In welcome news, First Sea Lord Tony Radakin has stated that the Type 31 Frigates will be ‘fitted for but not with’ the MK41 VLS missile launcher should the warships be required to operate the new surface-to-surface missile system.

During a session of the Defence Committee today, the First Sea Lord said:

“Part of the debate that we’re having is that it’s going to be ‘fitted for’ MK41 launchers but not ‘with’ at the moment. That starts to become part of our lethality debate, particularly around a surface-to-surface weapon and do we extend that programme to include the Type 31.”

The surface to surface weapon project, known as the Future Cruise/AntiShip Weapon, aims to replace Storm Shadow/SCALP air launched cruise missile in operational service in the UK and France as well as Exocet anti-ship missile in France and Harpoon anti-ship missile in the UK. It is expected to be able to fit in the Mk41 VLS.

The Mk 41 Vertical Launching System is a modular, below deck sited, missile launcher system that makes use of silos to launch and store missiles. The UK intends to use it on the Type 26 Frigate.

A Tomahawk missile being launched from the Mark 41 Vertical Launching System aboard United States Navy destroyer USS Farragut

We already knew that the Type 31 frigate would be equipped with the Sea Ceptor missile system and will be equipped with one Bofors 57mm Mk3 and two Bofors 40mm naval guns.

Jeremy Quin, Minister for Defence Procurement, stated recently in response to a written Parliamentary question:

“It is intended that the Type 31 frigate will be equipped with the Sea Ceptor missile system and will be equipped with one Bofors 57mm Mk3 and two Bofors 40mm naval guns, in addition to a range of highly advanced weapon and sensor systems.

These include a sophisticated combat system with 4D air and surface surveillance, target indication radar and the capability to operate a Merlin or Wildcat helicopter.”

Recently, Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace cut the first steel for the first of the Royal Navy’s five new Type 31 frigates, HMS Venturer.

Hosted at Babcock’s facility in Rosyth, Scotland, where the Type 31 ‘Inspiration class’ ships are being built, representatives from across UK and international industry and public service, witnessed the historic ceremony signalling the official start of the build programme alongside employees and representatives from the local community.

The event also saw Babcock’s new assembly hall named ‘The Venturer Building’ – paying homage to the first new class of frigates to be built in the facility.

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ChariotRider
ChariotRider
16 days ago

OK I know it is ‘fit for, not with’ at this stage, but this is definately good news as it sounds like the RN / MoD recognise that these frigates could be significantly up armed. As it is the Mk41 VLS the RN will not have anything to put in them until the Anglo-French FC/ASW weapon comes along, so FFNW is a sensible approach for the moment. Another question springs to mind. Is the I-SSGW going a head or are they leaning towards a VLS weapon? My understanding is that the leading contendors were cannister launched. Also, I wonder if… Read more »

James Fennell
James Fennell
16 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I suspect the reason for the delay with I-SSGW is because the RN wants the FCASW in surface sooner than planned (by 2028 I think), so is it better to invest in acelerating FCASW and give all the future escorts (T26/T31/T32/T83) Mk 41 VLS. Longer term it makes sense, but leaves a gap, in which case Harpoon can soldier on for a few more years.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
16 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Hmm, that sounds like a bit of a risk if FCASW runs into techie problems James, Having said that I would support the risk taking if, and it is a big IF, a proper risk assessment has been done. That is, what are the chances of the project being delayed and what are the chances that we need a SSM capability in the meantime… In my experience there is a serious optimism bias right across the procurement process. Mind you it is nice to hear that the MoD is looking to speed something up rather than slow it down, and… Read more »

James Fennell
James Fennell
16 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

CR agreed, an alternative to FCASW could be mulled if it goes pearshaped – I suspect. France/RN wanted a supersonic (mach 5) 300km primarily antiship missile, the RAF a subsonic 500km primarily for land attack. I think they want both now, and MBDA shows both concepts. However the supersonic missile is based on the French MBDA ASMP nuclear strike missile airframe, so its in effect an evolution of a prior weapon – with dual mode medium altitude for land attack and sea skimming anti-ship. I imagine a lot of the avionics can also be evolved from Storm Shadow and Exocet.… Read more »

Last edited 16 days ago by James Fennell
eclipse
eclipse
15 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

I think you mean hypersonic for what France and the RN wanted; however, I have a question here. I have also read that the idea is a hypersonic anti-ship weapon and a stealth subsonic land attack weapon. But has it not been said that the key problem with hypersonic missiles is their lack of manoeuvrability, and hence losing a radar contact of something that moves could cause it to miss entirely? This, obviously, can’t happen with land attack missiles since buildings and bases can’t really move. Would not a subsonic anti-ship missile with some loiter capability, in case the radar… Read more »

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
15 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

Hi eclipse, I think the reaosning is to do with the level of air defence available for the two target sets. Land based targets even static ones are often very poorly defended except by fighters. High value maritime targets e.g. carriers are usually defended by destroyers, often with very capable AAW systems e.g. US AB’s and UK T45’s. These system have a week spot, namely hypersonic missiles. The reaction time is very very small when faced with a hypersonic missile so it has a high chance of getting through the defences. Another point to note is that the sea doesn’t… Read more »

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
15 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Thanks James,

I am not really up to spped of FCASW so that was helpful – I really should do some research 🙂

Cheers CR

that guy
that guy
16 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

No offical conformation on Sea Ceptor missile numbers, most likely 12 or 24. For your other question, I think I-SSGW will be canister launched to allow easier integration and that it being an interim, expensive refits to put VLS tubes could be avoided, as its for the 5 GP Type 23 which are due to leave service.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
16 days ago
Reply to  that guy

Thanks that guy,

Pretty much as I understood it. I guess we’ll only find out when the final procurement decision is announced.

Cheers CR

James Fennell
James Fennell
16 days ago
Reply to  that guy

I’d rather they spent the I-SSGW money on five sets of eight Mk 41 VLS. Those missiles will be redundant soon after they are installed, and the temptation will be to cross deck them to Type 31 rather than fit the VLS. Something like NSM is a good stop gap, but not a patch on FCASW (Mach 5, 300km range), LRASM or Tomahawk Block V – all of which could go in a Mk 41 VLS, which can also house more Sea Ceptor, CAMM-ER or future longer ranged SAMs which are sensor agnostic, and even ASROC.

Last edited 16 days ago by James Fennell
Deep32
Deep32
16 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

I would hazard a guess and say that we will be putting more than just FCASM into those Mk 41 tubes.
We could all speculate as to what that might be, but, just can’t see it being upto 24 FCASW missiles.

David
David
16 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Speaking of cross-decking, why not cross-deck the 32 Sea-Ceptor missiles from the retiring Type 23s to the 31s? The missiles are already available and paid for. No additional missiles need be to procured so should be cost neutral (barring ancillary/installation costs etc.,).

Meirion x
Meirion x
15 days ago
Reply to  David

Most of the Sea Ceptor from the retiring T23’sj are moving across to the T26’s which have 48 cells each, of there will be a shortfall unless more are brought, the first two T26’s are to have new sets of SC.

Pompeyblokeinoxford
Pompeyblokeinoxford
15 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Type 45 fitted for but not with Mk 41 silos, and look what’s happened to that idea.

Derek
Derek
1 hour ago

Well at least that makes it cost neutral. We just transfer the ‘fitted for but not with’ Mk41 silos from the T45’s to the T31’s and the bonus is that there is an extra ‘not fitted’ one left over to ‘not store in the warehouse’.

Pompeyblokeinoxford
Pompeyblokeinoxford
9 minutes ago
Reply to  Derek

You should be a finance manager in the MOD, that’s providing you’re not already.

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago

This is where the navy played a blinder getting cheap big hulls with minimal weapons fit. They got their hulls agreed and now they have time to negotiate increases lethality.

Im betting the T31 will have a good weapons fit by the time the last hull leaves the slips.

32 sea ceptors and some form of AsuW, land attack missile would be my bet.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Hi Jonathan, I’ve been saying this for years, build the platform as big as you can with maximum flexibility and adaptability that you can design in. NEVER ever wait for some fancy widget that company XYZ has been promising for the last 20 years, just get the platform built. Then keep the systems updated as part of the normal support cycle. The reason for this is easy to see. Platforms last longer than the tech they carry so it is pointless to build the platform around a particular piece of tech, especially as the platform can take quite sometime to… Read more »

Peregrine16
Peregrine16
16 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Completely agree CR. Remember those ships built around Sea Slug! And the Type 42’s (especially the Batch 1’s) which had no development potential. Options are good and sheer size creates options. All looking very encouraging 👍

Meirion x
Meirion x
15 days ago
Reply to  Peregrine16

“And the Type 42’s (especially the Batch 1’s) which had no development potential”

That was because at the time, the Labour Chan. did Not like RN warships over a certain size!

Last edited 15 days ago by Meirion x
Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Meirion x

Quite correct on that one Meirion from the mid 60ts too the 70ts the Soviet appeasing Labour Government withdrew the CVA 1 programme leaving 1 type 82 good old Bristol ,the under armed 21s Superstructures which melt( Aluminium) and batch 1, T42s inadequate fire pumps Nylon actionworking dress N8s

andy reeves
andy reeves
14 days ago
Reply to  Meirion x

leave politics off here please.

andy reeves
andy reeves
14 days ago
Reply to  Peregrine16

i served in 1982 on h.m.s antrim the seaslug was so poor that ont the way south to the falklands a test firing of the system resulted in it just about getting off the launcher it only just cleared the stern! the magazine ran almost the full lrngth of the ship turning a county class destroyer into a floating bomb.adding seacat made the ship more lethal than the gosport ferry.

Peregrine16
Peregrine16
12 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

The navy really did a fantastic job in 1982 having to head south with some very inappropriate ships but going nonetheless. I salute you for going into harms way in the floating bomb. The Seaslug ships are surely the best example of ship built around and eventually compromised by a single weapon system. The new approach seems much more sensible, recognising that the platform has a longer life expectancy than it’s initial weapons fit and must be upgradeable and relevant for is whole life. The Type 23’s seem to be doing well in this regard.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
16 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Then you are not a hostage to the fortunes of the tech.

Decouple the tech development and the ship building.

Fit the ship with mature tech with space for the developed tech.

expat
expat
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I think this is just by virtue the original Danish design had VLS, so pretty much they’ve left that part of the design unchanged so VLS can be fitted later.

Paul42
Paul42
16 days ago
Reply to  expat

FFBNW. As you say, it merely means leaving the space free…….costs nothing, sounds good, but effectively means nothing…….

David
David
16 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

Regrettably you are right Paul. FFBNW is an easy way of letting the penny pinchers off the hook. When has FFBNW actually been fulfilled? The Type 45s were FFBNW Mk 41 VLS. Granted, years later (now) they will get a Sea Ceptor missile fit – which mind, will take an incredulous 5 yrs just to start installing on the first ship! – but in my opinion, the Mk41 offered much more versatility than the addition of Sea Ceptor. That said, I do agree with the sentiment of some here that the RN played a smart hand – get the hulls… Read more »

Paul42
Paul42
16 days ago
Reply to  David

The sad thing is, the much olderType 23 will be able to sink the sparkling new Type 31 with ease, even with its older weapons fit……one step forward and 3 steps back…..

David Steeper
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

Harpoon would struggle to get past Sea Ceptor and the 40mm’s. No guarantee it would get through. 40’s are superior to 20’s in CIWS role.

DJ
DJ
15 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

No need for Harpoon to take out a T31. Sit back & hammer it with the 4.5”. Even if you managed to close the range, the 57mm will struggle to do any real damage. Every hit from one of those 4.5’s though, is going to hurt.

David Steeper
15 days ago
Reply to  DJ

57mm wil get off minimum of 10 shells for every 1 4.5. I know where i’d rather be.

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  DJ

57mm I expect the Gunners sponge out the Barrel with a Qtip nuff said

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

Spot on ,fair enough The Bristol had the first mk 8 turret 1973 and it still going the mk 8 not the Bristol, its a good AA and SU Armament

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
16 days ago
Reply to  David

Isnt the new PODS concept a way of getting around this problem. ? If we have multiple PODS for sensors, weaponry, UAVs, USSVs, Mine clearance etc and you just plug in what you need for a set mission. That way every ship is fitted for almost everything. The USN is experimenting in this concept for their MUSV and LUSV programmes and recently fitted 2 MUSVs with Standard SM6 missiles in podded silos. Total loadout was just 16 missiles but each ship of 1500 tons could hold upto 36. Thats a heavy load for a vessel just 1500 tons. Warships IFR… Read more »

Leedstiffer
Leedstiffer
12 days ago
Reply to  David

The QE carriers when ordered by the last labour guvt were announced a s FFBNW cats and traps, but when the Tories wanted to call on this capability and have the cats and traps fitted whilst they were still in early build stages to give them options on other aircraft in case the (at the time) still to fly F35B failed or they wanted to cross deck with allies they found it couldn’t be done without massive delays and overrun costs courtesy of the stitch up of the contracts. Other than the claimed increases in sortie rates, o di not… Read more »

James Fennell
James Fennell
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Next we want a bow sonar.

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

I had thought they were planning to put in a Thales UMS 4110, really stupid if they don’t.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Agree steel is cheap but the fitted for but not with has left type 45 a very specislised air defence only asset when if mk41 strike length cells had been fitted all 6 could have had a very potent surface strike ability via tomahawk or anti ship/ Anti subdelivery via LRASM/ASROC respectively.
Im happy if the RN actually goes ahead and orders some weapons because god forbid we have to face a peer or near peer opponent with a large number of warships and subs….like PLAN.

Meirion x
Meirion x
15 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

A T45 Needs all the vls cells available for air defense only, with only 48 cells now, and 72 cells in the future. As a specislised AAW vessel.

Last edited 15 days ago by Meirion x
Quentin D63
Quentin D63
15 days ago
Reply to  Meirion x

As a major naval asset if should also have some decent secondary ASuW and AShW ability. It can’t just go to sea for shooting things out of sky. There’s no 100% tailored warfare” scenarios out there. There’ll be a need for engagement with key role and secondary role capabilities.

David
David
15 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Unfortunately the PLAN has more ships than we have missiles and torpedoes combined! Ok, a little bit of drama there but you get my point.

The PLAN build rate is frightening. Even if build quality is not up to par with Western ships, nor would I say is their crew training, they can afford loose many more ships that we can. If it ever came to a punch up, I think our (Western/Asian allies) attack boats will play a major role in mitigating the PLAN’s numerical advantage!

eclipse
eclipse
15 days ago
Reply to  David

I agree. No matter how many ships the ocean is much, much bigger and if they can’t find an Astute or a Virginia that will decide the day. Today surface warships can only project power if you have control underwater as well.

Steve R
Steve R
15 days ago
Reply to  David

To be honest, the PLAN might see their massive surface fleet as a way to dominate the South and East China Seas and push the US and allies (including us) out into the Pacific, but without credible submarines to back them up, Astutes and Virginias will simply see a rich hunting ground.

Leedstiffer
Leedstiffer
12 days ago
Reply to  David

We have forgotten the lesson that the allies taught the Germans in ww2. It’s all well and good knowing your weapon will kill 5 of the enemy for every one you lose, but when the enemy can build 6 in the same time as you build 1…you lose! At the tank museum in Bovington is a plaque next to the first Sherman tank we received from the USA. On it is quote from a US PoW camp guard who recalled a conversation with a captured 88 AT gun commander. The yank asked the German how with their superior equipment like… Read more »

Last edited 12 days ago by Leedstiffer
Ngatimozart
Ngatimozart
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

If the RN was smart it would plan for at least 24 strike length Mk-41 VLS cells in the Type 31, however 32 would be better. That gives it the versatility to utilise any weapon that is integrated into the Mk-41. The next point is that Sea Ceptor is integrated into the Mk-41 VLS in quad packed cannisters. For example a load out could be 32 Sea Ceptor in 8 Mk-41 cells, 8 Tomahawk LACM missiles in another 8 cells, and 8 or 16 medium to long range SAM in the remaining cells. AShM can be in deck mounted cannisters… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
15 days ago
Reply to  Ngatimozart

Can’t disagree, I’m sure the RN would go for MK41s at the build stage, but they can only work within their budget, so it’s more about what they can cleverly wheedle out of the treasury.

Daveyb
Daveyb
15 days ago
Reply to  Ngatimozart

Hi Mate, A while back Lockheed Marin and MBDA did some trials on the 3 cell extensible launching system (ExLS). The ExLS basically based on the Mk41 and it successfully launch 2 Sea Ceptors – see attached link: VLS_3_Cell_ExLS_Launcher_Product_Card_8.5x11_042419.pdf (lockheedmartin.com) As stated on the MBDA website: “The compact vertical launch 3-cell ExLS system is specifically designed for smaller naval platforms that are unable to accommodate the larger 8-cell MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS). ExLS has also been designed to fit inside the MK 41 launcher (ie ExLS Host), offering flexible, adaptable installation solutions for larger ships to achieve high… Read more »

Julian
Julian
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I’m still struggling to understand quite where T32 fits into all of this. Some have speculated, including me, that the T32 might essentially subsume the Hunt/Sandown replacement program by serving the role of MCM motherships while at the same time being classed as frigates so that the government can boast about increased escort numbers even if, once 13 Hunt/Sandown vessels being decommissioned is factored in, it’s actually an overall reduction in ship numbers. My confusion is, since T32 are to be frigates, what special characteristics will they have that mandates a new class rather than simply increasing the number of… Read more »

Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts
15 days ago
Reply to  Julian

Ther is a small graphic here : https://www.navylookout.com/a-big-future-for-uk-shipbuilding/ under the heading ‘UK Shipbuilding Plan’ which classifies Type 31 and type 32 as ‘Semi commercial warships’

Given that, I assume they will be very similar in build and weapons fit-out.

John Clark
John Clark
16 days ago

I would fund a robust local area air defence capability first by ensuring the T31 carries the same number of Sea Ceptor as the outgoing T23, before I moved ahead with Surface to Surface strike capability.

These ships will probably end up escorting task groups on lower end tasks, counter terrorism, piracy etc, so throwing a 15 mile robust air defence umbrella, with enough missiles, around the group seems a sensible first step to me.

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Yes upping the number of Seaceptors would seem to be the most important, especially as it has an AsuW capability as well.

that guy
that guy
16 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Well you could do a bit of both, quad-pack a few and the rest for land-attack or surface-to-surface missiles; likely FC/ASW

Meirion x
Meirion x
15 days ago
Reply to  that guy

Quad-packing CAMM is a Waste of very expensive VLS cells at £millions for a set of 8. CAMM cells are cheap at, in the order of £10k’s each! The CAMM is contained in it’s own canister.

Last edited 15 days ago by Meirion x
Frank62
Frank62
16 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

An escort must be capable of AA/SAM, anti-Surface & ASW. Faffing around with the idea of negligable SAM/AShM/ASW is idiotic negligence by HMG & the MOD.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
15 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Totally agree with you Frank. How difficult is this decision process? The obvious should be bleedingly obvious! As my old Maths teacher use to say… “playing silly buggers” with all this.

David Barry
David Barry
16 days ago

Soon to be head of the armed forces… the Army might find the T31s get fitted for and with in short order.

Crabfat
Crabfat
16 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

Are the Army getting T31s now? How will they sail them over Salisbury Plain? Talk about flexibility!

Just joking…

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago
Reply to  Crabfat

They will come with a set of wheels (optional)the boat bays will have small armour recon vehicles to replace the Ribs.

David Barry
David Barry
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

That’s an interesting idea, the Army could float in some braid every few years to manage the project, who would need junior braid to support it and after spaffing another 5Bn come to the conclusion we need a civvie in charge to spaff more money

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

Clearly Barry you have an inside track into Army procurement and the requirement for huge amounts of money to be pissed up the wall to show how clever And important the very senior people are. We all know money spaffing = importance.

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Also at 250 million a pop they will end up cheaper than the present army procurements.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

FFBNW with wheels – get it right…..

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Crabfat

On Tracks Like a DD tank obviously Crabfat

expat
expat
16 days ago

It would be interesting to know if the T31 is to follow the Parker report recommendation. Which was not let hulls go through an expensive midlife refit and instead order new hulls and sell off the old. So I do wonder of the benefit of FFNW for batch 1 T31s.

But I guess the original design had them so just leave the space prepped to receive the MK41 VLS tubes, so this is more to do with selecting the Danish design than a RN decision to add the feature.

Last edited 16 days ago by expat
ChariotRider
ChariotRider
16 days ago
Reply to  expat

Hi expat, I’m not sure that recommendation will ever see the light of day because it assumes there will be someone will to buy pretty much all of the RN’s hulls for the finances to work. Given that some many second tier navies want a home grown build and repair capability the number of countries who would buy second hand RN ships appears to be dwindling. Secondly, it may not preclude the FFNW approach as most second users will want to up date the ships to their own requirements. Build the ships too specific to the RN’s requirements and there… Read more »

Peregrine16
Peregrine16
16 days ago
Reply to  expat

This feels like a case of “softly softly catchee monkey”. Odds on now that there will be full MK41 fit-Out at OIC.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
16 days ago
Reply to  Peregrine16

Let’s hope so.

However, there is no sign on the US FDS website of any more Mk41 VLS being ordered than are needed for T26 build rates.

Granted the agreement to sell the UK Mk41 VLS is pretty vague at to total numbers and has no, visible, upper cap on it.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
16 days ago
Reply to  expat

Ive got a feeling by 2030s when follow up batches are being ordered we will be needing to keep the type 31s. Has anyone seen the projections of just how big the PLAN surface and sub surface fleet will be by 2030s? Answer is huge. With qualitative catch up on Western navies especially USN around the same time. China is building a fleet not to just provide localised superiority to USN but to project power whenever and wherever president Xi chooses. The Western world collectively needs to wake up. Any and all capable warships are needed. The RN surface fleet… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
15 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Now here’s a novel idea, all be it an old one! And with air to air refuelling? “It may have been with that in mind that plans for the 747 CMCA began to form. But for a short window of time, the United States seemed to be in need of a heavy-payload aircraft that had enough endurance to cross entire oceans to engage enemy targets. Some believed converting an existing commercial platform to carry the recently-developed AGM-86 air-launched cruise missiles made the most sense from an economic standpoint, and Boeing’s 747 seemed like just the right aircraft for the job.… Read more »

Last edited 15 days ago by Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
15 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Another point worth considering.

“China’s rocket force has an extraordinary reach with its DF-26 and DF-21 missiles, with ranges of 2,490 and 1,335 miles respectively, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.”

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2020/12/14/the-us-navy-has-an-upgraded-tomahawk-heres-5-things-you-should-know/

Meirion x
Meirion x
15 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

The Chinese population will be shrinking fast in 2030s! The baby broomers born between 1962 and 1978 when a large proportion of the population was born will be well past it, and into retirement! China has presently a low base of fertile women, due to the one child policy in the last 40 years. And certainly the Chicom’s will search for more COVID like solutions in order to shrink the pensioner base.

Last edited 15 days ago by Meirion x
Daveyb
Daveyb
15 days ago
Reply to  Meirion x

Are you suggesting that Covid was not an act of God………

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

I Suggest that you pass that information on to The World Health Organisation remember the Chinese Communiist Party are Atheists Davey

DaveyB
DaveyB
15 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Lol

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

I Prayed 🙏 your’ed say that hallelujah

Meirion X
Meirion X
14 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Yes! The CCP have No morals!

David
David
15 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Absolutely Mr Bell. The PLAN’s build rate is astounding and shows no sign of slowing. I will say for today at least, the Western navies are ahead qualitatively. I’m sure you saw it recently reported that the RN Type 23s found two Chinese boats snooping around the QEC strike group and the accompanying Astute boat found another one – 3 boats found within just 6hrs. Apparently the current crop of Chinese boats are very noisy indeed! In my opinion, Xi is keeping his powder dry until he is confident he has the numerical superiority needed to defeat the USN such… Read more »

Expat
Expat
15 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

I don’t disagree. And that doesn’t include include the PAFMM

Bringer of facts
Bringer of facts
16 days ago

A small step in the right direction, maybe all our concerns have been heard?
Better still: just fit them.

Dan
Dan
16 days ago

Interesting news, but I’m wondering how the T31 can be fitted “for but not with” missile silos. What does this mean? Will there be space reserved for where the silos would be installed? Will there be other infrastructure (like cabling) fitted ready for them during construction?

Paul42
Paul42
16 days ago
Reply to  Dan

Pretty much, yes! The ship was designed to have them, but our penny pinching lot will just have the empty space instead……not a really a move forward at all……

Paul T
Paul T
16 days ago
Reply to  Dan

Perhaps the Crew will get benefit from another MK41 Gym.

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

Or Drying rooms as we’ve lost our Chinese laundry men after the 97 handover

that guy
that guy
16 days ago

Good news! Hopefully they can make use of the the ‘quad-packing’ feature for a few of the cells to increase Sea Ceptor missile loud out, and the others for FC/ASW or whatever the T26 uses for its Mk41.

Meirion x
Meirion x
15 days ago
Reply to  that guy

Sea Ceptor will have their own individual cells for a total of 48 a ship.
Quad-packing CAMM is a Waste of very expensive VLS cells at £millions for a set of
8. CAMM cells are cheap, in the order of £10k’s each! The CAMM is contained in it’s own canister which are put into a cell and connected up to the electronics.

Last edited 15 days ago by Meirion x
DJ
DJ
15 days ago
Reply to  Meirion x

I understand that the ExLS stand alone units (3 quad packable cells) is a lot cheaper (than mk41). They are built light & don’t have the overhead required for hot launch.

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago

Out of interest does anyone know where they would likely fit the Mk 41s, as far as I can tell, they would need to be where the Seaceptor farm is in the present design and intrude into the area designated as one of the mission bays ?

John Hartley
John Hartley
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I am not sure, but I think I saw an illustration of a small VLS where the forward 40 mm gun is. So you could swap the forward 40mm for a small VLS.

DJ
DJ
15 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

The design can take 4 sets of 8 cell mk41 where the current CAMM system is going without effecting mission bay or boat bays. There is plenty of room for both, depending on how many mk41 you intend to fit & how many CAMM. I don’t see them fitting more than 1 or 2 sets of mk41. If they wanted to, they could switch CAMM into ExLS stand alone 3 cell quad packable, in which case 2 sets (24 CAMM) would fit in less space than a single 8 cell mk41.

Daveyb
Daveyb
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

As John says below, Babcock have shown a VLS farm fitted in two positions. The first is where the forward 40mm is located. The second is behind the mast structure in front of the Sea Ceptor where the canister SSM are located on the DSEI 2021 model. They have also show that the Sea Ceptor “farm” can be located where the forward 40mm gun is located. To free up more space amidships

John Hartley
John Hartley
15 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Do we need a 40mm forward when there is a 57mm on the bow? Maybe put Seaceptor VLS instead of the forward 40mm, then fit a decent size Mk41 midships?

DaveyB
DaveyB
15 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Perhaps. Depending on the available funds, I think it would be better to replace the forward 40 with the 57, then put a 5” in the 57’s original position. I would go one stage further and replace the other 40 mounted on the hangar with another 57, but have it mounted on a pedestal magazine. Thereby making sure the ship has 360 degree coverage by the two 57s. If they need a smaller calibre gun, then depending on the strength of the steps either side of the hangar, put the two 40s on each step. Perhaps on a plinth that… Read more »

John Hartley
John Hartley
15 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

The 40mm does not penetrate the deck, but the 57mm does, so not sure how you could put a 57 on the Hangar roof without the magazine underneath taking up much of the hanger.

DaveyB
DaveyB
14 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

BAe/Bofors have a non deck penetrating pedestal mount that the 57 sits on. This contains a dual feed magazine. From what I remember, the gun holds 120 ready rounds split between dual deeds and the pedestal magazine holds another 200. There haven’t been any navies that use the pedestal, as they all use the below deck magazine. But then they only have the one gun. The Zumwalt was I believe one of the few ships to have two 57s, but these were replaced by 30mm bushmasters for some reason?

John Hartley
John Hartley
14 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

So doable though their maybe stability issues having weight that high?

Roy
Roy
16 days ago

Let’s be honest, “For but not with” almost always means “For but never with”. The options are rarely exercised.

The even bigger gap at this point appears to be the apparent absence of any sonar capabilities. Wildcat itself provides no capability in that regard either since its torpedo drops would rely on ship sensor capabilities.

Ron5
Ron5
15 days ago
Reply to  Roy

Amen

Liam
Liam
16 days ago

Is Artisan up to the job?

DJ
DJ
15 days ago
Reply to  Liam

Not being used.

Liam
Liam
15 days ago
Reply to  DJ

Thanks for the correction.

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
16 days ago

Increasing ‘lethality’ … right. So, how long will this and other ships, like big sparkly aircraft carriers last against a hypersonic missile?

I should imagine hypersonic missiles will make surface fleets obsolete surely?

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

To be honest the hypersonic missile is still only one part of the kill chain, they have weaknesses related to the kill chain like any other weapon and some weaknesses specific to themselves, they really light up where they are and where they have come from, terminal guidance is a massive challenge ( the missile can’t see anything itself ) as is any final course adjustments. Hypersonic weapons are probably going to better on fixed targets, not sneaky boats and ships where finding,identification and tracking before the enemy can see you is more important ( what’s better the unseen missile… Read more »

Matt
Matt
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Maybe in the not too distant future, Hypersonic missiles won’t even need to hit the ship. Just detonate it’s onboard nuke roughly in the vicinity, fleet gone, job done.
Or can hypersonic missiles not be fitted with nuclear warheads?
[email protected]

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago
Reply to  Matt

Hi Matt, ICBM are Essentially hypersonic, at burn out an ICBM will be doing around Mach 23, your average MIRV is coming in to the atmosphere at 15,000mph, it then slows a bit due to air resistance. It’s why almost all Anti ballistic missile system is a bit of a joke when it comes to ICBMs ( whatever anyone may say, all the tests are against single re-entry vehicles, via a pre planned intercept).

David Steeper
15 days ago
Reply to  Matt

If anyone fires a nuke at our sovereign territory which a warship is. They’ll do so in the knowledge that we can return the favour. Unless they have a death wish they won’t.

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Hi Jonathan
I was thinking out loud to a degree, and looking forward a little. I was ‘impressed’ if that is the right way of putting it, with the images of the Martlet lightweight missile. It looks so … small!

With technology moving at such a pace, something that small or along those lines will be able to ‘take out’ ships in due course.

Not something lots of people would like to hear, especially the US with all the carriers that they have.

Jonathan
Jonathan
15 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

to be honest I takes surprisingly little to mission kill modern warships, even small warheads are capable of doing so, look at the case of USS Worden, this AAW cruiser was effectively mission killed by a pair of shrikes ( with 65kg fragmentation warheads), the ship lost power, had to return to port and took 10 days to repair.

Tams
Tams
16 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

The moment a hypersonic missile hits a carrier (or any ship), all hell breaks loose. No nation attacked in such a way would let it lie and would retaliate.

I assume you mean China or Russia here. If so, if they did attack in such a way then they had better be prepared for the horrible consequences.

Daveyb
Daveyb
15 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

Far from it, its just another threat to deal with. It will also depend if the ship is sailing on its own or is part of a task group that includes a carrier. The carrier is the ace in the pack. Not because of the fighters it carries but because of the organic AEW. Even if this is a Crowsnest equipped Merlin. It has the ability with its Searchwater 2000 radar to push out the horizon to 130nm (240km) when operating at its 15,000ft max operating altitude. For a hypersonic missile flying at 5m above sea level, this will be… Read more »

DP
DP
16 days ago

The only space I see shown on T31 renderings for a ‘vertical launch system’ are where the Sea Ceptor missiles appear to be being planned, midships. Does a VLS system replace the Sea Ceptor silo location and, in doing so, allow for both the operation of Sea Ceptor and whatever else the RN would choose to go in a Mk 41 or is it a separate set of adjacent silos or indeed silos in a completely different location? Next to the existing, planned location for SeaCeptor kind of implies Mission Bay space might be reduced? Canisters adjacent to the Sea… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
16 days ago
Reply to  DP

Mk57 variant does if you are asking what I think you are.

Last edited 16 days ago by Spyinthesky
Lusty
Lusty
15 days ago
Reply to  DP

Given the various configuration possibilities, I believe it’s possible to fit at least a Mk57 where the forward 40mm is on the current imagery of Type 31.

Steve M
Steve M
15 days ago
Reply to  DP

on the Iver H all the mk41 & mk56 vls cells go in the missile deck amidships. so in GP role with 12😠 sea ceptor they would have mission spaces, but when/if required remove deck plates etc drop in mk41 VLS into the STANFLEX area on Iver H to make escort frigate…….. i’m sure we have all discussed this once or twice!

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
16 days ago

With all due respect, does remind me of last week’s T31 article and the “gist” of my post thereon – which I thought innocuous enough, but ended up a wee bit of hard work.

Brom
Brom
16 days ago

Why are they called the inspiration class? I thought the lead ship ‘named’ the class, am I just a dumb ex
squaddie?

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago
Reply to  Brom

Its not one of the best warship class names. Maybe its because shooting a 57mm across the bows of a drug dealer/pirate boaty will inspire them to join a seminary and find god or something such like.

Last edited 16 days ago by Jonathan
Sean
Sean
16 days ago
Reply to  Brom

I think the idea is that it’s called the Inspiration class, as the individual ships are named after previous RN ships which could all be said to have been inspirational in their service 🤷‍♂️

David Steeper
15 days ago
Reply to  Brom

Be grateful they’re not called the fluffy bunny I feel your pain class.

Steve
Steve
16 days ago

I would guess this comes from the desire to export them. Very few countries would want so lightly armed frigates, so having the design for more missiles and just leaving that part empty for the RN ones, means they can be sailed around the world as flashy sales brochures, at same time the MOD can say vague statements about future upgrades.

At least it leaves hope for the future.

Last edited 16 days ago by Steve
Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
16 days ago
Reply to  Steve

I think you may have hit that nail directly on the head

Geoffi
Geoffi
16 days ago

The T45s have been fitted for but not with Mk41 for over a decade.
What a load of guff this from 1LS…

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
16 days ago
Reply to  Geoffi

Radakin is not renowned for talking guff, though. Of course Ceptor is going in the T45 FFBNW void leaving the Silver silos exclusive for Viper 30, a significant overall anti-air upgrade.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
16 days ago

Crikey.
Melt down on the site given the T31 comment history.

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago

We all love a good T31 kit bashing session.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Or Rivers. I’m happy with both as is myself but there you go!

Klonkie
Klonkie
16 days ago

ha ha – good point D. I think the Rivers are fit for purpose as are. Folk forget what theses vessels were designed for and that they are not built to military specs , being closer to commercial specs.

Pete
Pete
15 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Actually….a large part of the justification for the military price tag was the upgrading of design standards to meet Royal Navy damage control and bulkhead standards compared to earlier versions sold to overseas navies. It certainly isn’t a commercial price tag at ukp130m !

The Snowman
The Snowman
15 days ago
Reply to  Pete

In the context of a discussion re T31 and B2 Rivers, I thought this was interesting. Rivers cheaper than the proposed EU OPV, T31 a bigger frigate for not much more.

https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/feindef/2021/11/03/amid-high-hopes-can-the-european-patrol-corvette-deliver/

pete
pete
14 days ago
Reply to  The Snowman

yes. I agree. there is a couple of interesting issues in this. I like the European approach that even the basic patrol version needs reasonable ability to defend itself against a variety of threats. Medium caliber gun and basic SAM load out. The baddies, if something bad were to happen wouldnt go…hey its only a patrol vessel with a 30mm…leave it alone. Would never advocate the RN OPV going out and pro-actively prosecuting violence against other military units but in far flung regions of the world strange things happen, Military units go rogue, Military coups take place and even drug… Read more »

The Snowman
The Snowman
14 days ago
Reply to  pete

Indeed Pete. The 40mm wasn’t in the fleet when the B2s were built, but that and a hangar would add greatly to the utility. Not sure what the costs would be though? Might get Martlet and a container with a drone instead?

Klonkie
Klonkie
15 days ago
Reply to  Pete

Thanks for the correction Pete.

pete
pete
14 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Apologies…Didn’t meant to come across as I did. get frustrated when some people defend their higher cost by quoting RN Standards and then those same people say they are simply a basic OPV to lesser standards and arent fit for potentially hostile tasking….unlike HMS Ocean

The River BII were of course originally meant to be fishery protection vessels…..but have significant endurance, capacity and capability. I do believe they are not far off being a highly highly versatile vessel for the navy at a time when hull numbers are an issue…but ho hum.

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago

Come on Daniele, we all know the only way to manage the increased threat from pirates with AKs, drug dealers, families in dodgy dinghies and french fishing boats is with the Rivers getting increased lethality across all domains, AAW kit, heavyweight anti ship missiles, 5 inch gun for NGS and a tail if the families dive of the dingy and hide under water.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

😆

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Lol…. I’m loving reading all this on the train going to work… At least the T31s are happening and there’s space for an upgrade and up-roling the ship and to be followed by the T32. I hope the later also has same VLSs. As a side note, I’d like to hear on any upgrade to the carriers defensive armament. Anyone heard anything new .. since last week’s posts? Lol 😁 I’m not expecting any VLS there but it’s already FFBNW…..

James Fennell
James Fennell
16 days ago

Listen to the session in full – lots of juicy stuff – see my summary further down the thread. Radakin wants Mk 41 VLS and a hypersonic FCASW with 1,000km range on everything and will dump I-SSGM to get it.

Last edited 16 days ago by James Fennell
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
16 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Good man I say.

David Steeper
15 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

It’s almost as though he knows what he’s doing ! Army I can feel your pain.

Frank62
Frank62
16 days ago

Well about time. All our escorts need an interim AShM ASAP.

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

ARSE (Acronym response and alert service engagement) team message: you have been found guilty of using two Acronyms in a row. This is your final warning before SHITs (some heavily irritated typing sessions) will be engaged.

Last edited 16 days ago by Jonathan
Crabfat
Crabfat
16 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Lets play – Bullshit Bingo! Who comes up with the longest ACRONYM wins (but no prize)

Jonathan
Jonathan
15 days ago
Reply to  Crabfat

FFBNWBSBPCNBATSMOTTDNWVAHWNSAC= Fitted for but not with because some bullshit politician could not be arsed to spend money on things that do not win votes as he will not suffer any consequences.

Crabfat
Crabfat
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

GST = Great start Jonathan!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Thought that was a station in Anglesey.

Jonathan
Jonathan
15 days ago

No if you pronounce that acronym you produce far less spit than if you say that station name.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Ha! Yes! It’s the Gwwwch sounds. Any Welsh on the site?

Andrew D
Andrew D
16 days ago

So what’s the Displacement of Type 31 guys ?

Paul T
Paul T
16 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Wiki quotes 5700 t vs 6645 t of the Iver Huitfeld class Frigates from which the design is derived.

Andrew D
Andrew D
16 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

Cheers Paul 👍

MikeKiloPapa
MikeKiloPapa
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

Thats standard vs full load displacement though. Iver’s standard displacement is a bit higher at about 6000t but both designs have similar full load figures of 6600-6700 metric tonnes.

Paul T
Paul T
15 days ago
Reply to  MikeKiloPapa

Wiki don’t quote Full Load Displacement,only short and long tons,neither do Babcocks so the specifics are not easy to find.

MikeKiloPapa
MikeKiloPapa
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

Wiki is never a reliable source. Babcock and UK in general tend to only quote standard displacement, not FL which is the norm in the rest of the world. All figures are in metric tonnes though, not short/long/imperial etc. Only the yanks still use short tonnes. While a specific FL displacement figure for T31 isnt easy to come by, at least in open sources, it IS pretty easy to make an educated and fairly accurate “guess”. T31 has exactly the same dimensions as IH and only minor changes to its superstructure, just as the propulsion package is the same. Ipso… Read more »

Klonkie
Klonkie
16 days ago

whilst this is a promising development, I think a bow sonar is a must have for a GP frigate.

James Fennell
James Fennell
16 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Listening to Radakin and the new procurement philosophy, I suspect they may get something eventually.

Klonkie
Klonkie
15 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

fingers crossed James

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
15 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

I wonder if he reads this ukdj website for any ideas and all our wonderful feedback?

James Fennell
James Fennell
16 days ago

I listened to the Defence Committee session in full. What Radakin said was very interesting. He said a ‘debate’ was underway, which is why I-SSGW has been paused, that says, do we buy a relatively short-ranged I-SSGW with limited land attack capability for £250M for 5 sets with an earliest delivery date of 2027, or do we go all in for FCASW, which (he said) is hypersonic with 1,000km range and dual anti-ship and land attack capability. Part of the ‘debate’ is should we get.Mk 41 VLS on both Type 31 and Type 32 – this would be the alternative… Read more »

Last edited 16 days ago by James Fennell
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
16 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Thank you for that heart warming summary of someone able to express what we all want and hope for as well as having a coherent strategic vision.

James Fennell
James Fennell
16 days ago

You’re welcome!:

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
16 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

If they put the mk 41Vls on the T45s, could they then move the Ceptors to between the Asters and the bridge?

And just buy more interims to cover a larger pool of T45s and T23s when required.

James Fennell
James Fennell
16 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I don’t think there is any space under there, the void is where the Sea Ceptors are going (currently used as a gym).

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
16 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

There is still space for 2 x quad canister missiles where the Harpoon are/were.

So +8 heavy something would bring T45 into the very heavy hitting league.

That can be done fast as it doesn’t involve much structural work.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
16 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Sorry to whinge on this, but it seems like too much faffing around on ASM/LAMs. Surely some greater capability than what we have at present is needed nowish? Get some of the best we can afford for now and update with later later. But always good to hear everyone’s views here and the RN is on the way up. Hope the RAF and Army get some of the same uplift.

David Steeper
15 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

RAF maybe. Army I don’t think the people in charge even think they have a problem !

Meirion x
Meirion x
15 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

No! A lot of box like structure under there.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Looking forward to absorbing this tomorrow. Thanks.

Sean
Sean
16 days ago

Surprised nobody’s yet bemoaned the fact they still lack 16” triple gun turrets for NGS and Jutland style battles…

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
16 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Give it a chance!

Lusty
Lusty
16 days ago

Hey, Daniele, I think these should have 20″ guns in quad turrets…

Last edited 16 days ago by Lusty
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
16 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

😆 . It would sink!

Lusty
Lusty
16 days ago

But people have been asking for an increase in the submarine fleet! 😏

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
16 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

😂

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
16 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Oh, the power and the glory…. Lol…imagine being on the receiving end of that lot!

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Umm I’m going to be a pedant and point out that the most powerful ships at jutland were the Elizabeth’s which had duel Mk1 15 inch turrets. We ( the U.K. only ever had 2 ships with 16inch Triple turrets ( Nelson and Rodney).

anyhows I’m sure we could find a few old gun turrets from a bygone age and stick em on a new ship. We did it before with the 10th HMS vanguard which carted around guns that fired in anger during WW1 until 1960.

David Steeper
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

There are a couple of 15 inch guns outside the Imperial War Museum !

Meirion x
Meirion x
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Our capital ships now have 21 inch torpedo tubes as guns, to fire 7m in length at 2 tons each torpedoes(Shells)!

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

i like the names HMS Rodney and Nelson, maybe for the T83 class?

Daveyb
Daveyb
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

From what I have read the King George V class were designed so that they could be later upgraded with either triple 15″ or 16″ turrets. The 14s were only there to abide with the London Naval Treaty. The 16″ were to be an evolutionary design of the Nelson’s 16″ BL Mk1, being able to fire a heavier shell and were also going to be used on the Lion class. Events however over ran the requirement. The Lion class were stopped as was the new 16″ gun and turret. Instead the production and focus was changed to corvettes, destroyers, cruisers… Read more »

Rob
Rob
16 days ago

The RN are running rings around the other services when it comes to procurement, especially the Army. So they say we need more cheap hulls then, once built, they say but we can’t use them unless you ‘up gun’ them. Then they get the frigates they wanted all along.

I bet the T31s end up with 32 Sea Ceptors and 8 anti-ship missiles.

Clever boys (oh and girls). Probably why the Navy got the CGS job.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
16 days ago
Reply to  Rob

RN got to actually order the 5 new frigates at a sensible price.

Army would have spent more than T31 cost on a prototype that would have been defective. Oh, wait sorry army actually did that didn’t they. Doh SB keep up with the times.

So whilst some may bemoan T31 specs they will

a) soon actually exist; and
b) be big hulls; and
c) be very upgradable

James Fennell
James Fennell
16 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Radakin said something good about procurement too. Type 31 has been procured in a different way – they have not made all the decisions about equipment or even design before build started, instead they allow those decisions to be made as late as possible to take advantage of new technologies and strategic needs as they emerge. He said 40 years ago they would have got 5 companies in a room (the only ones who could deliver), had a chat about the requirement and then ordered. The procurement process was much less bureacratic. These days the whole process takes forever as… Read more »

Last edited 16 days ago by James Fennell
Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
15 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

For my two pence, the T31 “no tamper” contract has to be the way to go forward.
It is what will deliver 5 ships on time and budget.
AS to the “extra” armaments, I assume these will have then to be fitted after completion of the vessels…assuming the spec we all think we know actually IS the agreed spec?

Pete
Pete
15 days ago

Spot on

Challenger
Challenger
15 days ago

Hmm, sounds like the 1SL isn’t keen on pumping £250 million or more into an interim I-SSGW. Accepting a gap and betting big on FC/ASW to provide a modern and comprehensive capability is an attractive proposition. A modest spend on adding MK41 to T31 and sharing stocks with T26 could be great but the health of the working relationship with France should be a concern and what is the alternative aside from buying American yet again?

OldSchool
OldSchool
15 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

As you said Mk41 on T31 makes sense given the T26 will also have it ( and I presume the Aussie Hunter class too). It will also give an alternative to procure US weapons if the Euro ones ( and yes France is a pain) don’t come to fruitition ( and could be a signal to MBDA that get it right or UK will by US systems).

Chris
Chris
15 days ago
Reply to  OldSchool

UK could partner will the US under the agreement that all UK purchased missiles are built by MBDA in the UK. I have doubts about the ability to deliver a hypersonic cruise missile on budget and schedule. Having US development money helps alot.

James Fennell
James Fennell
15 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

Radakin mentioned potential collaboration with the US on a hypersonic missile as back up. Jeremy Quin make a quick caveat that working with France was still the core intention – but seems like we are looking at an American joint programme as fall-back.

Last edited 15 days ago by James Fennell
Jonathan
Jonathan
15 days ago

The RN are really proving the point that the enemy of improvement is perfection. With the T31 being the shining example of this. Instead of holding out for 13 type 26s and ending up with two few hulls, they dropped their issue with a two tear fleet, got on and a accepted compromise in immediate weapons fit, while still getting big modern hulls which they are now chipping away to improve. It will not surprise me if by not holding out for perfection ( 5 GP T26s) they don’t just end up with more hulls that are actually just as… Read more »

Last edited 15 days ago by Jonathan
Paul T
Paul T
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

The compromise in having a two tier Escort Fleet was borne out of fiscal restraints imposed by HM Treasury – given the choice im sure the RN would still prefer the 5 GP Type 26’s.

Steve R
Steve R
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

I’m sure they would but instead of simply bemoaning the reduction in ships they improvised, getting an agreement from HMG to keep the same number of ships but produce 5 far cheaper ones, which are then later being up-gunned and made into what is almost as good as, if not as good, as the GP Type 26s anyway.

Paul T
Paul T
15 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

Agree,the RN were put in a position where they had to make the best of the Funding that was available to them,and hopefully when they enter service they will prove to be very useful,but if they ever find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time their vulnerablity to Sub-Surface threats could be their achilles heel.In that regard they will not be almost as good or as good as a GP Type 26.

Steve R
Steve R
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

I imagine though that they will either be operating in environments where the risk of that is almost negligible, as part of GP anti piracy or anti drugs etc patrols, or as part of a carrier strike group which has Type 26s and Type 45s, that do have sonar, plus Astutes.

Meirion x
Meirion x
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

No! They would still cost near as much but with much less capability.

coll
coll
15 days ago

Just more babble from a MOD statement

eclipse
eclipse
15 days ago
Reply to  coll

Nonsense. You should listen to what Radakin said; man talks a lot of sense and actually seems like he knows what he’s doing.

James Fennell
James Fennell
15 days ago
Reply to  coll

Parlimentary enquiry – they can go to jail for not telling the truth, in theory.

Jonathan
Jonathan
15 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Shame the true is always so gray they can pretty much say what they like and get away with it. obi wan said it best :

“you’re going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.” / “The truth is often what we make of it; you heard what you wanted to hear, believed what you wanted to believe.” …

pretty profound stuff from a film with spaceships going pew pew…

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
15 days ago

The RN certainly seem to know their way around Whitehall!!

David Steeper
15 days ago

Or Whitehall are learning their way around MoD. Sound of pennies dropping maybe.

Paul.P
Paul.P
15 days ago

Smart thinking: hope it happens. Might suggest that the spec for the interim AShM is eased a bit. If we drop the ‘terrain following’ land attack requirement we could make do with a cheap and fast upgrade to Harpoon II.

Quentin D6
Quentin D6
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Why hasn’t there been a Harpoon III developed with a land attack ability if it’s a requirement?

James Fennell
James Fennell
15 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D6

There is but Harpoon is subsonic and quite short ranged – should we invest in yesteday’s tech or tomorrow’s? China is not investing in yesterday.

Paul.P
Paul.P
15 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D6

We are currently on Harpoon I of course, which will shortly be beyond its ‘use by’ date. The motor needs refurbishing I think. My understanding is that it would in any case be easily spoofed or intercepted. I think the Australians bought a ‘cheap’ upgrade kit to convert their Harpoon Is into IIs. The upgrade gives it a service and a seeker with a smarter radar for AShM work and a GPS capability for land strike of at least littoral targets. The next most expensive option would be a missile with more seeker options: infra red and AI target recognition… Read more »

Joe16
Joe16
15 days ago

So I think the Admiral’s statements are a bit unclear, but he’s surely saying that T31 may, in the future, get FC/ASW. He’s not saying that they’ll be fitted with the interrim AShM, because that’s a cannister launched system rather than VLS. What he must be suggesting is that some T31s may get Mk41 VLS sometime in the very late 2020s or 2030s, when FC/ASW comes into service. It’s unlikely to be many, either, seeing as most NATO warships only carry 8-16 surface warfare missiles. I think that’s the final signal that we’re switching from the Sylver system to Mk41… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
14 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

Hi Joe, I wasn’t going to comment on these threads but since you called 😉 Sylver does pretty much tie the UK to European missiles and their rate of development. While theoretically it would seem possible to qualify US missiles in Sylver, it would probably be at extortionate cost, since the RN would probably be the only customer for the capability and so have to bear all the costs. One advantage of Mk41 is that the RN could have a fast track to a hypersonic missile in the form of SM-6 Block 1B. The current SM-6 is not what Radikin… Read more »

The Snowman
The Snowman
15 days ago

In the context of a discussion re T31, I thought this was interesting. Rivers cheaper than the proposed EU Corvette (‘patrol version’), T31 a bigger frigate for not much more (than the ‘combat’ version).
https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/feindef/2021/11/03/amid-high-hopes-can-the-european-patrol-corvette-deliver/

Ron5
Ron5
15 days ago

To summarize: the RN has ordered 5 of the weakest class of frigate since frigates were re-introduced at the end of WW2, the type 31s. Armed with 3 small guns and a dozen small missiles, it’s described as being for flag waving and constabulary duties and to enable exports. The RN plan is to order another class of the same with a different name: the type 32s. Their primary purpose is to increase the number of frigates as promised by recent prime ministers. The FSL says he’s looking forward to the debate of whether to increase the type 31/32’s capability.… Read more »

RobW
RobW
15 days ago

Negativity for the sake of it in the comments section – what a surprise! I have just watched the Defence Select Committee meeting with Radakin and Jeremy Quinn. It is the first time I have listen to one of these in its entirety. I have to say I am very hopeful for the future of the RN and the armed forces as a whole with Radakin at the helm. Yes we would all like things to move faster but we have a limited budget and are making it work for the RN at last. Just need a coherent plan for… Read more »

J1M
J1M
14 days ago

The advantage of fitted for but not with is if you never go to war in the lifetime of the ship you’ve saved a lot of cash.

If things start getting dicey you can fit them then.

The 45s, 26s and carriers are there ready to fight, 31s can either stay out of it or be crash fitted if needed.

But let’s face it, the 31s are for chasing pirate dows, which is a waste of time and money sending 45s or 26s.

We build these to leave the fancy, tooth’d ships for watching the Pacific.

Jason Simmons
Jason Simmons
14 days ago

I’m not sure why the RN just doesn’t do a Tomahawk Block V/Va purchase and shift I-SSGW funds into those?

Then you’ll actually have something to put into the Mk.41’s on T26 (and T31 if they ever gain Mk.41 that is) and you’ll have interim anti-ship and land attack covered off with one missile type, plus additional top-up rounds for the Astutes, should you need them…

Win-win, no?

andy reeves
andy reeves
14 days ago

fitted for but not with should have part of the tendering of the contract proposals.the Admiraly/m.o.d messed arround with the specs of these ships for so long it was embarrassing. fitted for but not with? why bother anyay.?

Ron5
Ron5
13 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

What are you talking about? Nobody “messed around with the specs”. The Type 31 competition and subsequent contract was performed in record time.

Marked
Marked
13 days ago

Ahhh, fitted for but not with. The standard configuration of seemingly every military platform these days…

Knight7572
Knight7572
11 days ago

So how many Mark 41 VLS will be added?