First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones suggested that the Royal Navy may have to remove platforms to afford new technological capabilities in a speech at DSEI.

He warned that the Royal Navy might have to sacrifice platforms to pay for new technology while announcing his far-reaching technology blueprint:

“From autonomous systems operating in squads to artificial intelligence-assisted decision making, what we’ve glimpsed over the past two years has the potential to entirely change our approach to operations.

This requires big decisions with far reaching consequences. Are we, for instance, prepared to remove existing platforms from service in order to create the financial and manpower headroom to introduce new systems which, in time, could deliver truly transformative advances in capability?

Change on this scale can be disconcerting, but if we hesitate, then we risk falling further behind.”

He then detailed plans for unmanned equipment in the Royal Navy:

“So today I can announce the Royal Navy’s aim to accelerate the incremental delivery of our future mine countermeasures and hydrographic capability (MHC) programme.

Our intention is to deliver an unmanned capability for routine mine countermeasure tasks in UK waters in 2 years’ time.

Similarly, from what we’ve seen over the past 2 years, we know it should be perfectly possible for the Type 31e frigate to operate a vertical lift unmanned air system alongside or perhaps even in place of a manned helicopter from the moment the first ship enters service from 2023.

And as a precursor to this, we plan to work with our partners in the aerospace industry to demonstrate such a capability on a Type 23 frigate next year.

So, just as I challenge the Royal Navy to take the next step forward, there’s also a challenge for you, our partners in industry, to meet us half way with credible solutions that can fulfil our requirements.”

The Royal Navy is also looking to introduce open architecture into operational service far more widely to reduce integration costs for new systems. HMS Westminster will go to sea fitted with the open architecture ‘Shared Infrastructure’ operating system.

“If successful, we will roll this system out to the rest of the Type 23s by 2020, and the remainder of the fleet thereafter.”

The Type 31 frigate will be designed with open architecture from the outset.

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farouk
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farouk

You can have the best navy ship in the world, with all the gear, problem is, with such a small number of ships, these all singing all dancing ships can’t be in two places at the same time. Funny that.

T B D'Agostino
Guest
T B D'Agostino

And that is the root cause of the problem We are at a critically low volume of ships now, if we reduce the level any more we need to then make a big decision. Are we a blue water navy or a coastal defence force?

As the present situation with Irma has shown, nothing beats ships and people onsite.

andy reeves
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andy reeves

which can also apply to any other naval power we’re gettin lasers, so maybe a star trek transporter might not be far behind

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

the small looking compact system(dragonfire) might be ideal for the carriers, t 26 or 31’s i see the u.s is now fitting the combined anti air, and ciws raytheon rim 116 as a standard fit to all their ships plus something like 10 other nations, at just£880000 each, even the treasury might see the value how much would a 16 cell vls cost?

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

or photon torpedo’s!!

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

As in anti ship missiles; how old fashioned to expect a warship to be able to sink another warship when a capability like a small unmanned helicopter can be procured instead.

Should know better
Guest
Should know better

They could always fly the aircraft into the other ship? Kamikaze style…

farouk
Guest
farouk

The Israelis have just announced that capability or their Harpy drone, google
IAI Introduces a Loitering Weapon Optimized for Maritime Attack

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

from who?
happy drone? in time, i’d expect drone warships and aircraft to form the core of many armed services, imagine being able to turn out drone tanks etc a nations capability could be expanded at a lightning rate.

Mike Saul
Guest
Mike Saul

Choices have to be made with the limited money available, no problem with that. Trouble is the UK MOD is incredibly bad at making the right decisions.

Dave simpson
Guest
Dave simpson

That’s simply simplistic and not true

Mike Saul
Guest
Mike Saul

Which part is not true in your opinion?

Limited money?

UK MOD bad decision making?

David Steeper
Guest

The MOD is guilty of plenty but the services themselves are their own worst enemies. They always use the most optimistic estimates of time to service and cost. The inevitable result is a mad panic to cut other programs that in the larger scheme of things are actually more important.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

nothing new there, my old cheif used to say’ if you’re going to be rubbish, be consistantly rubbish, so people know what to expect.’

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

two words can sum it up; F 35B.££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££!!!!!!!!

Mark Longstaff
Guest
Mark Longstaff

Bit late now, pity they didn’t go for cats’n traps…could’ve been flying Hornets etc egc off them next year and varieties of 35’s as time goes by…but no. Expensive replacemdnts for OCEAN.

geoffrey james roach
Guest
geoffrey james roach

Moan, moan, moan here we go again. We are getting announcement after announcement at the moment and all you can do is MOAN. Why not quit this site and go off and read Noddy’s guide to misery or something similar.

farouk
Guest
farouk

Geoffrey, I served this country for 37 years (full time) I was informed when I joined in 1980, that the British military had the best kit in the world. Then I was sent to the Falklands wearing DMS boots. As a combat engineer I found that if I stepped in water deeper than 3 inches I got wet feet, The Argies, had solid leather boots which afforded much better protection. My webbing was made of cotton and when it got wet it shrank. Oh we got the job done, but we could have done so much better if the champagne… Read more »

Mike Saul
Guest
Mike Saul

Steady on farouk, reality and the truth will upset some on here. I remember being told the British army has the best kit in the world as part of the recruit training process (I am an ex gunner), of course experience and service leads to a different point of view. However German (or as it was then West German) soldiers highly our woolly pully jumpers and corned beef were almost prepared to swap any their kit for those items. So not all bad news. I am afraid the UK procurement process is deeply flawed and I see very little hope… Read more »

David
Guest
David

I applaud you both Farouk and Mike – thank you both for your service gentlemen!

Mike Saul
Guest
Mike Saul

Thanks, Dave.

One of my kids is currently serving, I believe the current state of the armed forces in terms of combat efficiency is far worse than 30 years ago.

That’s nothing to do with quality of rank and file, it’s the procurement of equipment that badly lets them down.

geoffrey james roach
Guest
geoffrey james roach

Farouk, Thank you for serving your country, as have I. I appreciate what you say about your early experience. A colleague was badly hurt in the Falklands. However then was then, and now is now. If we look to the past, we stay in the past. I may be letting my irritation get the better of me but but as I look through DJUK pages I see more negativity than hope. I see few politicians swilling champagne. The ones I know and have worked with, many of whom have seen action, are more likely to have a few pints or… Read more »

farouk
Guest
farouk

Apologies, didn’t come back, Noticed your other post. So hitting you from both angles, so you get a reply: Answers to your post: 1)The CIWS and soft kill systems on the carriers are in line with thier US equivalents and the ships we be capable of embarking canister “ceptor” units. A) No they are not, The US carriers , The America and Wasp class amphibious assault ships not only have the above but they are fitted with Rolling Airframe Missiles and sea sparrow which gives them the ability to actually defend themselves and not rely on another ship. B)The mine… Read more »

farouk
Guest
farouk

Should learn to proof read, the Type 26 will cost £500M and the Type 31 £250

andy reeves
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andy reeves

i agree with all you say in the falklands i wasexpectedt o wear synthetic numer’8’s which melted to the skin of those injured in fire i wonder what price they put on a life when they make their decisions

andy reeves
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andy reeves

i’ll go with him, this site has become a poor read too much cynisism for me

andy reeves
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andy reeves

good point. am i in number you refer to? although i do believe that things will improve.life extending refits will become more effective. ships will be built to last longer. its a shame the t42’s didn’t get the modern t45 like upgrades then we’d have a fleet big enough to close down grumpy sites like this.

Pacman27
Guest
Pacman27

I am encouraged by the FSL’s comments as an advocate of replacing the 15 MCM hulls with T31’s operating the MCM autonomous systems in the long term (or even the River b2 can do this). A T31 fleet capable of MCM and ASW duties would be a game changer for the RN and release the T26’s even more. The RN needs these big decisions to move to a carrier and escort led fleet and I think we can do more with fleet of 75 major vessels complemented by a fleet of smaller “enabling” vessels and systems than we can with… Read more »

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

they could have done all this ith the batch 1 rivers and saved the money wasted on the batch 2 ‘fanny boat’.

Nick Paton
Guest
Nick Paton

Good Day,
Well noted all comments! Thank you.
If a Government was really concerned about the
growing uncertaincy in this world (forget the Cold War) but call it something else because it’s real and actual! The Government (Uk) would immediately move its priorities and carry out its responsibilities to
Increase significantly it’s Defence spending just as other European countries are doing!
Mrs May please do it before it’s to late!
Nick Hamburg

geoffrey james roach
Guest
geoffrey james roach

I think you’ll find Nick that the UK was the first to match 2 per cent. Actually, maybe the second, and the budget is increasing.

Harry Nelson
Guest
Harry Nelson

We only matched the 2% by fudging the numbers! We need a real commitment and more than 2%

geoffrey james roach
Guest
geoffrey james roach

Given that we once spent 4 to 4.5 per cent you’ll get no argument from me Harry, but that was before we started spending billions on overseas aid, at least some of which could be better spent on defence.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

tell me people what a river o.p.v can do that a squadron of well trained, well crewed archers, armed with the ‘not fitted 20mm cannon, they were designed to carry. all i can think of is the ability to operate in poor sea states,make them remote controlle, paint them grey and call them corvettes?

sjb1968
Guest
sjb1968

Why do people feel obliged to insult people on here in a way they would not dare do if face to face. The vast majority of commentators on here are obviously pro defence but all have a different perspectives and most a healthy scepticism of our political leaders. If you have been in the military then great add some real life experience as it helps but the knowledge of those in the civilian world also brings another type of reality to what should be a lively but respectful debate.

geoffrey james roach
Guest
geoffrey james roach

Agreed SJB and I for one will try to reign in my irritation. There is ,as you say, no problem with debate but I wish there was not so much negativity. I have also found that to lead and influence people you have to be constructive. There are good politicians and bad ones but lumping altogether because they are Labour or Tory is not what we should be about, nor should Michael Fallon be insulted on a regular basis as if he’s responsible for everything that has happened in the last twenty years. If we are to campaign for better… Read more »

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

lets leave party politics out of it i just hope that unpatriotic offensive marxist twat corbyn never gets a look in.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

because its easier to slag people off from behind a keyboard isn’t it big nose? lol

MOF
Guest
MOF

well said

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Schiebel Camcopter in a 20ft container on River 2?
https://schiebel.net/products/camcopter-s-100-system-2/

Julian
Guest
Julian

I’ve been saying that for ever. I’ve probably posted the idea in about 10 different places in comments on various articles here. Suffice it to say that I agree with you 100%. River B2 has spaces port and starboard of the crane, just aft of the RIBs, each of which can hold a single 20′ container without encroaching on the flight deck and of course with the containers conveniently oriented so the doors open directly onto the flight deck. An S-100 is really quite small and I did some calculations based on the internal dimensions of a standard ISO 20′… Read more »

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

There’s a photo of the S-100 system packaged into a 20ft container here.
https://schiebel.net/products/camcopter-s-100-system-2/
Can’t help thinking though that the RN are going for the SW-4 Solo, a full sized helo – capable of carrying the new Ferranti, sorry Finmeccamia / Leonardo Osprey radar. This sounds like an asea Seaspray and looks very impressive
http://www.leonardocompany.com/en/-/leonardo-osprey-us-navy

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

a roll out dragon fire laser or rim 116 system in containers isn’t toofar fetched an idea.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

30 mm cannon, single tube anti submarine torpedo on each side, a containerised towed array and have a handy little ship

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

looking at the sizes of modern corvettes, the r.n missed a big opportunity to beef up the o.p.v the excellent braunschwieg class(google it)of the german navy is a case in point, the sizes of it and a batch 2 river isn;t that far apart.yet they’ve made a small ship a very dangerous prospect for any ship to confront.

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Nice ships. But watching how the crew of HMS Forth is drawn from HMS Tyne which is now crewed by sailors from Hunt class ships I suspect the RN is implementing the original MHPC concept. For me the big clue is the crane on the River 2’s. Got to be with Arcims type USVs in mind.

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

And / or containerised Camm / USV / UAV.
have no doubt that this paper is having an influence on decisions like River 2 numbers and the Type 31e spec.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/joint-concept-note-1-12-future-black-swan-class-sloop-of-war-a-group-system

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P
Julian
Guest
Julian

It’s much bigger than something like ScanEagle or Schiebel S-100 though. I’m not saying that it might not have a role but, with the RN having quite a few assets without hangers (Rivers and to some extent Bay), having something useful that is also capable of being deployed in a standard 20′ ISO container would be very useful. Clearly we’re going to need multiple options for multiple uses just like manned helicopters.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

i’ve always thought with all the disquiet of ocean being lost, that a bay class with its superstructure removed an a full length deck fitted, would make a good replacement, the specs of ocean and a bay are not too far apart

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

No question horses for courses. A River 2 with S-100 and as Andy suggests containerised RIM 116 is a very useful asset for constabulary work. Used as a picket lily pad for SW-4 Solo equipped with Selex Osprey radar it could transform how a task force does AEW. We live in interesting times.

Dan
Guest
Dan

What politicians can not appreciate is that oceans are a very big area and you not only need quality but quantity to cover this area. It does not matter how good your systems are they can only go as far as the horizon. Politicians being sea blind will reduce the RN into a brown water navy thinking that technology can take up the slack. How wrong they will be. Hopefully British forces will not have to go to war for the foreseeable future. They will need to stock up on body bags.

geoffrey james roach
Guest
geoffrey james roach

I think you will find Dan that this paper is from the FSL, and not a politician, who should be trusted to put forward ideas on behalf of the RN. Also, please look at my reply to SJB about politicians .

Peter French
Guest
Peter French

“Just as I Challenge the Royal Navy to meet these challenges ” Jones says. He is the boss of the Navy and to stand aloof and pass on the Challenge to others is beyond the Pale What a crass and stupid statement. So we are being prepared for further reduction in the fleet. Its unacceptable

Alan Karvis
Guest
Alan Karvis

My son serves in the Royal Navy. I have written this before and I’ll write it again. Expect a 12 ship escort fleet. The two carriers have absorbed everything else. The MCM fleet is already down to 13 and set to reduce more. As for Argus replacement, go whistle!

Alan Jarvis
Guest
Alan Jarvis

My son serves in the Royal Navy. I have written this before and I’ll write it again. Expect a 12 ship escort fleet. The two carriers have absorbed everything else. The MCM fleet is down to 13 and reducing. As for Argus replacement, go whistle. He’s set to retire in 5 years and can’t wait.

geoffrey james roach
Guest
geoffrey james roach

Peter, Alan. Have either of you read the article because it seems to me that your just picking out the words that suit your own bias, which appears to be to attack any and all hierarchy

Alan Jarvis
Guest
Alan Jarvis

Just telling it the way it is in the RN. The 31s will be built but notice that little e word which has crept in. They’ll be flogged off. My son is on a 23 which is held together with string and tape. Another myth that they’ll last til the 2030s. They won’t.

Harry Nelson
Guest
Harry Nelson

I served on a T-21 that was held together with silicon sealant and maskers, miraculously they are still afloat!

geoffrey james roach
Guest
geoffrey james roach

The NSS report says “the first (type 31 ) will be in service by 2023.” Only six years to wait!!!

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

i hope the design has made it away from the bag of a fag packet by then a repeat of the t26 fiasco is the last thing the navy needs.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

and the class to follow them will still be on the back of a fag packet.

Julian
Guest
Julian

Yes, but with the new regulations about unbranded plain cigarette packaging there’s now more space on the back to do more detailed designs. There’s also less chance of someone misreading the design spec and accidentally including a camel on board each frigate 🙂

dadsarmy
Guest
dadsarmy

“unmanned air system alongside or perhaps even in place of a manned helicopter”

This just gives me the image of this geey nerd sitting there, with an app on his phone contolling a worldwide zombied network of 2 billion computers and mobile devices, with 125 million of them in the UK alone. connected to the world’s mobile and radio and TV masts, capable of taking over all unmanned drones including ready to go on deck with the analogue switch into the “ON” position, saying:

“Now, boss?”

geoffrey james roach
Guest
geoffrey james roach

What?

dadsarmy
Guest
dadsarmy

Indeed, that’s what they’d all be saying:

“What’s going on? Why didn’t we stick to people?”.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

people cost more and they’re harder to replace, but it would be cheaper.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

the kpreans would hack it and there’d be chaos all over the world.

Mark Allatt
Guest
Mark Allatt

Some very pointent comments above. It is clear that not only is the UK government fudging the 2%, even a full 2% is grossly inadequate to defend British interests in an increasingly dangerous world. Not that long ago we were spending 4-5% and had a Royal Navy three times its current size. Quality is important but quantity has a quality all of its own. As several contributors have noted, a ship, aircraft or tank can’t be in two places at once however capable it is. Brexit means that we have returned to the world stage as an independent sovereign nation… Read more »

Alan Jarvis
Guest
Alan Jarvis

Here is the truth, my son with just 5 years left to do in the RN said it would eventually leak out: Royal Navy a ‘laughing stock’ with three quarters of its warships out of action and ‘struggling to protect British citizens’ Currently 13 of the Navy’s 19-strong fleet of Type 23 frigates and Type 45 destroyers are unable to go to sea due to a lack of manpower, fuel and supplies, senior military sources have revealed. The cuts to defence spending have also severely hampered Britain’s response to Hurricane Irma. HMS Ocean, the amphibious assault ship that currently serves… Read more »

geoffrey james roach
Guest
geoffrey james roach

According to the navy Qcean underwent routine engine work prior to sailing . Anybody?

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

and illustrious which was its natural successor scrapped.

Nick Paton
Guest
Nick Paton

Good Morning!

Is it not time to come clear with the real facts about the state of our armed forces?

Should we not have an open debate amongst Politicians and senior commanders about ensuring sufficient funding/equipment requirements before it’s to late ? (or have we reached that point?).

An open letter/comment to the article in the Telegraph from the people responsible would be a start!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/14/royal-navy-laughing-stock-three-quarters-warships-action-struggling/.

Bring back funding to Cold War levels until the World order changes to a more peaceful reality.

Nick Hamburg

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

get out the cheque book and ask the world bank for a loan to boost the defence budget to 4%

geoffrey james roach
Guest
geoffrey james roach

Ocean is OK according to the Royal Navy, only thee escorts are inactive out of nineteen and they are recruited up to 97 per cent so who do we want to believe. The RN or the Labour pier, Lord West, who might just be biased against the government.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

yep but still nuke mecca and pyongyang

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

if the yanks havent done it first.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

they’ve been spent 3 times over in corbyn’s head.a growing royal navy? bolstered by a shedload of type 31’s? nevergoing to happen.what we’ve got is what we’ll get.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

lord west is theonly person who knows what needs doing. another goog point he’s made is, that all training establishments should complete on the same friday allowing mass drafting to identified ships to be known in advance

geoffrey james roach
Guest
geoffrey james roach

Andy… I have no idea what your talking about.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

we’ve got the entire churchill and swiftsure submarine classes in mothballs a rosyth and devonport, plus the retired trafalgars. the swiftsures were converted to tomahawk at great expence, used as recently as the libya conflict. then retired, and we had to wait for the astutes to finally get built.

Alan Jarvis
Guest
Alan Jarvis

HMS IRON DUKE Active – UK waters

HMS MONMOUTH On deployment – Gulf

HMS PORTLAND On deployment – Gulf

HMS LANCASTER Portsmouth

HMS DRAGON Sea training

HMS DEFENDER Portsmouth

HMS DUNCAN At sea – maritime security

HMS DIAMOND on deployment – Gulf

HMS DARING Portsmouth

HMS ARGYLL Devonport

HMS SUTHERLAND Maintenance

HMS DAUNTLESS Portsmouth

HMS SOMERSET Training exercises

HMS NORTHUMBERLAND Devonport

HMS WESTMINSTER Maintenance and sea trials

HMS MONTROSE Undergoing sea trials

HMS RICHMOND Operational sea training

HMS ST ALBANS Fleet Ready escort

HMS KENT Maintenance and sea trials

dadsarmy
Guest
dadsarmy

Thanks for the list, I’d started but lost the will to live.

Yes, the 1 in 3 rule, basically, normal for peactime operations.

What the RN really needs to do is make it a 1 in 2.5 or even 1 in 2 rule. Having said that though, 1 or 2 DDs and up to 8 FFs are really there if needed in an emergency.

dadsarmy
Guest
dadsarmy

Sorry didn’t make that clear, I meant more than the operational ones, for a total of 3/4 DDs, up to 11 FFs, and in real desperate need it wouldn’t be the first time warships sailed to war with shipyard workers on board, screwdriver, hammer and blowtorch in hand! What might also make sense in these days of budgets is defence alliance foreign shipyard exchangeability so, for instance, a transport takes the whole kit and caboodle, fitters and parts and specialist equipment out to Nova Scotia in 8 years time to perform maintenance or repair on one of the UK’s T26… Read more »

FastTristan
Guest

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