The Prime Minister has confirmed plans to increase the size of the Royal Navy escort fleet to 24 vessels.

During a dicussion following a statement on the publication of the ‘Integrated Review of security, defence, development and foreign policy‘, Boris Johnson said:

“In shipbuilding, we will have by the end of this decade 24 frigates as opposed to the 15 today.”

The Royal Navy currently has 13 frigates, it’s safe to assume that the Prime Minister misspoke. Johnson also meant escort vessels rather than just frigates, which would mean an increase of 5 vessels on todays numbers of 13 frigates and 6 destroyers.

The Integrated Review confirmed plans for new Type 32 Frigates which will be built in addition to the Type 26 and Type 31 Frigates, many had previously suspected that this is part of an intention to bringing the escort fleet up to 24 vessels from its current 19.

Referring to his promise to “restore Britain’s position as the foremost naval power in Europe”, the Prime Minister said last year:

“If there was one policy which strengthens the UK in every possible sense, it is building more ships for the Royal Navy.”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said at the time:

“We’re going to commit to the next generation of frigate the Type 32. We’re going to commit to bringing online the Type 31 and Type 26 Frigates in Scotland.”

According to a press release from the Government:

“The £16.5 billion investment confirms our order of 8 Type 26 and 5 Type 31 frigates, commits us to the next generation Type 32, and supports the future solid support ships that will supply our Carrier Strike Group. Whilst this is reassuring news for the defence industry, Defence will not overlook the challenges that are ahead, to continue addressing the savings still required and the efficiencies we need to make.”

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Andy G

Hard to know what to believe here, does he mean frigates or escorts?

RobW

The latter, so another 5 on existing numbers. Still great news.

Geoff

As long as they are armed.

Mr Bell

I will believe it when I see it. They are trying to cover up the imminent reduction of the frigate fleet to 11 ships with the decommissioning of the next 2 oldest type 23s.

Nate m

yes but they have been replaced with 2 other city class (aka type 26) frigates so we still have 13 frigates except that 2 of them are n th bleeding edge of technology

Last edited 13 days ago by Nate m
Paul T

What other City Class Frigates ? 8 ASW T23’s will be replaced by T26’s,the other 5 GP T23’s will be replaced by the T31’s.

Nate m

if u check the royal navy website it says that 2 t23s have been replaced by 2 t26s which were built last year.

Phillip

It’s generally hard to know what to believe every time he opens his mouth

Lesley Freeman

Everything he says he will do he HAS done…

Johan

easy target to be blamed for everything, Funny he got blamed the other day for 2 decades of cuts, dam he is clever only been in power year and a half. Blamed for the cladding crisis when the fella who changes the London fire brigade duties was one KEN LIVINGSTONE. Yet i bet you have your arm and hands out for anything he will give you, BUT THAT’S NOT ENOUGH as you only claimed you earned 50p on last year’s tax returns. Betting if you sat in his chair for a day, you would go home early with a headache… Read more »

Paul Corcoran

And blindly supporting an inveterate liar doesn’t. The man acts like a falstaffian buffoon who, as far as I can tell, has no empathy for anyone outside of his tory clique.

expat

I’m inclined to agree, but lets be honest the opposition at the last election stood behind an equally appalling candidate. The electorate had to choose the least worst option.

Nate m

oh give the man a break. if we had the labour we wouldn’t have a bloody military! they will probably replace all the guns we got with flowers and replace the nukes with hugs! yuck!

Taffybadger

Boris has had to deal with Brexit and a pandemic, its easy for armchair warrior politicians to criticise him. I for one think he’s done as good as anyone could do in very difficult circumstances. All Starmer and Corbyn could do was take a deliberately opposite view point for the sake of it, they have sickened me over this pandemic.

Richard

As good as anyone? No, 120,000 people died on his watch. There are objective measurements that tell us he could have done much much better. He’s the PM, there was a time the buck would stop with that office. If he had an ounce of integrity he’d resign.

Degradable

“Glass houses and stones”
A nation that has literally become fat. People ignored advise, including the PM based on a perception that freedom of speech and self determination is of prime importance.
We as a collective are responsible for much of the issues and deaths. But I have to admit, it is pleasant to be able to cast the blame on everyone else and sleep tight in knowledge we are blameless.

Tim

120k died yet strangly the numbers of deaths per 1000 people is the same as the previous years at about 9.4 and isn’t it strange how we have had nobody die of pretty much anything other than COVID car crash no you got COVID stage 4 cancer no you had COVID etc etc

Mr Bell

Tim that’s nonsense I’m afraid doctors do not amend or falsify death certification. To accuse the medical profession of that is crazy talk.

Expat

Taking the politics out of it.. Actually when you look at covid and how it hits over weight and obese. Couple that with some of the highest population densities on the planet, London has a commuter population larger than many cities. We were always in for a rough ride. The key factors were in place long before covid hit. Places like Germany did better due to testing but they had already privatised labs. We all know how the privatisation discussions on health have gone in the UK. There was also the data coming in at the start of the pandemic.… Read more »

Paul.P

I haven’t seen any reports of Corbyn expressing any views on covid. Starmer for the most part has supported the government but criticised constructively for the most part. IMV Boris and the government have done pretty well. The pandemic plan assumed the virus would be similar to influenza. Sadly it isn’t. It was obvious to any thinking person that the virus must have had a long incubation period during which you are infectious. It seemed to take the experts a long time to realise this. There was panic. The covid response has exposed just how un-united the UK is. Lansley’s… Read more »

Paul42

Exactly, 24 Figates would be great, but doesn’t even seem to know how many we have now? If you include the 2 x Type 23s we sold that does bring it up to 15……..

David

Didn’t the MoD Press office say that Bozo meant 24 “surface ships”? That would be very bad…..

David

A “surface fleet” of 24: 17 escorts, 2 carriers, 5 OPV.

Jon Lake

That’s what he meant, I suspect.

Jon Lake

Or rather 19 escorts (6 T45, 8 T26, 5 T31) and 5 OPV/T32

farouk

Andy from the bottom of the document:comment image

Daniele Mandelli

Thanks for link farouk.

For me the most interesting snippet in that is in the CT section, a part of UK defence mostly overlooked on UKDJ as it is mostly non military, but just as vital.

“Establishing a CTOC to transform our ability to fight terrorism by creating an integrated CT Centre”

One actually already exists, as do several regional ones ( with their CTU’s ),
but plans were revealed years ago to build a new one which will see the police CTC co located with the Security Service.

I assume that is what is meant by “integrated”

Geoff

48 F-35Bs by 2025 ? Is the order slipping ?

Geoff Baker

The order slipped due to Covid putting the last two batches back a year.
The one glean of hope is that they said at least 48 F-35B by 2025 for Carrier Strike, so hopefully they are looking to the next Government to order additional airframes to enable 4 squadrons and therefore two carriers worth, with a small margin for service and training

TrevorH

24 escorts, whether we have 15 or 19 currently is irrelevant. Calling these escorts frigates or destroyers is increasingly irrelevant, frigates are getting bigger. Indeed increasingly it seems fatuous to call them ‘escorts’

David Barry

He never said that! He said we had 15 and it would increase to 24 by XYZ…

So 4 escorts / platforms will be cut. And, Labour are all over the place and have no interest.

When do the pubs open?

David Barry

George – I’ll wait until it is on youtube or watch again at zero dark thirty on BBC Parliament, in the meantime, I defer to you.

Graham Moore

How does your maths work? Going from 19 escorts to 24 is an increase of 5 not a reduction of 4.

BradyS

Yes I am with you because I thought the term had always been 24 escorts. But in this the title says frigates??? Does this mean there will be 11 Type 32??? Surely not.

ChariotRider

Hmm, jam tomorrow. But good news none the less.

I’ll feel happier that the 24 escorts will be delivered when I see the B2 T26 order confirmed and the T32 programme formally launched. If the latter is significantly different to the T31, I’ll surprised if they make the 24 escorts by the end of the decade, given recent history.

Cheers CR

Geoff

I trust this “jam tomorrow” nonsense about as far as I can throw a T26.

We halved the T45 order to get T26s; this programme was then further delayed so that our T23s are knackered.

More like kicking the ball into the long grass.

ChariotRider

Yup, one of those small super bouncy ones so you have no chance of finding it 🙂

Cheers CR

Rob

I bet he means a total of 24 escorts. That means 5 x T32. As they are also cutting the MCMV fleet those extra five frigates will just take over the mine hunting role by deploying autonomous search vehicles so that overall escort availability won’t be changed. Oh well the RN can’t complain because look what is going to happen to the Army…

Nic

With the axing of the MCMV fleet and replacing with drone, surely this will tie up some of the bigger ships as motherships. Which take them away from the tasks the do.

Levi Goldsteinberg

So T32 is going to be a run of five ships, I can’t believe BJ means 24 frigates – must mean 24 escorts. Eight 26, five 31, five 32 and six 45.

Paul42

Interestingly he said by the end of the decade – that’s 2030. How can that happen when the first Type 26 won’t commission until 2027??? Unless we dramatically speed up the builds its physically impossible??

Aaran

I would say the only way this is possible is by retaining current T23 frigates for a few years longer after their respective decommissioning dates why the new ones come online.

Robert Blay

Because we will still have T23’s in service until 2035

Paul42

If 2 x Type 23 are to be decommissioned, that will leave 11 plus 6 x Type 45 = 17. So in order to get to 24 you woukd need to keep the remaining Type 23s plus build and commission 7 new ships by 2030. Possibly 2 x Type 26 plus 5 x Type 31? Problem here is that in theory not all the remaining 23s will be around by 2030 unless LIFEX 2 is planned at some point…….

Andrew

Think that will be 5 x Type 45s has HMS Daring is going to replace HMS Bristol in the training role .Makes no sense to me when RN short of ships .Although there is the man power problem.

Paul42

Daring is not going to replace Bristol. She began the full refit Dauntless is coming towards the end of in June 2020. They may use a decommissioned Type 23 to replace Bristol, if indeed she is replaced at all

Last edited 15 days ago by Paul42
Johan

BAEs are working on a land-based, simulator-based around the one done for the QE, As having a £1b war shipped tied up alongside as a training aid.

they started this early last year along with other simulations programmes and mirrored a TYPE 45 layout,

and was intended that part of the New ships design process that the Navy secures simulation packages,

very much like the P8 Simms for the RAF, but its all gone very quiet.

Jon

I thought he didn’t say which decade, but he did. I don’t believe these as escort numbers: 6 destroyers and 18 frigates? Even if Albion and Bulwark are still going and are counted, it’s a stretch.

Last edited 15 days ago by Jon
RobW

It’s 6 T45, 8 T26/T23, 5 T31 and 5 T32. The crews for the latter will be largely made up from the retired MCMVs.

Jon

If we were to specify the Type 32, have an open competition, award the build, sign the contracts and cut steel by next year.

But yes, I think you are right and he is including the fantasy frigates. After all if nobody knows what they are, nobody knows when they are either.

RobW

I’d prefer them to get on with it and base the T32 on the T31. Basically make it the same but with an emphasis on autonomous systems. Oh and for peets sake add quad NSM launchers and 24 VLS for Sea Ceptor. Do that and both the 31 and 32s would be fit for purpose.

dave12

Maybe if nutty Boris didnt make the decision to increase nukes we would have these ships quicker.

Callum

Why is it nutty, exactly? Russia is off building nuclear superweapons, does increasing our stockpile to the point we can actually fully arm a Trident sub not seem reasonable?

Also, listen to the actual wording. Its increasing the CAP on nukes at the same time as stopping public statements regarding how many nukes we have, not flat out increasing warhead production. The idea is that, even if we don’t physically build up to the new cap, the greater potential and reduced public information increases the threat posed to potential aggressors.

Peter S

Exactly. Israel has never revealed it’s numbers or even confirmed it has any. Brilliant deterrence!

Jonathan

Not revealing how many Nuclear weapons may work for a nation with a limited number or a do they or don’t they question. For a fully fledged nuclear power the whole point is Adverting the absolute certainty that no other nation on the planet will come out the other end if it triggers you nuclear deterrent. 50 warheads or 500 it’s not particularly relevant. Being able to flatten and poison 50 cities is at the point that anything further is irrelevant. Any event involving 50 to 100 warheads has the potential to put the planet into a decade long cooling… Read more »

James

The yields tested in the decades past far outweigh the 50-100 warheads and their current yields you envision today. There is far less destructive power in active arsenal’s today than there was, MAD wouldn’t be assured today

Jonathan

James the latest modelling around global cooling was for around 50 devices at the 15KT range, it’s actually about firestorm and ash creation. The old Cold War nuclear winter model was based around ozone destruction.

Jonathan

What’s a nuclear super weapon ? I always thought a Sub launched missile and its MIRVs was pretty much the high end of life ending nightmares.

Callum

If only. Some mad scientist dreamt up the idea of a nuclear powered drone that explodes off the coast and creates radioactive tidal waves, and Putin signed off on it.

There’s also the general modernisation and improvement of more conventional weapons, but that’s fair.

grey wolf 88

Look up their demented intercontinental nuclear armed torpedo.

Jonathan

guaranteed to fuck up your blue flag beach….

Johan

Correct, its a smoke and mirror statement. and very clever way of hiding our numbers, will dont advise Russia how many bullets we have in stock…

John Clark

We don’t need any CND stickers thanks Dave! We are unfortunately moving back to a World position of peer to peer Cold war confrontation, with proxy wars etc, nuclear weapons are the ultimate backstop of our National security and we must ensure our Dreadnoughts are a fully viable deterrent. All Boris is doing is moving the stockpile back to a position it should never have been allowed to fall from! Nuclear weapons are unpalatable, but they are the ultimate big stick and allow an independent UK to sit at the big boys table of the UN Security Council. How long… Read more »

dave12

I’m all for nuclear capability John but cutting tanks and troop numbers when they are to small for most peer on peer operations already in the so called global Britain is madness .

Graham Moore

I agree. If Russia really does represent the most significant threat, a nation with 13,000 or more tanks, then it is folly to cut our tank numbers below the 227 we declare (fully accept that we fight with Allies!).
Also worrying that Lord Dannatt said in Saturday’s Telegraph that we cannot now field a warfighting division and neither could we by 2015.

Looks like ‘if the balloon goes up’ in eastern Europe that we will send just a brigade!

dave12

I just heard a interview on the news with a former general in which he mentioned if a British battle group came up against a Russian equivalent the Russians would have 3 times the fire power. Its just nuts and the tories for the last decade must be hold accountable for it, just saying if Corbyn got into power it would a lot worst (not that he ever was going to) which is a excuse by some posters seems to be wearing thin at the moment.

David Barry

Well said. However, SKS needs to get his head around defence and ask much better questions – indeed, perusing these pages et al would give him clear insight into how much hyperbole bluffer blojob deploys; blojob is Churchillian my arrse.

Graham Moore

Thanks Dave, I was a ‘BAOR warrior’ on various postings between 1975 and 1991. I felt that WW3 would be a tough fight against 3rd Shock Army, but we had a fair chance of conducting a competent ‘fighting withdrawal’ ( I think the grown-ups called it ‘a series of delaying actions’) under weight of enemy numbers until the politicians either sued for peace or authorised release of tactical nuclear weapons (TNW). Today, British armoured forces would be almost immediately over-run and shelled to pieces and there are no TNW as the big stick in reserve. Our guys don’t have a… Read more »

Johan

blaming the Tory’s Tony Blair and Gordan Brown used the entire defence budgets on a lie. Corbyn, didn’t fancy the job, and putting a terrorist supporter in control of the country. who stated the regional flooding in Yorkshire WAS A NATIONAL DISASTER. Warrior programme, placed under labour gov Nimrod MR4 , Placed under a Labour Gov CH2, Private venture by Vickers picked up by labour Snatch Landrover replaced with Pinzgauer Pinzgauer replaced with Mastiff PPV and the list goes on, Blaming one government because they are not what you’re dad voted for is in the modern world is absurd. Look… Read more »

James

If the country hadnt been left in such a financial mess after 2008 10 years of cuts wouldnt have been needed. Also please note without that decade of cuts the country would have struggled to deal with the Covid pandemic in the financial way it has. Decades of governments should be held accountable, thats why defence should be removed from current party politics and embedded in national law and kept at a certain level.

Robert Blay

I’d love to know how many of those 13k tanks are in anyway operational. I bet the true number isn’t even close.

BB85

It would still be in the thousands.
Russia spends somewhere in the region of 6-10% of GDP on defense and their money goes a lot further than ours.
Fact is without US protection Russia could retake the Balkins if it wanted to. Poland would be a different story, but the token force we have in Estonia would be cannon fodder.

Robert Blay

They spent 3.9% of GDP on defence. Or around $69 Billion. So only a small amount more then us or France. So what do you think that says about the quality of Russian equipment and personnel training if it’s in such large numbers. Poor to say the least.

AJP1960

It’s not necessarily as poor as you think. Their spend cannot be compared on a like-for-like basis. Labour rates will be lower, government support will be higher.

Infrastructure support will be less expensive or totally Govt. funded and profit will not be a motive, or even a concern

Latch71

Absolutely agree Robert, I’ll bet they’re counting rusting hulks that haven’t moved in decades.

AJP1960

And important to remember that we wouldn’t be going up against Russia on our own. We have NO boarders with Russia. Any conflict that includes Russia as the adversary will be with at least one country that boarders with Russia.

We need to be able to provide valuable support and reinforcement. We also bring a lot of aerial support to the battlefield.

Graham Moore

You under-estimate your enemy at your peril. It could be about 2,700 operational tanks of which 1,200 are relatively new or modernised.
https://defence-blog.com/news/army/revealed-number-of-main-battle-tanks-in-russia.html

Extract from a report: “in 2011-2020 supplies to the troops amounted to more than 600 T-72B3 tanks, more than 300 T-72B3M tanks and more than 60 T-80BVM tanks”.

In contrast, over the same period, British industry delivered zero new tanks to the British Army and did zero significant upgrades to in-service CR2.

Robert Blay

We will never go to war against Russia on our own. It would be part of NATO with a UN resolution backing. And NATO would wipe the floor with Russia. But fortunately, neither side has any intention or need or desire for a conventional conflict. What has anyone got to gain from it. Nothing, apart from global economic ruin, and massive loss of life. Our economys are so closely linked, same with China. COVID-19 has proven you can do far more damage with a virus, or a hacker that can disrupt our national infrastructure than any number of tanks. Which… Read more »

dave12

Disagree, so what happens if Russia tries a Ukraine in the Bulkans ,as one poster said britain will rock up in a tank battle with algorithms!???!!! Afghan war proved numbers are essential, its not a numbers game when you deplete your conventional forces so much it limits any peer on peer operation.

Robert Blay

Like i said, we won’t be fighting the Russians on our own. Our Tank force will be small, but very capable and deployable. How many tanks can Russian deploy and sustain very far from it’s border. We need to get in the modern age. And be better equipped for unconventional warfare.

Robert Blay

And it’s also very clear, the west in general has no desire to get involved in another drawn out war in the Middle East with large numbers of boots on the ground. it would be political suicide.

Aaran

If we do end up in a war with Russia then 227 tanks to 100 isn’t going to make any difference what so ever anyway. Even if we doubled the tanks to 500 again we would be outgunned.
If this were to ever happen then nuclear missile would be used anyway.

Andrew

Well said Dave

Johan

How Does Russia, get its 3000 tanks into the UK, Russian sat navski keeps hitting the Bridgeski. how effective would 250 CH 2 LEP be against 3000, Germany has built a road for the tanks to roll down, next to that pipeline, even Trump noticed that. The island nation has proved its hard to invade…in modern times, as your transport aircraft get seen taking off. Troop numbers, there are currently more EX servicemen drawing pensions than active, so that’s why numbers are down and the modern recruit, doesn’t like being told what to do, cannot take their phone on a… Read more »

Robert Blay

The young Men & Women joining up today are among the most professional and educated generation to serve in the Armed Forces. To saty they don’t like being told what to do is complete garbage.

Bringer of Facts

We cannot be complacent that the channel would save us from Invasion as it did in ww2, back then we had a much bigger industrial base and a huge navy. If the nightmare scenario was that the Russians had overrun western Europe the next stage of their campaign would be a war of attrition to destroy the RAF and RN, the numbers are on their side, and with Europes, factories captured we would have to totally replace equipment ourselves, I reckon we would last 2 weeks at the most before those tanks landed.

Meirion X

France’s seat will highly likely became a EU UN permanent seat maybe within next decade.

John Clark

I would agree Meirion, the French people are so proud and for some reason just can’t see their Indipendance disappearing right in front of them.

The loss of their permanent seat will come as a real shock to many, talk about sleepwalking into a nightmare…

Graham Moore

….and/or enable the army to either keep and modernise or replace all AFVs.

Johan

Adding WARHEADS is an easy spend. Ship build scale over a Warhead. really

BB85

It’s a bit worrying that they don’t even know how many escorts we have today let alone 10 years from now.

Callum

Not necessarily. There are plenty of ways to interpret this: 13 T23 plus the 2 T26 currently in build (HMS Belfast has yet to start construction), that fits. That would also make a lot more sense on the basis that having 24 escorts, let alone frigates, IN SERVICE by 2030 would require doubling current rates of construction. Alternatively, it could be that he is getting frigates and escorts mixed up and 15 escorts is simply how many were considered to be officially active. Bearing in mind we’ve had several destroyers and frigates laid up waiting for refits or with no… Read more »

Sjb1968

All your thoughts are new frigates and I hope so but the politicans answer could be add a bigger gun to those 5no. B2 Rivers, install a few sea ceptor missiles and paint an ‘F’ instead of a ‘P’ on the hull. Job done!

Andrew

Why? They would be completely unsuitable as combat ships.

Sjb1968

I totally agree but why would a politician worry about something being suitable they wouldn’t be putting their lives at risk.
If it got them out of a problem they wouldn’t worry about such minor matters.
Reclassify them as light frigates with a UAV perhaps not now but give it time when Type 23s start leaving service and they can’t make the costs of the 2nd batch of the type 26s or 32s stack up to deliver the required numbers.
I won’t feel happy about the commitment to 24 escorts until they are ordered.

Nigel Collins

“Develop the next generation of naval vessels, including Type 32 frigates and Fleet Solid Support ships, and deliver our plans for eight Type 26 and five Type 31 frigates. • Progress our Carrier Strike capabilities, with at least 48 F-35s by 2025. • Develop the Future Combat Air System for the RAF, along with delivering upgraded Typhoon radars.”

Levi Goldsteinberg

“ at least 48 F-35s by 2025” – so that’s where the bloody journos at The Times and the like got the idea of capping F-35s at 48 came from then. Unreliable as ever

Sean

Journalists 🤷‍♂️

Peter S

Worth reading the minutes of the PAC discussion of the NAO report on the equipment plan. Steven .Lovegrove refers to buying more F35 in the second half of the next decade.
The current plan only has funding in place for 48.
At best, the £16b increase might allow for a few more but much of the combat air funding will go on Tempest and AESA radar for Typhoon.
“At least” doesn’t mean more than.

Peter S

Sorry. It was Air Marshal Knighton who gave this detail. Lovegrove seemed to confirm it.

BB85

Interesting. The initial 48 will definitly need replaced in the 2030s although I thought 48 was still cutting it short. I guess the plan is to never field more than 24 as part of the carrier strike group.

John Hartley

Except, the UK has 4 early lot F-35B that are not suitable for combat, so you need 52, to have 48 you can fight with.

Supportive Bloke

It is most likely that we will continue to drip feed F35B at a limited buy rate of 3-5/yr so at current buy prices £240-400m/yr and falling. That way we get our hand on the new blocks and can deal with the early ones that are only suitable for OCU/Orange wire or the earliest airframes when they come up towards hours. It would be a mistake to drop the whole thing is aspic once we have got to 48 as the whole program is quite organic and ever developing. Hence, why it made excellent sense have a slow initial buy… Read more »

TrevorH

By 2025. It doesn’t mean it stops there.
So just go figure yourself out of that.

Derek

If memory serves, we initially ordered a faster buy rate of F35B but allowed the USMC to trade their later lots for some of our early ones. A slower build up for us but turns out to be very good decision. Luck or brilliance? Not sure but it means our later platforms are more developed.

Peter S

Don’t need to. The PS at the MoD refused to give a clear answer but Knighton talked about a further order in the second half of the next decade. So it is possible we may buy a few more after 2025 but remember the £16b funding increase is only over the next 4 years.
MPs on the DSC tried hard to get answers on numbers but were clearly dissatisfied.

Johan

The issue is pilot numbers, no one will give a clear answer on currently trained and certified F35b pilots. NAO states numbers are below targets and training is some 12 months longer. BUT wont confirm numbers…..

Paul T

Surely the number of F35 Pilots we have currently would have been affected by the amount of Harrier Pilots the RAF/FAA managed to retain – given that 10 years without Harriers the number would be very low ( at a guess ),plus the fact that they naturally would Transfer easier onto F35b than the Ex Tornado Pilots.

john melling

Thank god I no longer read newspapers…

Johan

48 F35s is based on the training programme which is somewhat behind and taking at least a year longer than originally programmed. The National Audit office will tell you we have 21 currently, but won’t confirm the number of pilots, @ the recent Red Flag in USA 4 Aircraft attended with 8 pilots, and 3 completed their carrier certs in UK Waters. some say the number of pilots currently is 12. with the 3 aircraft in the USA leaves 6 F35s pilotless, but the NAO wont confirm this as the numbers are well below targets. i think they were hoping… Read more »

Robert Blay

Good news for Typhoon to get the Mk2 Captor E radar funded.

Nigel Collins

Yes, it is, but how many aircraft will receive it I wonder?
It was troubling to see that no other upgrades for Typhoon or an increase in numbers were mentioned.

https://www.leonardocompany.com/documents/20142/11731346/Mk2+Typhoon+radar+v13++MOD-approved+050820_ENG.pdf?t=1599131016626

Nigel Collins

“It is not clear yet how many radars will be bought by the UK. According to an article by Jamie Hunter for The War Zone, there are plans to retrofit only a small fleet of Typhoons FGR4 of Tranche 3 with the new radar, which Janes quantifies in 40 aircraft, with a possible extension to the older Tranche 2 aircraft.”

https://theaviationist.com/2020/09/06/royal-air-force-to-get-new-aesa-radars-for-the-eurofighter-typhoon/

Nigel Collins

40 Tranche 3 confirmed as the initial figure, hopefully, that will increase to tranche 2 as well?

Robert

Not sure about numbers. Typhoon will receive many upgrades, as they happen much more regularly then they used to with older aircraft types. The headlines from project Centurion was about integrating Storm Shadow, Brimstone 2 & Meteor. It also included many software upgrades to defensive aids, radar, cockpit displays, HMS, and the PIRATE system. I found a nice picture on Instagram of a F35 style wide area display for Typhoon. It looked like it was fitted to a BAE simulator set up. No HUD fitted either. Guess Striker 2 helmet will help do away with a fixed HUD.

Nigel Collins

There has been talk of this for some time in relation to future upgrades being developed for Tempest and tested onboard Typhoon.

Clearly, progress is being made!

Robert Blay

Sure is. I think Typhoon will benefit greatly from Tempest development over the next 10 years.

BB85

Any mention of timeline for Captor E2? I think it will only be upgraded on the Tranche 3 aircraft as it is really intended for Tempest. Don’t we need the first development aircraft in the air around 2027/8 if it is going to be replacing Tranche 1/2 Typhoon from 2035.

Robert Blay

I really wouldn’t like to guess on a time line for Tempest. It’s still just an image on a design engineers computer, and a plastic mockup.

Glass Half Full

Not sure about benefits in the next decade, but in the 2030’s and even 2040’s certainly.

Robert Blay

👍🇬🇧

James

But there is only 72 or something getting it, they seem to somehow think they can do more and more with less all the time.

Robert Blay

True, but the aircraft can do more and more. And availability is way higher than the Tornado day’s.

James

But that is the philosophy of the government, something is more capable so you need less of it.
You just end up working a small fleet to death

Pete

Hey Robert isn’t there are real risk that those very capable aircraft would be constrained in a peer on peer conflict by very limited inventory of high tech ordinance. RAF and Navy key to defending our islands if key asset numbers are constrained then those assets need to be able to operate effectively in medium term at reasonable tempo.

Robert Blay

Hi Pete. I guess if we are looking at peer on peer, these conflicts don’t just happen over night. Massive political fallout would need to happen before we look at conflict. And we do have pretty large stockpiles of weapons. It’s the expensive kit like Storm Shadow and TLAM we would need to top up our stock. But when industry is on a war footing, amazing things can be achieved, like we have seen during the pandemic. 👍

Pete

Thanks Robert. I’ll take comfort from the large stockpiles comment (though I think I recall the Uk almost exhausted Brimstone during Libya). On the supply chain risks, the Pandemic also showed us just how vulnerable the manufacture and supply of even relatively simple goods can become during an international crisis. A bit dated now but I recall (as a Brit working for a US firm) attending an AMCHAM talk provided in KL in early 2001 by the then US MARFORPAC commander Lt General Frank Libutti who candidly stated 3 things kept him awake at night : 1. North Korean unpredictability… Read more »

Robert Blay

I think the pandemic has made us realise how vulnerable we are to unconventional warfare. I’m not saying COVID was deliberate. But Sombody else could do something like this deliberately. And the economic damage and loss of life has proven to be pretty shocking. More effective than any number of old Russian tanks. I think the government is wise to be investing in cyber warfare and the environment. It’s not as sexy as Typhoons and Frigates, but could be even more crucial in guaranteeing our safety in the decades to come. The Oxford is proving to be soft power at… Read more »

Robert Blay

(Vaccine)

Paul T

We ( the UK ) have never had anything like a Large Stockpile of Weapons – why do you think John Nott wanted to Gut the Royal Navy in 1981 ?.

Robert Blay

That was 40 years ago.

Paul T

Yes and since then our Armed Forces have been reduced drastically, Spending on Defence has halved in relation to GDP, and the Cost of Munitions has risen exponentially – this is not Rocket Science.

Robert Blay

We face very different threats from the early 80’s. Most of the kit we had back then was pretty shite, we just had more of it . And we still spend more on defence than most countries.

Paul T

‘these conflicts don’t just happen overnight’ mmm well who predicted this scenario ? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annexation_of_Crimea_by_the_Russian_Federation

Robert Blay

I’m talking about peer on peer with a western nation like ourselves, or France, Germany, NATO ect.

Nigel Collins

We have plenty of options available for Typhoon. We should buy more and replace all Tranche 1’s! LERX: “When compared to a standard Eurofighter Typhoon lacking the AMK retrofit, the enhanced Typhoon’s angle of attack (AoA) was 45% greater, with faster roll rates around 100% higher.” Thrust vectoring: “According to Eurojet, a Typhoon equipped with thrust vectoring nozzles (TVN) could reduce fuel burn on a typical mission by up to 5%, while increasing available thrust in supersonic cruise by up to 7%. Typhoon is already capable of performing ‘supercruise (flying supersonically without afterburner) and the proposed modification will further increase… Read more »

Meirion X

We need test our Typhoons up against Norways new F-35A fleet, before we considerer more.

Johan

Red Flag has F35s all types @ 20-1 kill rate over Typhoon, TYP never gets close enough to use its skill set over a F35s and they hold the same rate over all gen 3/4 fighters. only a F22 went close…

John Clark

Johan, just look at the specs of the new British radar 2 being developed for RAF Typhoons, it really is a generation ahead of F35 and will probably turn that kill rate the other way round!

It has massive potential for targeted electronic jamming and attack. The detection ranges against all platforms, including stealthy targets is said to be very impressive indeed.

Paul T

Putting a New Radar ( however good ) into the Typhoon doesn’t change the Fact that it’s Airframe wont be any less Vulnerable to an Enemy’s Radar,an F35 will still have a distinct Advantage.

john melling

The F35 only has stealth, until detected. Its well known in the USAF that the Typhoon can out dogfight an F35 Whilst the F35 angle of attack is good it cant be exploited against Typhoon. If the F35 goes past 12% aoa it will fall out off of the sky, bleeding energy, meanwhile, Typhoon carries on playing and due to its low drag, the f35 will struggle to keep an optimum Mach 1.6 Nothing comes close to a typhoon…but yes the F22 does ok as well The yanks are not happy with the F35 hence recent moves to look at… Read more »

Paul T

As i alluded to on another thread,the RAF is in a very good position regarding the Effectiveness of Typhoon vs F35,Norway,Denmark,the Netherlands and Belgium will all Operate the ‘A’,we have had our ‘B’s at Marham for a couple of Years now give or take a few months.Surely the RAF have gained enough Data in that time to help with a decision on Future Orders.The Enthusiasm for Tempest probably tells us all we need to know.For now having a Silver Bullet and a Sledgehammer Fleet should be enough to see the RAF into the 2030’s.

Robert Blay

As we operate the F35B, the RAF has all the data it needs to compare to two aircraft types. Typhoon & F35 will make a deadly combination.

Supportive Bloke

Exactly.

Which is why will be see Captor2 – probably better than F35 and we will see helmet mounted displays on Typhoon quite soon.

In exactly the same way that one T23 in LIFEX was fitted with the T26 power train to give it a good thrashing so there was no repeat of the T45 issues. Here we will sensibly deride the Tempest tech in the Typhoon.

Move fast and break things is the mantra in tech. Five years from drawing board to in service is about right if the flying tech is to be cutting edge.

Glass Half Full

I don’t agree we should buy more Typhoons, that would undermine RAF numbers for Tempest. We need to maximise those numbers.

I don’t see value in investing significantly more on the EJ-200 either for what would be very low production numbers.

If we need or want more air frames in the interim then F-35B makes more sense, despite current high operating costs and low availability. But I suspect we’ll want to try to push any additional/replacement purchase out to second half of the 2030’s at the earliest and ideally into the 2040’s.

BB85

I think the Saudis will still order more Typhoon which will keep production lines open. If not I think we will need to order more to keep production lines open passed 2025. I think it would be worth it if we could integrate new engines before they go onto Tempest and upgraded sensors.

Meirion X

What would be the point of ordering more, if they are outclassed by F-35As?

Deep32

Therein lies the problem GHF, the more we push any additional buys out past 2030, the tighter becomes the strain on the RAF budget, it will need to allocate increased amounts of funding for Loyal Wingman, Project Centurion and , Tempest, so after 2030ish I imagine that money will be too tight and if we are to get additional F35 airframes, they will be somewhere between 2025-2030. My view only, possibly well out of sync too!!!!

Glass Half Full

There’s also the cost to upgrade most of the 48 F35Bs to Block 4 post 2026 (or whenever its done) with support for UK weapons, so I agree no great answers here Deep32. It doesn’t sound like that upgrade will be a trivial cost. What I take away from the original briefings by both BAES and the RAF at the Tempest public program launch in 2018 is that fast development is critical to driving down cost and increasing RAF aircraft numbers (the latter creating a virtuous circle to help further reduce costs). This wasn’t a passing comment, it was stressed… Read more »

Deep32

Yes, it’s a very good question! I’ve been having a discussion with @MeirionX over on STRN about broadly similar subject, he pointed out that LM are already introducing BLK 4 software in 6 monthly increments, which I wasn’t aware of. Despite this, F35 won’t be at full BLK 4 standard until 2026, so , hopefully some of that extra £16 billion is going towards some of the upgrading now. I have heard romour that the RAF are more interested in Tempest, but can’t believe that they would give up Tornado capability for some 15-20 yes until Tempest goes into production!… Read more »

Glass Half Full

Re your last point, perhaps some clarity next week but its probably unrealistic for us to expect every last “i” and “t” will be dotted and crossed. The RAF haven’t given up Tornado capability, because Centurion gives them that and more, but I take your point in your comments on Navy Lookout that they don’t have the numbers of aircraft, with the RAF numbers at an all time low. What waiting until say mid to late 2020’s before evaluating further orders of F35Bs does for the MoD, is give visibility into whether Tempest is holding to its timeline. If its… Read more »

ChariotRider

Hi Glass Half Full, I would agree with you with regards to maximising Tempest numbers, however, upgrading Typhoon (and perhaps buying a few more) with TVN and some of the other tech discussed in this thread could well support the Tempest programme. It would also give the RAF early experience of the technology and would potentially do much to avoid the kind of training issues that have apparently been encountered on the F35 project. As Typhoon appears to be increasingly like to benefit from Tempest tech and Tempest to benefit of risked tech, might as well maximise the benefits. Cheers… Read more »

Glass Half Full

Hi CR, I agree that Tempest will leverage off a lot of Typhoon technology development in avionics and perhaps also software, as the latter has clearly been the Achilles heel for F-35. Indeed BAES at the public launch the use of spiral development from Typhoon to de-risk. I don’t think we’ll be using much of the Typhoons EJ200 or TVN on Tempest though. It will be a new engine with built in electric power generation per the RR video at the link below. I suspect RR may use blown air to control the jet instead of the more usual TVN,… Read more »

Glass Half Full

And this joint PR from RR, BAES, Leonardo and MBDA references the new radar technology, so it doesn’t look like they’ll just use the Typhoon Captor-E.
https://www.rolls-royce.com/media/press-releases/2020/15-10-2020-latest-uk-technology-revealed-for-a-ground-breaking-combat-aircraft.aspx

John Clark

The RAF’s Radar 2 ESAR being developed for Typhoon is a real game changer, it’s a whole generation ahead of the F35 and will turn the Typhoon into a first day of war door kicker.

The electronic attack capability being hinted at, will give the RAF a world beating capability.

I just hope the upgrades will also be retrofitted to block 2 as well as block 3, it would give the RAF a small but unstoppable capability, able to punch well above it’s apparent weight

Nigel Collins

I agree John, hence the reason for me suggesting we replace all Tranche 1 aircraft and add this capability to all of our Typhoon fleet.

And with the addition of BriteCloud, along with some of the other available options I mentioned above, we would have a very credible 4.5+ gen fleet of aircraft to take us well into the 2040s that could not only knock on doors but deliver a sizeable payload too.

I think the term being used is Digital Stealth!

https://uk.leonardocompany.com/en/innovation/britecloud

Steve Curtis

15? He must have included the two City-class under build………

James Fennell

Could have counted those in commission only, a few are laid up in refit or awaiting upgrade.

TrevorH

Who cares about 15. The point is the increase in escort numbers up to 24

Mark F

Better get building then. Watch out for a sneaky early withdrawal of the T45s.

Steve Curtis

Goes without saying……..

RobW

Don’t be daft. They won’t be able to deploy the carrier group beyond the Channel without the T45s.

TrevorH

Exactly. Replies to these articles are becoming increasingly infantile.

TrevorH

Why waste time talking such rubbish?

Mark Franks

Okay keep your hair on. It goes without saying that they won’t be retired now but early. Time will tell.

Robert Blay

They will only get withdrawn early if a replacement is available early.

Graham Moore

Why withdraw T45s? They are required for air defence of the fleet, and they are within their first third of life.

Andrew

Sad there didn’t get the Engines right with T45 .Plus lack of weapons fit ,if there invested more money into this Type ,there would of been fine ships .

RobW

Gunbuster has explained the engine issues in detail more than once so I’ll leave that to him/others in the know. Suffice to say they have been operating perfectly fine for a long time now.

Lack of weapons fit? Aster 15 and 30 plus Harpoon. They are perfectly well armed for their role and are among the best out there for their intended purpose.

Andrew

That’s good to hear however was aware of of good AD fit but if you look into it the Harpoon was took off the Type 22 batch 3s not all 45s were giving Harpoons system.

RobW

Yes I have to admit that 4 harpoon fitted T45s isn’t great. I hope (probably naively) that the white paper next week will mention the interim ASM and that it will be fitted across the fleet.

Andrew

Let’s hope so mate 👍

DJ

The version of Harpoon used by RN is block 1C which is generally considered obsolete. Most Harpoon users have already moved to block 2 or 2+ or are still upgrading to those versions eg USA. Upgrade kits are available, though there is the question of overall age in regards to UK missiles. The problem with Aster on T45 is number of missiles. T45 lacks quad pack options at present. USN tend to fire 2 missiles at every attack. UK fires only 1 missile. Regardless of who is right, the maths don’t add up. A USN AB destroyer with 96 cells… Read more »

Sean

So we’re going to have;-
6 x Type 45 – specialist air-defence
8 x Type 26 – specialist anti-submarine
5 x Type 31 – general purpose
5 x Type 32 – specialist anti-mine?
Not forgetting that a ship that specialises can do many other things too.
Doesn’t seem too bad; depending on the ship’s capabilities, armaments, and availability of course.

Levi Goldsteinberg

As far as I’ve read (and I can’t workout what is rumour and what is fact), the T32 will be a multi-purpose frigate with a capacity to act as a mother ship for unmanned MCMVs and UAVs

TrevorH

Where is the evidence of “anti mine”?

Sean

Guess you didn’t notice the “?” after “anti-mine”.
The talk is that these will be general purpose frigates that can act as motherships to the anti-mine drones that the RN is buying. This makes sense rather than buying and crewing new dedicated mine-hunters to replace our current ageing ones.

TrevorH

Lots of talk. What evidence?

captain p wash

None whatsoever.

Stephen Ball

Written questions and answers – Written questions, answers and statements – UK Parliament
Plus on Type 31 and Type 32 they can hold TEU container’s so use 1 or 2 for control or for spare parts.

Last edited 15 days ago by Stephen Ball
TrevorH

Yes. It says the specification has not started yet. It suggests autonomous anti submarine for instance. What ever it has, some people will complain it’s gun is too small.

Stephen Ball

Get your point, maybe we should arm the ship with 2000 missiles, so then people can say it’s over armed.

Glass Half Full

I think the point is that potentially everything from a River B2 to a T45, Bays and other RFA vessels, re-purposed offshore support ships procured for purpose, or operated by someone like SERCO, and STUFT might be capable of deploying the MCM unmanned systems the RN is buying.

Which in addition to being able to fly these systems anywhere in the world at short notice, to add MCM to forward deployed vessels if required, means we will have a more numerous MCM capability and a massively more flexible one.

James Fennell

Type 32 will be designed for offboard autonoous systems – that will inlcude MCM but also ASW and many other task. They should be a full fat frigate. A lot of new designs are going this way such as the South Koreans, Singapoereans and Japanese navies.

The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken

more ships , more nukes , more cash being spent , seems fairly positive as long as they (the politicians ) are serious about making us the Global king pins once again , sounds good to me .

👍🏻🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇬🇧

Levi Goldsteinberg

Curb your enthusiasm until the White Paper is published. We still have no news on cuts to the army or RAF logistics aircraft

Robert Blay

Great news for the RN. Out with the old, In with the new 🇬🇧

AlexS

There will not be even 8 Type 26 at end of this decade at current building rate.

-Did he included the Rivers to achieve 24?

AndyCee

Some of the Type 23s will still be in play by 2030, I think? Maybe 3 or 4?
However, unless T32 is a T31 variant rather than a new design I can’t imagine any of them in operation by 2030

Steve R

It must just be a Type 31 variant. Anything else is a waste of money designing a whole new ship.

Robert Blay

No. 24 Escorts T45, T26 & T31/32

Alex Brown

Do we have any information on the Type 32?

Daniele Mandelli

Eyes opened wide at that comment.

PM must mean escorts.

AndyCee

Reckon ha is including the B2 Rivers in that number?

Daniele Mandelli

No. I think he does not know a Frigate from a T45, and means all escorts once T32 arrives.

Daniele Mandelli

This “multi role Ocean Surveillance Vessel” is intereting.

A modern HMS Challenger with the means to interfere with or protect undersea cables with Divers and Drones perhaps?

Levi Goldsteinberg

Or an HMS Scott replacement? To me she seems suspiciously big for a survey vessel, I’ve had a sneaking suspicion based on absolutely nothing other than her size that she is a covert surveillance vessel

Daniele Mandelli

Possibly. And the other Survey ships.

Challenger herself I believe did more than just the “seabed operations vessel” nonsense.

Robert1

Daniele probably safe to say that other than HMS Magpie all the survey vessels have a use beyond just the ensuring safe passage for all mariners statement sometimes used.

NavyLookout had an article on Scott last year which hints at the size of the sonar array which will be a dominant factor in determining how big Scott needed to be. Should be able to find it if google “In Focus: HMS Scott”.

Daniele Mandelli

Found it. Good read, thank you.

AndyCee

Do you know if there are there any specifics on this vessel? Or even if it’s going to be one only or perhaps 2? (Replacing Scott and Argus)

Daniele Mandelli

I know nothing more than what I posted mate. Eager to find out.

AndyCee

Unless I’ve missed it, it isn’t specifically mentioned in the Integrated Review document…

Daniele Mandelli

I cannot see it either, only that it was mentioned.

AndyCee

Found it, buried on Page 92 of the IR document under “Supporting a resilient ocean”:

The Royal Navy’s new Multi-Role Ocean Surveillance Ship will demonstrate this more integrated approach in practice, protecting our CNI at sea and improving our knowledge of the maritime environment.

Daniele Mandelli

Well found.
Protecting our CNI at sea. Says it all. Undersea Cables.

Order of the Ditch

On an unrelated note the report states ‘Progress our Carrier Strike capabilities, with at least 48 F-35s by 2025’
At least this gives hope we will end up ordering more than 48 F35Bs. I think 138 is too many, especially with the astronomical running costs but even 60-65 would be decent for us.

Steve R

I think 80-90 would be an ideal number; 4 squadrons of 12 each, an OCU and 20-30 spares.

If needed we could scrape a 5th squadron together in a pinch, like 809 Squadron came to be in the Falklands War.

Derek

80 would do me. With full rate production not even started yet and so many customers, we can decide much later down the line if we need top ups or if we might have a Sea Tempest option. I suspect an aspiration for a carrier borne loyal wingman exists. U.S. are already flying off and deck landing drones regularly now. Not fighters but that’s the next logical step.

Jan van der Werk

I frankly trust the blonde oaf as far as I could throw him.
He is a serial liar.
Not to put the dampeners on peoples enthusiasm of course. Even Cameron hinted there may be more…however the reality is usually a long way from what emanates from politicians mouths.

Geoffrey Roach

Two easy answers to your problem 1) Tell us what he has lied about regarding Defence and 2) why not stand for election yourself and prove how good you are.

TrevorH

You are bring infantile. The harsh fact for you is the govt has increased defence spending significantly.
Its the Army who have grossly mismanaged it’s equipment proposals.

Graham Moore

Cameron is two PMs ago.

Daniele Mandelli

AIRBORNE. Where are you?

Details emerging of Army reorg into “Brigade Combat Teams” Self supporting and getting away from the basic infantry battalion. On Army website. Much of what you’ve been hoping for.

“Global Response Force” consisting of “Army Special Operations Forces” which will support UKSF from Regional Hubs.

AndyCee

Daniele
Do you have any link to that? I’d be interested to read more on this part

Daniele Mandelli

Hang on

Daniele Mandelli
AndyCee

Thanks. Light on details as always on the Army website!

Daniele Mandelli

Yes, but need to absorb everything I hear as soon as to keep up to speed. More will emerge of course.

Army operating from “Global Hubs” with associated Cyber and EW assets. Hope they don’t just mean the Specialised Infantry Battalions!

Rob

Thanks.
However predictably the website has crashed.

Daniele Mandelli

I’m wondering if it is typical rebranding ploy and the “Global Response force” is actually a reduced 16AA Bde, without its enablers or reduced more. ( so Para Regiment, and ending its role as a deployable brigade ) Pretty much what is feared is happening to 3 Cdo, slowly but surely, as they revert to small unit raiding from the sea. Both have the calibre to support SF, as ““Army Special Operations Forces” and indeed already do so with 1 PARA which forms the bulk of the SFSG, along with a Coy of RM. I await detail to make a proper… Read more »

Rob

Thanks.
That is pretty much what I’m thinking too. Trouble is without ‘enablers’ our excellent light infantry are just that, light. Unless these Bdes have meaningful artillery and air defence, not to mention REME, combat engineering and loggies, they will not be fit for purpose.

We’ll see on the 22nd.

TrevorH

This seems a good idea. Long over due.
Personally I would have smaller battalions that would give flexibility for “combat teams”. My thought is that cap badges can be retained… may be brigades, like say the “rifle” brigade or “fusilier” brigade could be a basis of recruitment.

Daniele Mandelli

What gets my goat is removing enablers like the Hercs despite wanting an army more deployed and more global. I pray those reports are wrong.

Defence_n00b

Interestingly, that link has been taken down. Did the army get its dates wrong and release info a week early?

Robert Blay

I don’t know much about the Army, but I’m guessing that’s good news from an organisation point of view?

Daniele Mandelli

No idea yet mate. Might yet be a simple ( and typical ) rebranding.
Rename existing while cutting, and call it “new”

It will be new if 16AA and 3 Cdo ( and other light elements ) are properly beefed up with enablers – Drones, EW, Cyber, SIGINT, long range fires, aviation, and so on. They currently lack many of these or have minimal.

Geoffrey Roach

Come on guys…lots of negative vibes,as we use to say!. whichever way you look at this paper everything in it is a step forward from where we are now.

TrevorH

Correct. But too many people are peddling prejudice.

Peter S

No it really isn’t Geoffrey. I’ve just ploughed through the whole report. It is full of virtue signalling wokespeak on climate change, girls education, bio diversity but nothing on growing enough food for our already too large population. Most of it is either aspirational waffle or regurgitation of things already under way. It’s almost as if Boris has gone round asking everyone for something to shove into the review to make it seem important. It’s a deeply depressing read. On the defence commitments, Bunter couldn’t remember his ship numbers but more importantly the dates given are not feasible: 24 escorts… Read more »

Robert Blay

T23 is going to be in service until 2035. That’s how they get to 24.

Geoffrey Roach

Give it a rest, for Heaven’s sake. You make everything seem as you’ve lost a Faberge egg and found a Cadbury’s one instead.

Glass Half Full

Now that did crack me up 🙂

Geoffrey Roach

Nice one GHF. I’ll see if I can “shell” out for another one soon!

Peter S

I have read in their entirety
* The 10 year equipment plan
* The NAO report( Inc appendices)
* The defence select committee minutes on the above
* The PAC examination of witnesses about the above
Anyone who does so will come to the same view about the IR.
If the defence white paper next week shows that I’m wrong, I will be genuinely delighted.

Derek

Commons library Armed Forces Personnel statistics, 8th March. Predicts a reduction in the Army to 70,000 with no redundancies. A phased reduction by lower annual recruitment.

Peter S

The commitments are clear. But in the light of the NAO report on the equipment plan, what is going to be chopped to match funding with commitments?Dribs and drabs won’t deliver enough so some major current capability will have to go. To make most sense, it will have to be kit that will require heavy funding over the 10 years.
* Warrior?
* LPDS?
* Hercules?
*Pumas?
Have I missed any?

captain p wash

Admirals ?

John

Could the River OPV be classed as an “escort”?

Paul T

To the Uninitiated and Uneducated non Military Types ( are you listening Boris ) the answer is definately Yes.

captain p wash

Well Yes. They are used to Escort Russian ships through the English Channel.

Roy

So in nine years there will be 24 escorts in service?? How exactly? Type 23 starts being withdrawn in three years, Type 26 and 31 won’t START entering service for six years and Type 32 is a paper vessel at this point.

James

I’m sure China will be terrified knowing that a Britain will be forward deploying an OPV to the region. I know this will be unpopular with some but we need to learn our place in the world because unless we are considering seriously increasing the budget it’s all rhetoric. If all reports are true we are hollowing out the conventional forces to pay for this flag waving. There is no point talking the good game if we have less men, planes and helicopters to back it up. It is great news that we hopefully might get more escorts but its… Read more »

Robert Blay.

I don’t see any Chinese OPV’s in our neck of the wood’s. Probably because they can’t.

James H

So the Chinese Navy is growing by the size of the royal navy each year and somehow we think we can exert some kind of influence with a patrol ship?
And maybe the chinese dont send OPVs to europe because they know they would be a token effort.
Growing the fleet is great but being realistic is also needed.

Robert Blay

We are not trying to terrify the Chinese with a single OPV. Buy deploying the QE task group does send a message. Because despite the Chinese investment in the Navy, they cannot put to sae a carrier capability equal to our own or the USN, let alone deploy it to the far side of the world. The RN isn’t trying to out gun the Chinese. But the RN’s capability in a coalition would be substantial.

Kizzy p

Are wee going to lose the hulls of the minesweeper fleet though as well ,as the T32s are supposedly going to have autonomous mine sweeping tech ????

Graham

The IDR is the equivalent of modernizing the kitchen. Replacing the fridge; stove, dishwasher, toaster and kettle with a new fridge and stove and adding a smart device like Alexa. The dishwasher, toaster and kettle have been sacrificed to pay for the fancy new fridge and stove, and no one knows how Alexa will integrate into the mix.

Challenger

Who know’s what Boris meant! Important thing is we’ve got commitments to T26, T31 and T32 which means in some shape or form there will be 24 frigates and destroyers in service. Coupled with the 2 new research ships and the possibility of more than 48 F35B later in the decade it’s not a bad result for the RN! The only concerning thing is the mention of removing the 13 mine-hunters from service. Deleting all of them in one go within the next couple of years would be a disaster. Hoping the details next week will confirm that it only… Read more »

Geoffrey Roach

HI challenger, thank God a voice of reason. Well done.

Ivan Kalot

nise bowts for sinky russies

Alba Seaborne

He didn’t make a mistake with 15. Thats what will be left by end 2021 through to 2025 once the detail comes out next week.
Montrose, Monmouth and 2x other Type 23’s (probably the next 2 into Lifex sacrificed) will go. That leaves 15.
Then the jam later in the decade, possibly an increase in build rate post HMS Glasgow, but 24 by 2030 ambitious though Rosyth once running could do 2 at a time.

Peter S

It’s just an ambition. Stephen Lovegrove confirmed to the defence select committee that for Type 32 we expect to start construction towards the end of this decade.
24 escorts by 2030? No way.

Steve

If the construction doesn’t start until the end of the decade, it seems unlikely any of them will be in service by 2030. I smell some creative accounting.

Just a question of how they are being creative. I suspect the 24 will include a few overlaps as new vessels enter trials, whilst their replacement is getting ready for decommissioning.

Peter S

Or Boris prefers the grand vision to tricky facts?

Meirion X

The last T23ASW has already gone into LIFEX in Dec. Only Monmouth has not had LIFEX. Some others(3), are more then half way through LIFEX. Montrose had 1st LIFEX in 2018.

Last edited 15 days ago by Meirion X
Nicholas

How about losing a ship or two and diverting that money into a more comprehensive suite of weapons for the escorts?

Lee Hannaford

Evening All Before we start looking at extra T26/31/45 et al let’s look at the effect and outcome we are trying to achieve. An escort or frigate doesn’t need to be an above 4000 tonne manned warship, it could be an optionally manned platform providing security and presence protecting a task group, amphibious group or working in partnership with a Multi Role Support Ship. If we look at the TX ship from Steller Systems for example we have a 700 tonne platform that can travel 6000 miles and has an endurance of 40 days (unmanned). We need to move beyond… Read more »

Ian L

Why do I get the feeling some one at the MOD has been lazy and dusted of the old C1/C2 & C3 concept for the surface fleet that was floating around 10 to 12 years ago and repackaged as something new. IE:- Type 26 = gobal high end warship/ C1, Type 31 = gobal general purpose/ patrol ship/ C2 and Type 32 = gobal corvette & mine hunter/sweeper /C3. If I remember correctly though numbers mentioned were C1 8-10 ships, C2 8-10 ships and C3 8-12 ships at the time . It would seem that C3 has been rebranded as… Read more »

Paul T

There could be something in it – Fincantieri are Producing a similar Concept for the Italian Navy ,PPA Full (C1) PPA Light + ( C2) PPA Light (C3)

Jonathan

Does this article link with the earlier one on miss information. In defence news ?

Andrew

Like bring back old Cruiser HMS Bellfast.🤔

Jonathan

ive worked it out….no I have not…Yes I have it…..Boris was taking nonsense and making up cool sounding figure.

Rob

Whether we like it or not, there will be war with China, we just don’t know in what form, when or what will trigger it. China is likely to be the aggressor especially where it concerns Taiwan. It’s reasonably clear it won’t be a land war, because we know full well we would lose and by “we” I mean the West, NATO, whatever countries will engage as allies. It will be a war fought on the sea, under the sea and in the air. This week, several eminent Chinese and Western think tanks predicted a Western power’s war with China… Read more »

Johan

Total Surface Fleet of 24 vessels easy too follow

geoff

A little enlightenment albeit for in the main for those who know all of this but just by way of summary:- The Surface Fleet is everything that operates above water from the smallest patrol boat to the QE Class carriers. ‘Escorts’ of which there are currently 19, are the six T45’s and 13 T23’s . The increase in the escort fleet to 24 will come about with the addition of 5 extra frigates. The distinction between Destroyer and frigate is becoming increasingly blurred. HMS Belfast is unlikely to be re-activated. Kindly note there is only one ‘L’ in Belfast. 🙂… Read more »

Andrew

You keep me right mate .☺

Geoff

OK, its a start.

Now what about the F-35B order, the Hercules and C-17s, and the E-7s ?

Whats with the drip feeding ???

Ken

Its lovely to have all these new ships, but any chance of actually arming them properly, otherwise may as well be patrol boats.

Julian

That’s the thing to watch. T26 looks good. Given T45’s dedicated AAW role I’m OK with that too, but if T31 stays as the latest info and renders seem to indicate i.e. 2 x 40mm, 1 x 57mm and a mere 12 Sea Ceptor that’s barely a frigate and if in a nightmare scenario T32 ends up with a similar level of weapons fit we end up with 10 of the 24 “escorts” that are closer to OPVs. People have speculated that the assumed 5 x T32 might actually be MCM motherships so essentially frigates and also Hunt/Sandown replacements. I… Read more »

Ross

Looking at things as they stand, does look clearly like he misspoke and meant 24 escorts (one hopes), so presumably the split would be:
6 Type 45 Destroyers – 6
8 Type 26 Frigates -14
5 Type 31 Frigates – 19
5(?) Type 32 Frigates – 24

John Hartley

By the time you get to the end of production for T26 & T31 Frigates, you should be thinking of a T45 Destroyer replacement. If we put right the Blair/Brown mistake & go for 8 Destroyers, then 24 – 8 = 16 frigates.

Joe16

All well and good, but we already have one or two tied up alongside because of the lack of crews. I appreciate that this will be offset by the lower manning requirements of newer vessels, but surely not by that much. I’d rather we operated the all vessels we have before we spend more money on hulls we can’t crew.

Rogbob

I assume this is all acheived by some counting of reserve/building ships in terms of “by 2030”. But basically, doesnt this reflect replacing 13 (12?) Hunt/Sandown ships (average displacement 600ton?) with 5x 4000ton frigates and a bunch of MCM kit (UUVs/USVs and associated manpower detachment) spread over those and T31 and T26? So growth from 7-8000 tons to 20,000 tons, albeit < 1/2 numbers but with 1 MCM equipped frigate able to do 2-3 MCMVs perhaps? RN gains a more flexible force (MCMVs being extremely one trick ponies and expensive at that) and with modern kit (MCMVs also being far… Read more »

Bill

So Scotland gets the builds; all of them? England will bear all of the army cuts, in battalions binned. Not REME, signals or logistics but armour and infantry. Once again, frontline strength is culled and it is English regiments that will pay the price. English shipyards get what?
What beggars belief is that a typhoon squadron is allegedly threatened with disbandment. Project Centurion the most succesful procurement program of recent decades looks to roundly shafted by this proposal and the F35 ‘order’ never to be fulfilled. We live in interesting times!

Andrew

UK government need a strong coffee☕ wake them up.

Rogbob

The Typh sqn going will be your desired scottish hit…

Noting there is almost no RAF procurement from scotland with all design, production and maintenance done in places in England.

Its also hard to find any large Army procurements from Scotland.

Nuclear (which is a large chunk of money) is also all England.

Rogbob

What is the logic for each class type size?

6 T45 aimed at 1:3 gives 2 per carrier.
8 T26 similarly but also an indpeendent ship for TAS in home waters.
5 T31 gives 2 deployed?
5 T32 similarly? (Noting we have 4 MCMV in thr Gulf so a similar replacement forward presence seems likely?)

Or is it all just as “many/few as RN/treasury can get away with”?

Richard Prust

Has the Royal Navy got the Crew numbers for an increase in the number of Vessels? One must suspect that although the number of ships is planned to increase, must likely some of the T23’s will be mothballed remaining in-service. Oh politics politics

Robert1

Believe applications have skyrocketed during COVID

Geoff Baker

The Devil is in the detail, the Type 26 and the Type 31 will replace the Type 23s so in 2030 there will be a mix of Type 26, Type 31 and Type 23s with some in build and some coming to the end of their lives. The devil is does the 24 mean in service or rather does it refer to those on order/build as we will have ships in service with their replacements being built !!! I suspect it is the latter with the new Type 32’s unlikely to appear before 2030 as at best as the project… Read more »

Simon

If we are to have 2 carrier groups deployed at the same time, we will need more frigates and destroyers to escort them and still fulfil our other naval commitments. We won’t always be able to rely on our nato/european/commonwealth allies to provide additional units long term to the carrier groups. Its only my opinion but i feel we need at least 10 destroyers and 20 frigates. Also the OPV class of ship should have been upgraded to a corvette type vessel and carry extra fire power.

Allan

Good news as far as it goes but still leaves the navy well short of the number of ships it needs if it is to operate as a Truly Global Force!