit with BAE effectively operating out of Pompy and Babcock out of Guzz!!! Not a great deal of joined up thinking going on I think!! As our WS get bigger, the issue of docking will only get worse unless we invest in the infrastructure, which is starting.all be it slowly.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

The ability to build and refit full sized warships will be at the forefront of everyone’s minds in the future if Scotland the Brave under wee Jimmy Cranky get to hold a referendum and then vote for independence. The outcome of that issue might require an urgent crash program to move all ship building out of Scotland and bring all warship refit and repair back to the rest of the UK. We will need at that time an urgent appraisal of the facilities and what can be done quickly to enable type 31, type 32, type 26, type 83 construction… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

I believe the majority of refit/repair work on warships is already done South of the border so to speak. The issue will be dry dock space as our warships get bigger. As I’ve said, the frigate sheds in Guzz can’t take anything bigger than a T23 , so there goes 3 docks, as you can’t make them longer and get the ships in!!
It takes time and money to refurbish this infrastructure, but yes, an appraisal of what’s available and what needs upgrading would be a good start. Our warships aren’t going to get smaller……

Nathan
Nathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

There are also a lot of clever electronics and radar systems developers in Edinburgh. Any promise of forward work to them would need to be based on the agreement they’d be conducted in rUK. Moreover, I wouldn’t trust a tub thumping, independent Scotland as far as I could throw Nicola and I’d expect rUK to offer “asylum” to very many people looking to escape the SNP’s experimental socialist regime. Heavens, if the SNP have the power to take Edinburgh, the borders and the Lothians out of the UK as well as Shetland etc. I think we should allow said regions… Read more »

AdjectiveNoun
AdjectiveNoun
1 month ago

A new PIP stream, Argus reportedly extended in service, CGS talking about speeding programmes up etc. Aside from the cancellation of Mosquito, you’d be forgiven for thinking defence was in healthier shape.

But there is supposedly no new cash, and significant inflation. Further cuts on the horizon?

RobW
RobW
1 month ago
Reply to  AdjectiveNoun

If there is no increase in budget then more cuts or some projects are delayed by years. Probably both.

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  AdjectiveNoun

Just speculation on my part really, but, perhaps with the recent uplift and the large defence budget (3rd largest??) HMG/Treasury are trying to get the MOD to make better choices with what they have? Certain areas could do with improvement Im sure. Boza has just refused Wallace’s request for a budget increase I believe. So perhaps its a case of ‘get your ducks in a row’ first, before you get an increase?

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

Personally, I still believe that it’s a big mistake not increasing the defence budget. Demand efficiencies, better cost effectiveness etc, but increase it to at least 2.5%. Not doing so would be far more expensive if a war comes along and spending has to increase to 20-30% or more because it hasn’t dissuaded China/Russia going too far.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

Ian you’re a bit behind on the news I’m afraid. 🙂

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

Sorry mate, my post was a bit vague on detail. What I actually mean, using our Boxer buy as an example: We have purchased 650 odd vehicles at approx £4 million a pop, of which some 200 odd are C2/Ambulance variants. Do we really need such an expensive support vehicles or would a cheaper alternative have been just as suitable? Both France and Italy operate large fleets of wheeled AFVs, and push their support requirements into cheaper vehicles allowing more to be spent on the ‘fighty’ versions. Those 200 support versions are effectively 3-4 battalions worth of vehicles that could… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

I already pointed that dumb decision. In the first 500 Boxer on order only 85 are infantry.

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  AlexS

Yes, if you add in the possibility of Ajax C2/Ambulance variants, then you have about 300 C2/ambulance support vehicles-enough for at least a brigade!!!
One has to hope that someone in MOD procurement knows what they are doing……..

BigH1979
BigH1979
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

Agreed. What’s the point of a 1% or even 0.5% increase if it all gets pizzed up against the wall by Civil Servants/Procurement Specialists thinking Christmas has come early.

Nick C
Nick C
1 month ago
Reply to  AdjectiveNoun

Yesterday Wallace was pushing for more defence spending, although when 2.5% of gdp was mentioned he back-pedalled. Today the PM has said that the manifesto commitment of a steady increase of 1/2 % above inflation is not possible. So we are in the middle of a land war in Europe, the head of the Army is demanding a bigger more mobile force, NATO is upping the readily deployable force by a factor of 5, and HMG is making all sorts of promises and then in the next breath cutting the funds. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick C

Unless you are doing o level commerce RPI is not a measure of defence industry inflation. So who but a politician would compare the two. At the moment we have exogenous inflation caused by the war in Ukraine. It will end. The sooner the better. Fuel and food inflation will go with it. Stand easy don’t panic.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

👍

Nick C
Nick C
1 month ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

I’m old enough and ugly enough to have a jaundiced view of a lot of things! So stand easy is a welcome order. What would be an ideal outcome to what I suspect will be a deal of bloody Whitehall infighting would be a better system for procurement. But it probably won’t happen in my lifetime. Yes inflation won’t last for ever but it would be good to get some joined up thinking about what is needed, when it is needed and some decent project management to get it to the front line. We aren’t going to see Ajax in… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Yes the rate of increase in input raw prices has already leveled off.

As soon as oil/gas prices return to sanity price decreases a very real possibility as competition will get to work.

It is a question of keeping faith for 18, not very nice months, max.

This so why agreeing to stupid pay hikes over many years to kick the can down the road is very silly.

We haven’t even had a full year of high inflation it has only been a few months so the annualized moving average rates are not that high.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago

Unfortunately it’s not just raw material prices that are driving inflation. The measure without variable things like petrol prices etc still is extremely high. Its going to be a painful period, I suspect a lot longer than 18months.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

The price increases are driven by
– fuel costs; and
– labour cost; and
– price fixing; and
– opportunism.

From my position I’d say the last one is a very major part of it. Businesses are repairing their margins and balance sheets while the going is good.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago

12 months from now the recent price rises will start to drop out of the annual rate so it’ll fall as fast as it has risen. Assuming after COVID, the supply chain crisis and war in Ukraine we don’t get a plague of frogs !

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Let’s think positive here. I quite like frogs legs…

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Yuck ! 😄

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Its o.k any French arriving can now be deported to Rwanda.

andy a
andy a
1 month ago

unfortunatly alot of the people kicking off NHS civil service, local goverment and the rest have borne the brunt of the banking crash with no pay increase for in some cases 6 years so this is the final straw

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

I’m not convinced inflation is a result of Ukraine. We were at 5.5% in Jan and Climbing rapidly (according to the ONS). A contributing factor for sure but not the root cause.

If not the root cause, it doesn’t all go away when the war ends.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

Totally agree, inflation was already going in the wrong direction long before this started. Shipping costs and shortage in supplies have had a huge impact on general consumption for some time. Fuel and energy prices have just accelerated this trend that was already underway.

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

Not trying to convince you. It’s an objective fact. This is global inflation, however much you may wish otherwise.

Nathan
Nathan
1 month ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

It is absolutely global inflation – from ten years of quantitative easing and stimulus in the West during Covid. Economic gravity is re-asserting itself, liquidity is draining from the markets, instability is rising and the world economy is slowing. China may already be in recession, Japan looks like its currency could pop, the US and Europe are belt tightening. The future doesn’t look too rosy.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  Nathan

Agreed.
We’re on the cusp of a seriously massive recession that’s been building for years. Many houses of cards look ready to tumble at the same time around the world.
Not too rosy at all.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Not sure what I did to upset you. By saying “not convinced”, I wasn’t saying you were trying to convince me. Simply that I’ve heard this argument before elsewhere & it is simply not true. You stated: “we have exogenous inflation caused by the war in Ukraine”. I’m simply pointing out that inflation (globally if you like) was high and climbing in January, before Putins invasion. This is a proveable fact. Here: https://www.statista.com/chart/26208/uk-cpih-cpi-inflation-timeline/ Therefore the war in Ukraine (whilst probably a exacerbating factor) is not the ’cause’ since it preceeded the invasion. Not sure where you got the idea that… Read more »

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

The problem is that economic illiteracy is pervasive, so your views supported by the dumb coverage in the media is not unusual. The facts are that we have had low inflation for many years, what changed to alter that? COVID, the inflationary activity of the government in order to mitigate the destruction of the economy where warranted and effective. However, the logistical logjams in the world economy, at the inception of recovery, were unforeseen and inflationary. Again, this was a global phenomenon. The speed with which this feeds through in the economy varies from country to country and tax system… Read more »

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Mate…. you started by saying ‘inflation is because of Ukraine war & when it ends, it’s all good’. You tried using ‘big words’ to sound smart but that’s what you said.

I said ‘no, it was happening before’. I didn’t even mention what is the actual cause.

Now you’re saying ‘oh it’s a long term thing with all these other causes’ (a lot of which is correct) and by implication, called me names in the process.

You ok there buddy?

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

I understand if a logical analysis is too bothersome to follow. That’s the world we live in.

Nathan
Nathan
1 month ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

The UK is more trade dependent than almost every other nation on Earth so rising transport costs will always hit us disproportionately harder. That being said, fuel and food costs account for about 45% of inflation in the US. Now, it seems unlikely that after the Ukraine war everyone will go back to buying fuels from Russia – many of the changes are baked in now as new supply chains are established and people disconnect from Russia. I’m sure there will be an improvement in this proportion but it won’t return to normal afterwards. Energy costs are always going to… Read more »

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
1 month ago
Reply to  Nathan

You do realise that inflation is a measure of rising cost not current prices? Having made some very bold predictions about future energy costs, without any acknowledgment of underlying causes or historical reasons, I will leave you to your thesis.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  Nathan

Think you’re right regards Russian energy. Some may buy it again in future but never rely on it again.

Just as a side note: I’m not entirely sure the person you’re responding to here is hearing either of us. 😬

Bill Rogers
Bill Rogers
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick C

Those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it.

The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken
The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken
1 month ago

Magnificent ships 👍🏻 Had the pleasure of a tour on Duncan when she visited her spiritual home in Dundee a few yrs ago most impressive indeed.

The RN is without a doubt the finest naval service on the planet even without the Sega mega drive hyper supersonic hedgehog missiles the wee merchants of doom n gloom love to tell everyone about 😂 foooooooollllllllllssssssssss 😂

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇬🇧

JK
JK
1 month ago

So, are we actually expecting an increase in defence spending? I’ve seen lots of articles on various news websites hinting at it, but I haven’t seen anything yet. What are people’s opinions on here?

Bob
Bob
1 month ago

Good news, they will be installing the Mk41s on Glasgow next 🤞

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

I’m unfortunately thinking unlikely….BUT… fitting 24 or even 36 ‘Ceptor silos might be do-able?.
AA

Bob
Bob
1 month ago

So am I, but fitting them during construction has to be cheaper than a retrofit surely?

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

You have got to be correct in that thinking Bob. It’s logic. Oh, MOD.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago

My understanding is that Type 26 will be equipped with 24 strike length Mk41 VLS AND 48 Sea Ceptor soft launch VLS tubes.

Bob
Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

They will, but I don’t believe they are fitting the Mk41s prior to launch.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

Makes sense I suppose since the primary role is to replace the T23 ASW; and we don’t have any missiles to go in them.

Bob
Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

How, the missile is due to enter service two years after the ship launches. Surely it would be less costly to install them while the ship is under construction?

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

To be honest I don’t know. I can only suppose it’s down to MOD cash flow and / or getting them into service a bit earlier. Maybe the MOD have defined the T26 Mk41s as part of the same budget as the FC/ASW project. Who knows?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

The Mk41 were ordered under FMS ages ago.

Unless they are going to be used as plant pots why on earth would they not be fitted in build – unless it was to divert 16 each to the first four T31’s?

Bob
Bob
1 month ago

My mistake. It is the T31 that will be FFBNW 🙄

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago

Maybe you can just crane them in after launch?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

Maybe fitting them just not filling them…yet…Lol 😁

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

whoops….my rum addled brain mistook Glasgow for a type 31!….BUT while we are on the subject…..24 or 36 Sea Ceptors on THOSE would be good at build! Read properly,post at leisure..
AA

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago

Agreed. Iced tea might be the way to go ..😉

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago

Having done the first one and ironed out the glitches the MOD is funding parallel processing in Portsmouth and Birkenhead…. excellent! I need to lie down. Does the Sea Ceptor upgrade require dry docking? Can it be done elsewhere?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

The only thing that would require major surgery is cutting out for and welding in the new soft launch tube holders. That is a crane job, in a basin, and not a dry dock job.

The rest can be done alongside.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago

Thx

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
1 month ago

All well and good, it seems. All the T45s will be upgraded in 6 years….. Now that Harpoon has been removed from the T45s, you would think that Radakin would review his previous decision and decide to replace them with the very good Norwegian NSM – which also has a land attack capability. The fact that the T45s do not have an anti-ship missile has attracted the attention of the US Navy. Clearly, if they are to be deployed on their own – which has been the case hitherto – without an offensive attack missile option other assets would need… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

“Radakin would review his previous decision and decide to replace them with the very good Norwegian NSM – which also has a land attack capability.” Are you going to tell Doris, or am I, that HMS Waste of Space, aka National Flagship, would have to be cancelled? That is where the £250M line in the RN budget probably went to. Personally I would have been in favour of running Britannia on with new engines and systems for a smaller crew. The prestige was in the history of the vessel. So I don’t understand, on reflection, how it will add anything… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago

Could be wrong as it’s a while ago now but the £250m is coming out of the MoD budget as a whole not the RN part of it. Agree it shouldn’t be built in the first place though.

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Originally it was going to come out of cross-departmental funding rather than MoD. I suspect that fight, primarily between Wallace and Sunak, may still be on. But the purchase price isn’t the big deal. It’s the ongoing costs of support and maintenance, and providing RN sailors to run the thing for the next 30 years.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Agreed.

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 month ago

IT’S always the same wait till things kick off then do something about it as before the Ukraine Russian fight ,it was Get round to it.🐌

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago

This is the good news we should be looking for. Existing and oven ready programmes accelerated. These are the kind of things that can be done quickly. Hopefully we’ll see more of it across the board.

Last edited 1 month ago by David Steeper
Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

My understanding is that Martlet / Sea Venom on Wildcat is good to go and the RN have also been trialling it on R2.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

That’s great to hear. NLAW and Brimstone have certainly been successfull in Ukraine but the real eye opener for me has been Martlet. From the videos i’ve seen it’s been mostly used as surface to air so so far it’s multirole aspect hasn’t been demonstrated but hitting a target moving in 3 dimensions at speeds over 100 knots must be more difficult than hitting any land or sea target. Thales will come out of this war with a stellar reputation and order books to match.

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Perhaps the Wildcat trials signal a different mindset from sending the B2s all back to Blighty as soon as the Type 31s are available. That’s really good news.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Yes, I was thinking that. Maybe when the B1s retire we should build some B3s. With telescopic hangars and containerised drones squadrons of B2 and B3 Rivers could be what comes out of the Black Swan research.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/joint-concept-note-1-12-future-black-swan-class-sloop-of-war-a-group-system

RobW
RobW
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

The fear would be that they could all too easily be rebadged as frigates to justify fewer ‘real’ escorts. But yes a batch 3 for drone operations may be a good idea.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  RobW

I understand, and have always thought the RN played a canny hand to come out of the T26 budget reduction from 13 to 8 fiasco with 5 R2s and 5 T31s. I believe that one definition of a frigate is the smallest warship that can operate alone. The Black Swan concept work envisaged ‘squadrons’ of ‘sloops’ which could take losses in combat – not putting all your eggs in one basket. The idea was to make the shop a ffbnw hull. R2 has an armoured magazine and warship standard CMS , firefighting and propulsion redundancy. It’s a bit of a… Read more »

George Parker
George Parker
1 month ago

With Ukrainian munitions seriously depleted, losses mounting and NATO poised to send in ground troops (rumour). Clearly some working destroyers would be nice. Sooner rather than thermonuclear mushroom cloud later.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  George Parker

NATO will not be sending ground troops to Ukraine.

George Parker
George Parker
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

I’m not so confident David. NATO just increased it’s ready force from 30,000 to 400,000. Even Sanders seems to be hoping for the best but planning for the worst.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  George Parker

Sanders is hoping someone will bail him out of upsetting the Army brass. He wants more money so he doesn’t have to take tough decisions that will have them throwing their teddies out of the pram. He’s got no chance. That’s all his spiel was about. I’m being cynical of course but i’d be happy to be proved wrong.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

I think the MOD are holding his feet to the fire until Ajax is resolved.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Yep*. Hopefully not just Ajax.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

It would help a lot if Ajax can be made to work. Then the temptation would be to compromise on a low risk affordable turreted Boxer as the IFV. But if Ajax is canned then the temptation opens up to choose CV90 or Lynx for both the IFV and the ISTAR…long, tedious Groundhog Day evaluation, UK jobs, contract negotiation..customisation ( same engine as Boxer?). Doesn’t bear thinking about. Ajax has to work. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I don’t think Ajax is saveable. Admittedly based only on news reports. I’d go with wheeled Boxer and keep fingers crossed we could shoehorn ISTAR into it.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Yes, that would be another option. Boxer for everything. Was it Albert Einstein who said, simplify things as much as possible….but no further?

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

A common engine and chassis would save money and manpower. We’re long past ideal solutions. We just need good enough and soon.

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

There’s plenty of money in the Army Command budget (£23bn ten-year uncommitted procurement spend as of the last financial year), which must annoy the hell out of him if he’s not allowed to spend it.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Ohh he’ll be allowed to spend it. The heated debates will be about on what is it spent !

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  George Parker

400k seems like a pipe dream, as I can’t see where that many troops will come from, it would require most of the US army to achieve it and their focus is mainly on China. Best we could offer would be 10k maybe 20k but that would be pushing it.

Even if it is possible, I can’t see them risking going into Ukraine.

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve
George Parker
George Parker
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

I hope they are not forced into it. Left with no option other than go into Ukraine with guns blazing. Several scenarios come to mind where that would be inevitable. Most without anyone in the West moving a muscle. Never mind pouring fuel on the fire by supplying more and more advanced weaponry.

NATO is not in the driving seat here and there are factions in play that would relish Russia and NATO slogging it out. You already mentioned one.
Terrifies me and I’m not afraid to admit it.
Something of interest Steve, a good drop down menu too.
https://www.globalfirepower.com/nato-projected-firepower.php

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  George Parker

Understand your concerns, these are scary times, but relax bud.

NATO is defensive in its construct so unless Russia attack, we’re ok. If any NATO nation was going to do anything, it would have happened by now – after Bucha was discovered would have been the catalyst.

Putin is egocentric, power hungry & has imperial aspirations, but he’s not crazy. They can barely cope with Ukraine without full mobilisation & they’re burning through their useable kit. They’ll shout and threaten but won’t cross the line into anything that could be deemed an attack on a NATO country.

Louis
Louis
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

It really isn’t a pipe dream. From a Wikipedia article that is slightly out of date (the British army is too large) there are 5,401,760 service members in NATO. Providing 400,000 troops at high readiness is around seven percent of the armed forces. It will be hard, but not impossible.
As for the US being focussed on china, the beauty of high readiness forces is that they can be deployed anywhere. The two choices NATO had were 250,000 forward deployed soldiers, or 350,000 high readiness. 400,000 high readiness was chosen.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Louis

Can’t be deployed anywhere, as NATO is territorially restricted, which is why it didn’t help with the Falklands. It would not cover south East Asia.

I still think pipedream, as 7% being at high readiness is already high but if you need to sustain that you also need another 7% to rotate with it. We struggled to maintain 10k personal in Iraq/afgan, are we really going to be able to sustain a similar number or higher during ‘peace time’.

Louis
Louis
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

The individual nations could deploy their forces to the moon if they wanted to.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Louis

Yes of course, but not under a NATO banner. Although if nations can do creative accounting to achieve the figure, I am sure they will.

At least that is my understanding of how the treaty works, but I could be wrong.

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve
Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

So I went and read the Official Text. A5 says “an armed attack against one or more of them [NATO members] in Europe or North America” A6 states this includes: “Algerian Departments of France, on the territory of Turkey or on the Islands under the jurisdiction of any of the Parties in the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer” So (if I’m reading this correctly) if anyone (China included) attacked the USA mainland (i.e. not an attack on USA forces station in S.Korea), NATO are obliged to join. I’m no lawyer though so, please let me know… Read more »

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 month ago

Difficult balancing act- obviously RN needs these ships PIP upgraded and ideally fitted for the 24 cell Sea Ceptor bank asap. However there is a need for 3-4 of the type 45s to be available for vital task force protection duties. The real problem is a historic problem whereby the RN reducing its order to just 6 type 45s means there is zero spare capacity to allow anything more than 2 of these ships to be in dock at any one time. Hopefully we will have learnt this lesson and the future type 83 will be ordered with at least… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

It is more to do with not making PiP even more complex.

Also nobody at CL knows anything about Sea Ceptor so there would be no additive benefit.

The fitting of the soft launch tubes/system will have nothing to do with the availability of reloads.

John
John
1 month ago

They’d do well to look at the armaments fitted to the fleet. This “designed for but not equipped” policy has left us with a fleet that has no teeth

jason
jason
1 month ago

Why do we have so few destroyers?

Marcus FARRINGTON
Marcus FARRINGTON
1 month ago
Reply to  jason

Because they are ridiculously expensive and having only 6 in total you are lucky to field 2 at any one time.Dont get me started on the engine problems…..

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago

They could look at a AAW version of the A140/T31 if needs to be done in a rush. Might have to snip the PAAMs ystem a bit or fit Albatross/CAMM-ER type system. The Danes seem to fit a lot onto their IH ships. The A140 for Poland also looks very well armed and might be good enough for second tier AAW/ASuW/ASW . Not sure what the exact missile fitout is but a recent image shows 4 mk41 like vls.

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

The Type 31s are primarily limited by budget. If price was no object they could easily do a second tier role of AAW, even anti-ballistics. But if the next Type 26s are bought at the snail’s pace of the current batch, they’ll need to fit out the GP frigates for ASW in the 2030s instead.

Jon
Jon
1 month ago

You can easily argue it the other way around. There are ridiculously expensive because there are so few. I think it’s because MoD had a shrinking budget at the turn of the millennium and they couldn’t figure how to get value for money. They still haven’t. They tried going in with the French and Italians, and that failed. They ordered from BAE in small batches of three to space out payments, cancelling the last 6 entirely, and that pushed the price up even more. Then BAE, which had recently bought up VT, built stuff all over the place and couldn’t… Read more »

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Agreed.
Wasn’t the original price nearer £500M? Total was £1B each?

Then to “save” money we stretched the build time so instead of paying £160M a year (x 3 years), we paid £130M a year (x6!) thereby “saving” £30M a year. (figures are not accurate, just making a point).

Grinch
Grinch
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

Type 45’s cost an average of 650 million each to build according to MoD.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  Grinch

Got the £1B each off this
https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmselect/cmpubacc/372/372.pdf
Includes R&D of course but wasn’t actual final price, just the estimate before the first was finished – £6.46B for 6 ships. 30% over original price.
Was the £650M you mention what they thought it would be at the start (i.e. if we’d got 12 ships) maybe or is it ‘just the ship, no R&D’?

Rob N
Rob N
1 month ago

I hope the faster PIP will bring forward the Sea Viper Evolution plans. We need Sea Ceptor, ASTER 30 block 1 and the radar/C2 on these ships ASAP. The PIP upgrade dock time appears an ideal time to do all the upgrades at once…. this would reduce the overall time the ships would be out of service.

Mike
Mike
1 month ago

Excellent can we accelerate a few more programs. Like the CH3 and Typhoons getting Radar 2 for example.

Matt
Matt
1 month ago

As a project manager (granted, outside the defence industry) I can’t imagine why it would take 770 days to complete a project of that complexity. I’ve completed projects in the 100’s of millions with materials and advanced equipment procured world wide with schedules far shorter. It boggles my mind the cost and duration these upgrades are noted to require.

Does anyone have some insight? To me it’s beyond explanation.

Jonno
Jonno
1 month ago

We need a new super yard in England come what may. Lots of land with deep water good transport and a population to be trained and willing to get their hands dirty.
The question is where?

Andrew
Andrew
30 days ago

You never know, with some of the Tory candidates pledging 3% on defence we might be able to build another 6 Type 45’s, followed by 12 of their replacements.