In this snapshot of the Royal Navy and RFA’s current fleet status, we see the status of individual ships and what they’re up to.

From the formidable Queen Elizabeth-class carriers to the nimble Archer-class patrol boats, this analysis reveals the number of active and inactive vessels across each distinct class.

A special word of gratitude goes to the diligent efforts of Open Source Intelligence analyst and renowned UK naval commentator, Britsky (@TBrit90). His detailed work and commitment to transparency in naval affairs have proven invaluable in compiling this report. We deeply appreciate his permission to utilise the information for this article, providing our readers with an insightful glimpse into the state of the Royal Navy and RFA. His contributions to naval discourse continue to enhance public understanding and foster informed discussions.”

Of the Royal Navy and RFA surface fleet, approximately 29.41% of the ships are currently inactive, encompassing vessels undergoing maintenance, refit, and other non-operational statuses. It’s important to note that the article here does not include information on the UK’s nuclear submarines, which form a critical component of the nation’s naval defence strategy. The information can be found in the original data, though.

https://twitter.com/TBrit90/status/1713366920316035218

Anyway, here’s the breakdown.

Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers

Composition & Operational Readiness:

  • Total Number: 2
  • Currently Active: 2 (100% of the class)

Status of Individual Ships:

  • HMS Queen Elizabeth: Currently deployed in the North Sea as part of the Carrier Strike Group (CSG).
  • HMS Prince of Wales: Deployed to the US, currently undergoing trials.

Albion Class landing platform docks

Composition & Operational Readiness:

  • Total Number: 2
  • Currently Active: 0 (0% of the class)
  • Currently Inactive: 2 (100% of the class)

Status of Individual Ships:

  • HMS Albion: Currently inactive, with its location in Devonport.
  • HMS Bulwark: Also located in Devonport and currently marked as inactive. However, it’s worth noting that HMS Bulwark is in the process of reactivation.

Type 45 Destroyers

Composition & Operational Readiness:

  • Total Number: 6
  • Currently Active: 3 (50% of the class)
  • Currently Inactive: 3 (50% of the class)

Reasons for Inactivity:

  • Undergoing Refit: 3

Status of Individual Ships:

  • HMS Daring: In refit, currently in Portsmouth.
  • HMS Dauntless: Active, deployed to the US for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations.
  • HMS Diamond: Active, deployed in the North Sea as part of the Carrier Strike Group (CSG).
  • HMS Dragon: In refit, currently in Portsmouth.
  • HMS Defender: In refit in Portsmouth, with upgrades for the Common Anti-Air Modular Missile (CAMM).
  • HMS Duncan: Active, deployed in the Mediterranean as part of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2).

Type 23 Frigates

Composition & Operational Readiness:

  • Total Number: 11
  • Currently Active: 5 (45% of the class)
  • Currently Inactive: 6 (55% of the class)

Reasons for Inactivity:

  • Undergoing Refit: 4
  • Undergoing Maintenance: 2

Status of Individual Ships:

  • HMS Argyll: In refit, currently in Devonport.
  • HMS Lancaster: Active, deployed in the Persian Gulf.
  • HMS Iron Duke: Active in UK waters.
  • HMS Westminster: Inactive, stationed at Devonport.
  • HMS Northumberland: Undergoing maintenance at Devonport.
  • HMS Richmond: Undergoing maintenance at Devonport.
  • HMS Somerset: Undergoing maintenance at Devonport.
  • HMS Sutherland: In refit at Devonport.
  • HMS Kent: Active in UK waters.
  • HMS Portland: Active in UK waters, serving in the TAPS role, primarily monitoring submarine activity around HMNB Clyde.
  • HMS St Albans: In refit at Devonport.

River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels

Composition & Operational Readiness:

  • Total Number: 8
  • Currently Active: 8 (100% of the class)

Status of Individual Ships:

  • HMS Tyne: Active, patrolling UK waters.
  • HMS Severn: Active in UK waters, primarily for training purposes.
  • HMS Mersey: Active, patrolling UK waters.
  • HMS Forth: Deployed in the Atlantic, serving as a Falkland Islands Patrol Vessel (FIPV).
  • HMS Medway: Deployed in the Falklands, serving as a Falkland Islands Patrol Vessel (FIPV).
  • HMS Trent: Deployed in West Africa, operating from Gibraltar.
  • HMS Tamar: Deployed to Australia, with operations in the Pacific region.
  • HMS Spey: Deployed in the South China Sea (SCS), operating in the Pacific region.

Hunt Class Mine Countermeasures Vessels

Composition & Operational Readiness:

  • Total Number: 6
  • Currently Active: 3 (50% of the class)
  • Currently Inactive: 3 (50% of the class)

Reasons for Inactivity:

  • Undergoing Refit: 2

Status of Individual Ships:

  • HMS Ledbury: In refit, currently in Portsmouth.
  • HMS Cattistock: Active, operating in UK waters.
  • HMS Brocklesby: In refit, currently in Portsmouth.
  • HMS Middleton: Deployed in the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Kipion.
  • HMS Chiddingfold: Deployed in the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Kipion.
  • HMS Hurworth: Active, operating in UK waters.

Sandown Class Mine Countermeasures Vessels

Composition & Operational Readiness:

  • Total Number: 2
  • Currently Active: 2 (100% of the class)

Status of Individual Ships:

  • HMS Penzance: Active, operating in UK waters from the Clyde.
  • HMS Bangor: Deployed in the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Kipion.

Archer Class Patrol Boats

Composition & Operational Readiness:

  • Total Number: 16
  • Currently Active: 15 (93.75% of the class)
  • Currently Inactive: 1 (6.25% of the class)

Reasons for Inactivity:

  • Undergoing Maintenance: 1

Status of Individual Ships:

  • HMS Archer: Undergoing maintenance in South Shields.
  • HMS Biter: Active, operating from Liverpool.
  • HMS Smiter: Active, operating from Portsmouth.
  • HMS Pursuer: Active, operating from Glasgow.
  • HMS Blazer: Active, operating from Portsmouth.
  • HMS Dasher: Active, operating from Portsmouth.
  • HMS Puncher: Active, operating from Portsmouth.
  • HMS Charger: Active, operating from Liverpool.
  • HMS Ranger: Active, operating from Portsmouth.
  • HMS Trumpeter: Active, operating from Ipswich.
  • HMS Express: Active, operating from Cardiff.
  • HMS Example: Active, operating from Gateshead.
  • HMS Explorer: Active, operating from Hull.
  • HMS Exploit: Active, operating from Portsmouth.
  • HMS Tracker: Active, stationed at Clyde.
  • HMS Raider: Active, stationed at Clyde.

Cutlass Class Patrol Boats

Composition & Operational Readiness:

  • Total Number: 2
  • Currently Active: 2 (100% of the class)

Status of Individual Ships:

  • HMS Cutlass: Active, stationed and operating in Gibraltar.
  • HMS Dagger: Active, stationed and operating in Gibraltar.

Royal Navy Survey Vessels

Type & Role: The Royal Navy’s survey vessels are specialised ships of various classes designed for the crucial task of hydrographic and oceanographic surveying.

Composition & Operational Readiness:

  • Total Number: 3
  • Currently Active: 3 (100% of the type)

Status of Individual Ships:

  • HMS Scott: An ocean survey vessel, currently active and operating in UK waters.
  • HMS Protector: A polar research and survey vessel, currently active and operating in UK waters.
  • HMS Magpie: A hydrographic survey vessel, currently active and operating in UK waters.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA)

Tide Class fleet replenishment tankers

  • Active: 2 (RFA Tidespring, RFA Tideforce)
  • Inactive: 2 (RFA Tiderace, RFA Tidesurge under refit)

Wave Class fleet replenishment tanks

  • Active: 0
  • Inactive:
  •  2 (RFA Wave Knight, RFA Wave Ruler)

Fort Class stores ship

  • Active: 0
  • Inactive: 1 (RFA Fort Victoria)

Bay Class landing ship docks

  • Active: 3 (RFA Lyme Bay, RFA Mounts Bay, RFA Cardigan Bay)

Other major vessels:

  • RFA Argus: Active supporting the Littoral Response Group (South) (LRG(S)).
  • RFA Proteus: Currently active in the UK.
  • RFA Stirling Castle: Active in the UK.
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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Jim
Jim (@guest_760566)
8 months ago

70% sound pretty good until you look at all the fighty ships and realise half the destroyers and more than half the frigates are laid up.

Thanks god we did buy 5 extra bay class and keep the old 3 or we have nothing at sea with an actual gun onboard.

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_760567)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim

….5 extra Batch2… perhaps?

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_760672)
8 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Need mighty ships could always go back to coal and sails

George
George (@guest_761258)
8 months ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Apparently the RN has more admirals than combat vessels. How about fitting sails and oars to their desks. With a good set of binos they can do picket duty for the carriers. Just a thought.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_762214)
7 months ago
Reply to  George

Give those old crust admirals an archer and the if they refuse, sack them

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_762213)
7 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

To a military spec.

Jacko
Jacko (@guest_760569)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim

I’m sure Gunbuster will be along to explain maintenance etc does not necessarily mean unavailable if operations dictate they are needed.

Last edited 8 months ago by Jacko
Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_760624)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

And he would be correct.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_760675)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

I think bad schedules are a lot of the problem, but the performance of the yards carrying out the work is so poor, when they’re given the task of the type 23 first aid, they aren’t up to it. The type 23 ships are in a mess, they’re old, have been mercilessly flogged for all of their service, the same thing is happening with the T45’S. If the carriers are expected to be around for fifty years, then all future ships should be able to do the same thing. Those echo ships don’t have to be sitting in Portsmouth, they’ve… Read more »

Jonno
Jonno (@guest_761205)
8 months ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Can’t agree with you about the T45’s they are dockside queens. When we sell them to Chile or Rumania they will be as nearly new condition.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_762215)
7 months ago
Reply to  Jonno

Like all the 72 sea harriers that we GAVE to the Americans.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_760722)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

I am sure Gunbuster will explain that it depends on the level of work being carried out as to whether a ship could be tasked in an emergency. I doubt a ship could be made ready for tasking if it was undergoing a very major refit.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_760614)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Some of the RFA carry 30mm and/or phalanx so they are better protected than a B1 River as well as being larger and therefore more survivable?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_760721)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Under the somewhat maligned ‘rule of 3’, it was always expected that just one third of vessels would be active ie on task or available for tasking.

These OS figures are significantly better than rule of 3 expectations for FF/DD. Three T45s active rather than 2; 5 frigates active rather than 4.

ChrisLondon
ChrisLondon (@guest_760796)
8 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I think the rule of three was one in LT refit, one in port, one at sea. Active as a category seems to conflate the last two.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_760843)
8 months ago
Reply to  ChrisLondon

Thanks Chris, I thought the one in port was undergoing maintenance (short of a LT refit) with crew on leave or courses.
I am sure a mariner can advise.

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_760568)
8 months ago

Pitiful number of warships.

Jonno
Jonno (@guest_761206)
8 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

If I was Defence Secretary I would be asking for an extra 7bn GBP for Defence right now.
Broadly half for Navy, balance for RAF.
At least 1bn for anti-missile defence for the homeland defence of Great Britain.
Britannia has no clothes.
We could be in a major conflict in 2024.

Paul42
Paul42 (@guest_760570)
8 months ago

This makes disturbing reading as it highlights a serious shortage of active vessels with less than 50% of Destroyers and Frigates available, with 0 LPDs…..

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_760677)
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

A big deal is being made of the lack of amphibious stuff, I can’t see the royal marines storming any beaches in the next ten years or so, so, do we actually need to get all hot and bothered about it?buying a ship from trade and fitting it out such as a roll on roll off platform.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_760693)
8 months ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Andy believe it or not it isn’t all about storming beaches. The 5 Amphibious ships with docks are a capability that you just can’t hire. And the 3 Bays have got to be one of best, most flexible, Jack of all trades and cost effective ships His Majesties Naval Service have ever owned. Shame we flogged one off.

Jonno
Jonno (@guest_761207)
8 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Agreed. They are the potential overseas station cruisers of the 2030’s.

Geoffi
Geoffi (@guest_760889)
8 months ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Recovering our citizens if it goes all pear-shaped across the Middle East ?

Grant
Grant (@guest_761053)
8 months ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

The Royal Marines ‘stormed’ Al-faw in 2003 from Ocean and Invincible, securing the harbour there so that Iraq could be invaded. Could that be done right?

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_761217)
8 months ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Yes, rescuing people in littoral waters is no big deal, why on earth would we need that capability.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_760726)
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

Anything over 33% of ships in a class being available for tasking is pretty good.
The issue is the low platform count – we should have 12 T45s and probably 20 or more frigates and at least 15 SSN/SSKs.

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral (@guest_760572)
8 months ago

I was going to say something about the Rivers being all available and providing good service at reasonable cost and modest manning levels but I know they don’t have much fightyness, so won’t.
AA

Brom
Brom (@guest_760575)
8 months ago

I think we need to double the rivers, they’re practically corvettes anyway. Retrofit all with some moderate missile capacity. We need more smaller hulls to allow our bigger ones to do the more important roles

Last edited 8 months ago by Brom
Jason
Jason (@guest_760608)
8 months ago
Reply to  Brom

I agree very much, I work in the air sector so can’t say I know much from a naval point of view, but how hard could it be to add some sort of missile capabilities to the river class, like even if it was to mount shoulder launched Neptune’s on them? The Neptune’s have seemed to be quite effective if the stories in Ukraine are true. Surely it would be worth it?

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky (@guest_760879)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jason

Not clear how a 870kg missile is shoulder launched. That said I am open minded about up gunning the Rivers, but the technicalities are beyond my pay grade, but do often read how competitor equivalents are generally more capable offensively/defensively. Again role comes into the equation but can imagine a position where our coast was under enough threat that smaller vessels with missile capability could be useful but again in that scenario any conflict might effectively have already been lost. As I say my thoughts are conflicted on this subject.

Dern
Dern (@guest_760921)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jason

You can do it. The Royal Thai Navy put Harpoon Launchers on their Krabi class (which is based on the Amazonas Class, which is what the River B2’s are based on). The issue isn’t “how hard would it be” it’s “How much would it cost and what would we not be buying instead.” (as I pointed out below). We can either try to upgun the River B2’s, put a 57mm on them, add Harpoon (or NSM) onto them, make them fighty. Then the cost of operating them will go up, the maintenance load goes up, and the crew requirements will… Read more »

Jon
Jon (@guest_760967)
8 months ago
Reply to  Dern

I think it should be possible to put CAMM launchers into Navy PODS for emergencies, similar to what sits on the back of the lorry in Sky sabre. Then if we wanted to give the Rivers some missile defence during an emergency, we could stick one on each side of the ship. The only query for me is whether the Terma Scanter 2D radar is enough to get CAMM to lock on.

Dern
Dern (@guest_760974)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jon

It’s possible, since the Rivers can carry 2x TEU’s on their flanks. But again the issue isn’t “Is it possible” but more “How much would it cost and is it worth spending the money on that instead of something else.”

(Also if anyone wants CAMM AND Harpoon/NSM….
https://navyrecognition.com/images/stories/news/2023/march/Thai_Krabi_class_OPV_HTMS_Prachuap_Khiri_Khan_fires_Harpoon_missile.jpg

I think they’d interfere with each others firing arcs as CAMM would sit directly to the port/starboard of the cannister launchers.

Jon
Jon (@guest_761269)
8 months ago
Reply to  Dern

I don’t know which NavyPODs will be cost-benefit justifiable. Nevertheless, the Navy is committed to modularisation in various forms, and that means developing something to fit in the spaces. That there is no explicit budget line for modular equipment, PODs or mission systems might well be an issue. The point of “CAMM in a box” is that it could be used to supplement the load out of any naval or auxiliary ship with access to a CMS and a decent radar (even controlled from another ship). It might require the ships to be upgraded to handle POD power and data… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Jon
Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_760703)
8 months ago
Reply to  Brom

Not really you don’t want a load of pretend warships….the river’s do what the rivers do very well and we have the right amount for the low risk constabulary roles the RN undertakes….don’t give then the pretext of being a warship or they will end up being used in that way…the RN very much learnt it’s lesson on the whole lightly armed and protected patrol type vessel that’s almost but not quite a warship during the Falklands. If it’s not got the ability to defend itself from air attack ( CAMM linked to a decent sensor fit) then don’t arm… Read more »

Dern
Dern (@guest_760751)
8 months ago
Reply to  Brom

If you start fitting moderate missile capacity then the availability will go down as maintenance load goes up. The Rivers are all active because they are so simple.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_762216)
7 months ago
Reply to  Dern

anything a river can do, echo or enterprise can also do. But somebody somewhere hasn’t thought of that.

Dern
Dern (@guest_762221)
7 months ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

I mean I guess, with some few caveats, like the lack of a flight deck, or the larger crew, or the 5-10 knot speed advantage that the Rivers have, or the fact that Echo and Enterprise are 20 years old and the RN has already tried flogging off the B1 Rivers that are the same age.

But yeah…

Sonik
Sonik (@guest_761006)
8 months ago
Reply to  Brom

The point has repeatedly been made on NL that the very high availability of the Rivers is due to their simplicity, small crews, and absence of complex weapons & sensors

Up-arming them would complicate both maintenance and crewing, reducing availability for no real gain in overall RN combat capability.

It’s not really useful to compare the Rivers with more fighty Corvettes owned by smaller navies that don’t have the specialist frigates & destroyers like the RN does, they are serving a different purpose.

Last edited 8 months ago by Sonik
Simon
Simon (@guest_760621)
8 months ago

AA proving the concept of rivers, can be serviced in foreign ports. No advance tech to protect from prying eyes. Not fighting ships of course but probably more welcome than a big gun boat in parts of the world.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon (@guest_760845)
8 months ago
Reply to  Simon

It’s quite instructive, to get a feel for why the UK ’tilted to the Far East’ – including who instigated such initiatives, to a great extent. With regard to judgements that led to suitably efficient RN-Diplomatic presence, let’s say there was much less any connotaion of ex-Empire big gunboats. In fact, big gun boats are very welcome – more or less permanent US CBG presence? Furthermore, as the following may well indicate, traditional ‘ex-Empire involvement’ would likely have been be more fully apreciated, if you broaden the Empire definition. To that end, I’ll again recommend the recent International Institute for… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Gavin Gordon
simon alexander
simon alexander (@guest_761168)
8 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Hi GG nice to exchange views. I just think with non aligned countries the Rivers modesty wins, obviously not when going hot. then send something bigger. The Royal Navy in the Indo-Pacific: Don’t Use a Sledgehammer to Crack a Nut – War on the Rocks

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon (@guest_761671)
7 months ago

Hello, SA. Sorry, your post only cleared the attachment security hurdle last night, resulting in an email notification. It’s surprising what valid data can be tucked away on somewhat obscure sites (e.g. only started to monitor The Drive Warzone when realised it wasn’t referring to a computer game). The reference ‘graphically highlights’ the cost/benefit subtleties involved in UK/RN vessel selection, and succinctly endorses the approval that most on UKDJ grant to the Batch 2 River OPV concept; still a de-toothed corvette in effect. It’s possible that, since 2021, erstwhile gunboat sensitivities have reduced somewhat, especially as the arising Empire appears… Read more »

Jim
Jim (@guest_760632)
8 months ago

Yeah and they cost £250 million each although that’s more to do with government minimum spend contracts.

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_760662)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Er… is that correct?

Jon
Jon (@guest_760664)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Around half that price was reported: £646m construction costs for five, £44m under budget. Might you be thinking of the original cost of the T31s?

Last edited 8 months ago by Jon
Dern
Dern (@guest_760752)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jon

143million£ per unit for the Tamar and Spey, 116million£ each for the first three.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_760749)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Nothing like £250 million each, as you probably know well enough. More like £100 million each and that includes 5 or 7 years support. I can’t remember exactly

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_760685)
8 months ago

We all know what they could do the latest Thai navy exercises with the other navys in the mid to far east have shown that the KRABI, a Thai batch 2 river- derivative performance was the best performance wise, ship being employed in several difference roles. The fitting out of the ship with a 76mm super rapide gun extra 30mm aft of the bridge wings and a harpoon system has made them ‘nasty wee beasties’ the Omani navy have done similar things with their own river. People forget that the type is a substantial sized ship with a good deal… Read more »

Jon
Jon (@guest_760699)
8 months ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Enterprise has already been the FI guardship when Clyde was in maintenance. It has similar crewing requirements and similar fantastic availability and duration to the Rivers. The guns are 20mm rather than 30mm; not sure if that matters. The Echo class is significantly slower and has less in the way of rotary support. However it’s bigger and could be easily adapted for drones. Maybe not as good for constabulary work or marine transport. However, for a flag waving job in the South Pacific along with good dose of humanitarian assistance capability, I’d say just the ticket. Slap on the dazzle… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Jon
andy a
andy a (@guest_760902)
8 months ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

The royal navy specifically dont want up gunned river class corvettes. This was done with a previous frigate class (T21 I think?) the trouble is the Royal Navy is a true Blue water navy unlike the nations like Thailand or middle eastern nations that use their corvettes for local coastal defence. The risk of the UK having these is that they are then used in a full war fighting capacity. The are not made to the same standards as full warships, they have neither the crew, damage control or redundancy. This is something nations using them close to home are… Read more »

Dern
Dern (@guest_760918)
8 months ago
Reply to  andy a

It’s less a “It can’t be done” the River B2’s are considerably more combat capable than the B1’s. It’s more “Any money that goes into the B2’s is money that won’t go on a T-31 or T-26.”
Want to add some Harpoons or NSM’s to a River B2? What’s it worth? One less Mk41 on the T-31’s?

SteveP
SteveP (@guest_761091)
8 months ago
Reply to  Dern

That’s true. In the unlikely event that money became available, I’d far rather see it used to put a sonar on the T31 than weapons on the B2 River’s.

Jonno
Jonno (@guest_761208)
8 months ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Better to start T32s and build them continuously at 2 per year for 5years or 3 extra T26s.

Expat
Expat (@guest_760579)
8 months ago

Slightly off topic. We’re seeing naval assets moving to the Eastern med. One task may well be evac of British citizens. Of course that includes Scottish citizens, and even includes relatives of the leader of the pro independence party.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider (@guest_760584)
8 months ago
Reply to  Expat

Hi Expat, From what I have read it looks like it is LRG(South), RFA Argus and RFA Lyme BAy I believe. Argus also has the capability to act as medical ship as she was equipped with a number of wards and operating theatre and I believe this facility has been retained. Sadly, this may well prove to be a useful capability… I read that Argus hustled to Gibraltar when she sailed last week averaging close to 18knots – her maximum speed. Good going for such an old girl… Lyme Bay is following on behind as she was due to sail… Read more »

ChariotRider
ChariotRider (@guest_760586)
8 months ago
Reply to  Expat

Also meant to say that the US has just announced that they are going to evacuate their citizens on Monday by sea. I would not be surprised to see the UK do something similar given the flack the government got for our previous evacuation – the Foreign Office had better get it right this time around if it happens…

LRG(South) ships would be ideal assets for this type of operation. I guess it was fortuitous that is was due to sail just as things kicked off.

Cheers CR

Last edited 8 months ago by ChariotRider
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_760615)
8 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Hand wringing over budgets……I can imagine the likely conversations……precedent set……tight budgets……unrealistic expectations…….best sit on our hands or do a PowerPoint…..

ChariotRider
ChariotRider (@guest_760643)
8 months ago

The trouble is our leadership couldn’t lead its way out of a wet paper bag.

And as for doing the right thing (whatever that is!) in a timely manner… heaven forbid.

So PowerPoint (Westminster’s favourite tool) is likely to be the main tool… Until its too late, of course.

Depressing ain’t it…

CR

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_760663)
8 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Don’t forget sophistry, this Govt deliver it par excellence.

Crabfat
Crabfat (@guest_760705)
8 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Might the Govt’s PowerPoint system also be FFBNW?

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_760689)
8 months ago

In other words the same old sh*t that makes up a typical day at the MOD

Mr Bell
Mr Bell (@guest_760641)
8 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

What do nations that lack this capability do? Will UK vessels be expected to lift allied civilians out as well? No problem if they are expected to do such a role but cost and reimbursement?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_760644)
8 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

This is where BW style leadership is invaluable.

Making decisions is sometimes very important as is just getting in with things so there isn’t a sense of interminable drift.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider (@guest_760654)
8 months ago

Sadly, he’s gone. So all we’re left with is a bunch of Westminster insiders – and no I don’t any confidence in any particular politicians at the moment…

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_760690)
8 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Nobody does.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_760688)
8 months ago
Reply to  Expat

Echo and enterprise could have done itas well as most of the ships in the coastguard sized navy we have.

Steve Ide
Steve Ide (@guest_760587)
8 months ago

Oh dear.

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_760596)
8 months ago

All the River class Active and yet the number of Destroyers and Frigates lay up which give us punch ,it’s worrying yes I do Get maintenance and Refit but still. 😕

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_760604)
8 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Going to say the same, how good are both River types? Might be worth getting a few more T31s in the pipeline to bolster numbers and increased availability for the fleet and sooner. Anyway, new ships are coming so mustn’t complain too much. 🇬🇧. And hope the same for 🇦🇺 and 🇳🇿.

Last edited 8 months ago by Quentin D63
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_760618)
8 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I agree B2T31 seems very sensible now to replace B1Rivers.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider (@guest_760657)
8 months ago

I’ve being saying for awhile now, scrap T32 (probably just a Boris slip of the tongue anyway) and order 5 of the stretched T31 that Babcock have been working on. They’d neatly slip into the build schedule at Rosyth and as an upgrade to an existing design would likely benefit from a scaled down approvals process.

Unfortunately, that would require an out break of common sense, which as we all know is a remarkably uncommon commodity. Sadly.

Cheers CR

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_760659)
8 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

If T32 was a slightly upgraded T31 and stretched(?) why as T31 is pretty big…..then I’d be pretty happy with that with Mk41/Sylvyer and plenteous CAMM silos. Keep the 57mm/40mm fit otherwise the budget blows.

The only issue is that something has got to be able to do NGFS for RM. T31/T32 is that ship and a 57mm isn’t big enough….

Jon
Jon (@guest_760673)
8 months ago

Is that kind of NGFS still required with modern amphibious doctrine? If you stand off and undertake unguided bombardment from 25 miles, are you not still outranged by guided anti-ship cruise missiles and be in danger of ending up like the Moskva? If the idea is now to get your forces onto the beach fast enough to set up for self-defence before anything too nasty shows up, you’ll have to come in quite close anyway. Subsequent missile support can come from a far greater distance if required to supplement ground forces. Wouldn’t even limited numbers of ship-based CAMM-MR, NSM and… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_760678)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jon

A perfectly sensible point of view.

I wouldn’t underestimate just how far extended range large calibre munitions can travel.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky (@guest_760907)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jon

I tend to agree, a report a few years back in the US pretty much determined that the whole criteria and theory for which the US was producing it’s Littoral capabilities was no longer realistic and that those new ships would in most cases be sitting ducks from the sort of guided missiles almost every terrorist group has now let alone Govt and that forces would have to operate from far further out in which case their specialist littoral ships would not be able to defend themselves in that environment and would have to be guarded by other vessels in… Read more »

Jon
Jon (@guest_760911)
8 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

One of the big differences between CSG and LRG is speed. It makes me wonder if the MRSS speed needs to be increased as in many ways the vulnerability of a surprised landing is the time it takes to get the troops on to the beach.

DaveyB
DaveyB (@guest_760915)
8 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Hezbollah have a shed load of Iranian C802 copies, which are themselves copies of Exocets. Ukraine has shown the way in how to make these missile more effective against ships hiding beyond the horizon. With the use of relatively small drones like the TB2. A ship’s defences will need to be at the top of their game, if sailing off a shore with known terrorists having anti-ship missiles.

DaveyB
DaveyB (@guest_760913)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jon

The Moskva to be fair was asking for a slapping. According to reports half of her CIWS radars weren’t working. But perhaps more importantly the short range radars for the OSA-M radars weren’t working. Only leaving the large 3D search radars and the tracking radars for the its S300 system working. Thereby leaving her/him very vulnerable to sea skimming missiles such as the Ukrainian Neptunes. Surprisingly, Moskva had escorts, that also didn’t shoot down the TB2, used to find him and pin down his location. A massive win for Ukraine. The 5″ naval gun be that the BAe Mk45 Mod… Read more »

ChariotRider
ChariotRider (@guest_760694)
8 months ago

The Babcock stretched T31 is only 2m longer with a Merlin capable flight rather than the Chinook sized version on the B1’s. The extra space will be dedicated to a larger mission bay to allow more and or bigger autonomous vehicles to be carried, which was the thinking behind the T32 concept… The rest of the ship is unaltered so same supply chain and most of the development cost already covered. As we know T31 is capable of carrying a bigger gun, someone just needs to make the decision. No worries there then..! Of course, if there was any joined… Read more »

Jonno
Jonno (@guest_761209)
8 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Try fitting a seaborne MLRS. Big stick would make terrorists take note.
I have little doubt that Gaza hospital bomb hit was engineered by Hamas. Timing seems too good to be true.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_760696)
8 months ago

SB The T31 is the very 1st ship to ever be actually built in Rosyth (rather than assembled from largely pre fitted blocks). Babcock are in charge so they should have the experience but it’s early days. So I’d be more than slightly reluctant to hand them another contract till the 1st one enters service.
Lets be honest about this the last ship they put together hasn’t exactly shined when it comes to reliability.🤔

We not more good ships not more dockyard queens.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_760697)
8 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I made extra toy that point last month.

I think T31 #1 needs to have passes trials before considering another follow on batch.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_760704)
8 months ago

maybe the t32 could just be a T31 with a 5inch gun..keep everything else the Same.then you have the batch ones with the 57mm and a more focus on close escort in enclosed seas Or general ship about town….And the batch 2s with a 5inch gun and focus on being the escorts for the littoral groups..give the batch 2s an active hull mounted sonar so they can sanitise an area around the littoral group as well as provide gunfire support..

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_760713)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I think you still need the 57mm for various reasons. However, a 57mm isn’t that expensive in real terms. That said, every weapons system has to be justified as this is a budget platform. I think now this has Gaza mess has kicked off the coffee smell has fully permeated even Treasury and No 10. Even they have realised there isn’t enough capacity if things kick off. The T23’s falling apart has been a real wake up call. Previously it was always written off as Admirals wanting exquisite new toys. Question is ‘what can you do in the time available?’… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_760769)
8 months ago

its clear the escort fleet is in pieces ( quite literally in some cases). That 45% availability on the type 23s is really telling to be honest and as you say with just a moderate amount of the shit hitting the fan there are no escorts left in the tank. The simple reality is the RN has just sent to large important auxiliary vessels close to an active warzone without an escort in sight and the only way to get an escort to them would be to strip one from a really important standing operation or remove it from the… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_760971)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Well said Jonathan. Thankfully the regional Chinese neighbours(Aus, Japan, S Korea etc) have been painfully aware of the rise of the PLAN & been building their fleets accordingly, so with USN assistance should be able to contain the PRC. The RN escort fleet was too small for peacetime when it was 19 ships, now it’s 16(Westminster unlikely to ever see further RN service) we’re severely compromising the RN & UK. Years too before our long awaited ew builds come into service. The new fleet supply ships are doubtful to e on time considering H&W & Navantia are setting up from… Read more »

Dahedd
Dahedd (@guest_760679)
8 months ago

When the Amazonias (uparmed Batch 1.75) were looking for a home a few years back the RN should have bought them, think thry went to Brazil . Likewise when the deal on HMS Clyde (River class 1.5) as the Falklands patrol ship ended we should have bought her outright too.

That’s 3 river class dirervatives the RN had the chance to get but didn’t.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_760681)
8 months ago
Reply to  Dahedd

What would more Rivers achieve?

We need more fighty ships…..

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_761220)
8 months ago
Reply to  Dahedd

3+1=4

Jon
Jon (@guest_761407)
7 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

I don’t think I’d have touched the Amazonas. They were new, so relatively expensive, and built to a Caribbean civilian specification for the coast guard. Also Trinidad claimed they were defective. They came available just after the 2010 review when the military was being cheese-pared. Fighting for these would not have displayed a proportionate level of “we’re all in it together” austerity. Clyde, on the other hand, came available after the RN had hired it for twelve years and its second hand value was peanuts, when the government was increasing defence spending (heady days) and post-Brexit they were being forced… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by Jon
Mr Bell
Mr Bell (@guest_760642)
8 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

The government need to get on and just order what we all know must be done. Another batch of type 31s, maybe fitted with 5 inch gun for NGS would be a good idea as well as type 32 and put the type 26 order back up maybe add 2-3 more ships.

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_760647)
8 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Agree but by putting orders up it’s that sad record of 💰plus no doubt manpower would be a problem.But definitely good idea for the Type 31s to replace the Rivers .

Micki
Micki (@guest_761021)
8 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Forget about that.

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_760645)
8 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

🍺

Jon
Jon (@guest_760611)
8 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

I think three out of six destroyers on deployment is as good as it’s going to get in peace time. And given that two of the others have just had PIP and one is about to, I think the Navy may have finally turned a corner on the T45s.

The lack of HMS Bulwark is a bit of a disappointment.

Nothing about Enterprise, which should be no surprise, but I heard a rumour last week and got my hopes up a bit.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_760617)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Makes sense of why PiP was speeded up so much as they clearly knew the T23 car crash was hurtling towards them.

Thank god BW funded PiP and agreed to the CAMM upgrades. I wonder which T45 will first wear its NSM fit?

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_760648)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Let’s hope so on the T45s ,agree wish it was better news on Bulwark ,Enterprise will keep eye on that one 👍

andy a
andy a (@guest_760906)
8 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

thats because the river class are simpler and easier to keep running lacking a true warships redundancy

DC647
DC647 (@guest_760606)
8 months ago

We used to rule the waves now we rule nothing

Last edited 8 months ago by DC647
Expat Alien
Expat Alien (@guest_760797)
8 months ago
Reply to  DC647

Can’t even get the Waves to sea

Julian
Julian (@guest_760612)
8 months ago

Hi George – I’ve spotted a couple of errors in your very useful text summary of the tweets… 1 – For type 23 you say “currently active: 5” yet in the list of the status of each ship in class only 4 – HMS Lancaster, Iron Duke, Kent and Portland – are described as active. 2 – For Hunt class you say “currently active: 3” yet in the per-ship descriptions you list 4 as active (or deployed) – HMS Cattistock and Hurworth described as Active and HMS Middleton and Chiddingfold listed as deployed. I love this site and what you… Read more »

Exroyal.
Exroyal. (@guest_760649)
8 months ago
Reply to  Julian

Add to that HMS Somerset in maintenance, try five years of maintenance. An honest appraisal is less than 50% of the major surface feet ie frigate and upwards are operational.

Paul42
Paul42 (@guest_760683)
8 months ago
Reply to  Exroyal.

Somerset is back at sea, probably trials initially before heading to Norway for NSM fit. We need to speed up NSM fit on the remaining vessels due to receive it.

Graham b
Graham b (@guest_760620)
8 months ago

Thank you for the excellent work. It is great to see the detail.

This shows that the 75% average is very misleading. Nearly 100% of patrol vessels are available but almost exactly half of major vessels and RFAs are unavailable.

Jon
Jon (@guest_760623)
8 months ago
Reply to  Graham b

There’s less to go wrong on a patrol vessel.

Tim
Tim (@guest_760658)
8 months ago
Reply to  Graham b

We shouldn’t count these tiny patrol vessels. We don’t have a 70 ship navy, only a 52 ship one.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_760627)
8 months ago

Maybe a comparison between the RN and similar Navy would be better. So then everyone can see other Navy’s availability rates and numbers of vessel’s that are active or in refit/maintenance.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_760628)
8 months ago

People need to realise that refits and maintenance are extremely important. And if the US Navy published how many escorts it has compared to the number actually available. It would be a pretty small number.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_760631)
8 months ago

Problem with this is … well…its inaccurate. Just because a ship is deployed on OP Kipion doesn’t mean it doesn’t do maintenance periods. They are away for 3 years so in that time they will be doing FTSPs and if needed longer maintenance periods but just not in the UK. During those regular maintenance periods, the Notice for Sea rarely goes above 48hrs so the vessels are ready to sail if needed within 2 days. In reality it would and is (from experience) less than that. If the vessel docks, then Notice for Sea changes significantly and can increase to… Read more »

DH
DH (@guest_760638)
8 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

👍 Clear and precise. GB,
TVM. 👌

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_761056)
8 months ago
Reply to  DH

I am in fact doing a 3 week maint package on a very large Op Kipion unit right now.10 days to go until it completes.

DH
DH (@guest_761067)
8 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Good luck 🤞. Any’ hard liers’ issued? 😊

Tim
Tim (@guest_760655)
8 months ago

Archers, Cutlass’ and Magpie shouldn’t be counted. They are each 52 tons or less. So it’s actually 33 ships active out of a pitifully small 52.

Darryl
Darryl (@guest_760660)
8 months ago

Half the major capital laid up or inactive , this is not good .

Paul42
Paul42 (@guest_760687)
8 months ago
Reply to  Darryl

We have far too few Type 45s and delays to new building programmes are coming home to roost as Type 23 maintenance and refits limit availability of these ageing ships as they struggle on

Order of the Ditch
Order of the Ditch (@guest_760665)
8 months ago

I think the lesson from this is that we need to be continuously launching a new escort roughly every 10 months. The Type 23 refits are proving too costly, time consuming and not giving a threadbare navy the hulls they need. I don’t think it is beyond our defence budget to afford 24 escorts, just have a continuous build cycle and sell/scrap vessels when they get to 20 years old.
Would provide jobs and maintain a steady skill base plus certainty.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_760968)
8 months ago

If only that could be achieved the navy would be in a much better state.
Built in batches with improvements being incorporated.

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_760667)
8 months ago

Discussed in thread.

Rather than replacing the Rivers why not augment them with B2 T31 with a recruiting pipeline put in place now?

Pointy, fighty ships are going to be in high demand and Russia is showing we need littoral presence with their attacks on sub sea infrastructure.

Jon
Jon (@guest_760695)
8 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

I’m in favour of moving to continuous build of cost-capped second tier frigates. I don’t think we should ask how many do we need, just keep building annually, tweaking the spec to get as close to requirement as the cost cap permits while staying milspec. I’d say automate to drive down crew requirements so we can run more of them, but I agree, a recruiting pipeline works too. We don’t even need to operate all those we have; some can be mothballed, alternated (Albion/Bulwark) or sold early, and possibly we might build some to a bare-bones patrol fit out (FFBNW… Read more »

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_760670)
8 months ago

These numbers are better than I thought. The amount of that are in maintenance, is worrying, is it poor scheduling? Or are those ships in such a poor state of repair, that they’re not seaworthy or knackered? either way it underlines the need for the ships in build are finished and into the fleet without delay.

PeterS
PeterS (@guest_760671)
8 months ago

Earlier this year, it was reported that the USN had set a target of 75 out of 168 surface ships to be available or mission capable. Actual availability was not disclosed but was presumably lower at less than 40% . Availability of major RN vessels seems to be similar.
Although Trent was out of action for several months for repairs at Gibraltar, River 2 availability has been high, showing the benefit of a simpler design, particularly of the propulsion system. Will T31, with diesel power, also prove to be less maintenance intensive?

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_760698)
8 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

Yep but the USN has just sortied 2 extra CAGs bringing them up to 4 out of 10 deployed or only 40%.
So not so good and the backlog of maintenance and refits for all types is horrendous (18 SSN either in maintenance or unable to deploy due to awaiting critical work).

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-07-11/us-navy-attack-submarine-readiness-almost-40-out-of-commission-for-repairs

But I’m a glass half full sort of bloke and it’s bloody great news for Team GB especially HMRC and BAe shareholders.

See we aren’t so bad after all.

Duker
Duker (@guest_761017)
8 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Wasnt *extra*
Ford was already in Med and the Eisenhower was almost ready to go and just moved forward and destination changed- still european command

Dern
Dern (@guest_760755)
8 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

It’s not just the power plant, it’s the amount of kit on board.
Way easier to maintain eg a single 30mm, than 2x40mm, 1x57mm, Mk41/CAMM etc

PeterS
PeterS (@guest_760759)
8 months ago
Reply to  Dern

True, but how much of the time in maintenance is devoted to gun or missile systems as opposed to hull repair and power system overhaul?
T31 will be equipped with proven weapon systems so you have to hope that will help improve availability. Given the plan to replace R2 with T31 in the sustained forward deployed role, it will need to.

Dern
Dern (@guest_760760)
8 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

Weapons systems, sensors and decoys are the most complicated parts of the ship with the possible exception of the propulsion system. But while the power plant is generally deep within the ship and safe, the weapons systems are much more exposed to the sea and the weather. I don’t know what the exact percentages are, but I suspect the more weapons you put on a ship the more the maint grows exponentially.

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_760989)
8 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

The Weapons System’s on Type 31 are proven but will be new to RN service so some hiccups might be expected.

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_760832)
8 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

‘With T31 diesel power etc’. That‘s got to be the hope. The £250m T31 is a ‘commodity’ design: proven hull, propulsion, weapons, radar, CMS. The idea must surely be to shift the cost of ownership down and the reliability and availability up towards what we are getting with the batch 2 Rivers. Make sure you don’t need a trip to the main dealer to get your car …or frigate serviced.

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst (@guest_760706)
8 months ago

At least there is also the sub-surface fleet to consider, but it is all looking a bit pitiful – especially considering what politicians expect the armed services to deliver, and the small matter of 2 carriers to adequately defend if it all hits the fan. On a future note: does anybody know what has become of plans for a Type83? I would argue we need 6x Type 83s (super cruisers?) ASAP alongside the T45s.

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_760753)
8 months ago

Type 83 is at the concept/development stage. .

Last edited 8 months ago by Paul T
Jon
Jon (@guest_760762)
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

I pretty sure it’s still pre-concept.

In 2021 it was announced that it was going into concept in early 2022, but nothing happened. In June this year, the Defence Procurement Secretary, James Cartlidge, acknowledged as part of a written answer:

The Type 83/Future Air Dominance System programme remains in the pre-concept phase and has not yet reached the level of maturity for budget allocation.

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/type-83-destroyer-project-status-update/

If anything happened between then and now, I missed it. It has no money, the concept phase is not imminent, and design is a mere dream.

Jon
Jon (@guest_761140)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Thought this failed to make it through purgatory, so apology for the duplicate.

Jon
Jon (@guest_760910)
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

In 2021 we heard T83 was to be moved to Concept towards the start of 2022. James Cartlidge, Minister Procurement confirmed this summer that it was still in Pre-Concept with no associated budget. I haven’t heard anything since that suggests it will move to Concept this year. It seems to be stalled.

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst (@guest_760935)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Mmmmm… thanks. Thought so. Not good in my view.

The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken
The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken (@guest_760716)
8 months ago

Despite the boo hoo ing by some in here about the current state of the RN. To me things look pretty decent we have still one of the biggest navies in the world ( yeah yeah N Korea has 850 motor gunboats from the 1950’s ….) it’s modern and the training is first class. Having recently had the privilege of a tour on HMS Montrose I was mega impressed with what I saw for a near 30 yr old vessel it was in tip top shape and the discipline and professionalism amongst the crew was first rate considering the way… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_760727)
8 months ago

No one has commented thus far on the presumed inactive status of RFA Fort Victoria, listed w/out further explanation (i.e., in maintenance, refit). Lack of data or an ominous development? RN CSGs should be capable of functioning in the NA and Med w/ out (significant) organic solid stores support, but the indo-Pacific may be a theater too far. USN/USNS would certainly attempt to assist RN, but even casual observers should note that the number of angry alligators in various ponds, requiring USN attention, are apparently increasing. 🤔😳

Dern
Dern (@guest_760756)
8 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Not really. The Brit is a trainee Tanker in the RAC with a side hobby in looking at the wider armed forces. His lack of an explanation means no more than any other commentator on this site being unable to explain.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_760779)
8 months ago
Reply to  Dern

👍

Jon
Jon (@guest_760767)
8 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

If they can rustle up Ft Vic for 2025 and we don’t get a war in 2024, all will be well. It’s old and will need a lot of work before CSG 25. That should take it to about 2029. The first FSSS has an in service date of 2031, so expect another year or so nominal capability gap during which our carrier strike group will not have sovereign capability at distance.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_760780)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jon

👍

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_760984)
8 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Tide and Wave class RFA ships can also carry solid stores, such as ammo, food, spares etc. Supportive Bloke wrote this 4 months ago, an update to a Navy Lookout article from 19 May 2023: ‘“UPDATE: Subsequent to writing this article further details have come to light. Fort Victoria is in Leith being maintained by a small crew and could be called upon to support an unplanned CSG deployment, although this would require taking crews from other RFA vessels that currently have higher priority. She is mechanically fairly sound and the planned refit work next year is primarily to bring… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_761007)
8 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Thanks, aware that other RFA vessels and indeed QE class have stores capacity, however, RAS may prove to be difficult under those circumstances. Reassuring to note Ft. Vic is judged to be mechanically sound; TLC prescribed for 2024. 🤔😊👍

Rob N
Rob N (@guest_760781)
8 months ago

It is interesting that HMS Defender appears to be having Sea Ceptor fitted. This is good news. It also looks like she is having PIP at the same time. If this is the case it shows good use of refit time. Do we know when she will return to the fleet?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_760798)
8 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

Still can’t believe that they’re only putting in 24 CAMM over a 2*MK41 space on the T45s. Seems like wasted potential there for such a ship. They could be better. Okay, 24 is a good, but 36 is even better! Two MK41s even more useful, or a MK41 + 4*6*CAMM silo mix like on the BAE T32 Adaptable Frigate. Funny how they can buy 4*MK41s each for the T31s and nothing for the T45s.

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral (@guest_760826)
8 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Cheap. Camm launch boxes inexpensive, easy to fit and 24 extra missiles a good uplift in air defence capability. What would go in a mk41 tube? Expensive just to pack Camm into. Adding 8 NSM will be an adequate capability over the expense of fitting mk41 simply to put Ashm in them? Eventually the new subsonic? Supersonic? Long range missiles will come along and other platforms can fire them. Considering the T31 is built down to a price, I would almost sooner see NSM fitted on them and have a larger Camm silo as trade off to mk41 which will… Read more »

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_760988)
8 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

A wild guess but I doubt you will see Hms Defender back in the operational fleet for at least 2 years 😕

Airborne
Airborne (@guest_760791)
8 months ago

Great short but informative article! Sort of info our ninja DM gives out, knowledgeable and invaluable to those who are interested!

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_760830)
8 months ago

Thanks for this. Good work!

Geoffi
Geoffi (@guest_760887)
8 months ago

What a thoroughly depressing list.
Only 10 active capital ships, Westminster looks like its gone, and both Bulwark and Albion out.
The only silver lining I see is that Defender is already getting CAMM and Somerset has NSM
I also wonder how on earth we are managing CASD still.

geoff
geoff (@guest_760919)
8 months ago

Ah well, a wee bit better than our friends in the ROI. A common problem it would seem is attracting people to sign up so maybe some limited form of conscription needed going forward? It’s character building and the girls(so I am told) love a man in uniform! 😄

Tom
Tom (@guest_760939)
8 months ago

Fantastic amount of work put in on this report. Congratulations and very well done to all involved.

However… the number of ships out of the reckoning is to my mind, and important ships at that, is scandalous and quite shocking, especially when they are Type 23’s, and Type 45’s or 6 Frigates, and 3 Destroyers!

So, is it a lack of manpower, or merely cost cutting by the incumbent powers that be?

Duker
Duker (@guest_761018)
8 months ago
Reply to  Tom

The services are on average, each 1.2% ‘personpower’ lower than last year

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_760985)
8 months ago

It would be good to have a similar article about the state of the Army and the RAF.

Nick Cole
Nick Cole (@guest_760986)
8 months ago

A rather dismal state of affairs! And rather a lot undergoing refit in Portsmouth!

Peter Edwards
Peter Edwards (@guest_760993)
8 months ago

What about the ships’ crews? If all of these vessels were sea ready, would there be enough trained people to operate them?

Wasp snorter
Wasp snorter (@guest_761010)
8 months ago

I didn’t realise we had 2 OPVs assigned to the Falklands.

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_761040)
8 months ago
Reply to  Wasp snorter

There is only one,Hms Forth replaced Hms Clyde as the permanent Falklands Patrol Ship,but Hms Medway covered her duties while she went into maintenance/refit.

Pacman27
Pacman27 (@guest_761050)
8 months ago

great article

can we have a follow up on fleet reduction over each election phase since 1982

it would be interesting to see the reduction and map it to operations. 1982 is a good starting point as we could have the proposed Knott reforms as well as the Falklands task force so we have a point in time cut with 2 scenarios.

would be really interesting as I suspect we are at a very low point.

Grant
Grant (@guest_761052)
8 months ago

It’s not a great state of affairs. RFA Argus and Lyme Bay heading to the Eastern Med with no escorts is crazy.
There is a hall being built in Govan where they can build two T26 side by side… it would very much make sense to accelerate and extend that programme… and an AAW version of the T32 wouldn’t go amiss.
A great use of the HS2 dividend if its truly being cancelled.

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_761110)
8 months ago
Reply to  Grant

I wonder whether T31+ Mk41 isn’t the AAW ship you have in mind. I think you might be able to put Aster 30 into Mk41 now and have them controlled by a T45; or just CAMM- E Either way a T45 + T31 looks like a useful combination. So T32 might replace the original T31 concept ..but updated for focus on drones for mine clearance and inshore antisubmarine detection.

Jon
Jon (@guest_761148)
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I’d like to see an extra L-band volume radar if it’s to be AAW. Also maybe the larger S-band NS200 rather than NS100. Iver Huitfelds have separate X-band and L-band; the Type 45s have S-band and L-Band.

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_761173)
8 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Understood. I’m only speculating of course. I don’t think the Mk41 will be fitted to the early T31s until refit. Then we will get a clearer picture.

George
George (@guest_761090)
8 months ago

It is often instructive to compare matters with those in countries of a similar size. The armed forces of the UK are certainly diminished and do not compare well with those of countries with similar populations and expenditures. It is always amusing to read comments in the popular press and media made by those who fail to grasp the restrictions of the UK’s relatively small forces. The politicians also appear to fail to understand the limitations and must exercise caution when interfering with occurrences in other countries. I read recently of calls to ‘call in the army’ in the face… Read more »

ian white
ian white (@guest_761098)
8 months ago

“HMS Dauntless: Active, deployed to the US for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations.”

Just why you need one of the most sophisticated ships in the RN for this, l do not know”
I hope the MOD have a good answer. It seems a waste of money.

George
George (@guest_761111)
8 months ago
Reply to  ian white

One of a very few vessels available as the navy is a shadow of its former self. What other more suitable vessels are operational, the old Argos and a Bay Class are in the eastern Mediterranean. Nothing else to use.

Grant
Grant (@guest_761117)
8 months ago
Reply to  ian white

work out if the upgraded engines work in hot climes and give her crew an interesting run ashore…

Jon
Jon (@guest_761150)
8 months ago
Reply to  Grant

Yes. It has to be this, at least in part. Not so sure about the turtles, but variety is the spice. It amused me that sending a destroyer to do constabulary work allowed them the track smuggling by air as well as sea.

Louis
Louis (@guest_761667)
7 months ago
Reply to  ian white

T45s seem to be the ships to be on. A nice cruise in the Caribbean, a deployment to Turkey and the med, and a deployment to Scandinavia. Much more exciting than the T23s.

Bob
Bob (@guest_761211)
8 months ago

I don’t accept this “Too expensive, what would we have to lose to pay for it?” Argument. The answer is simple, we need a minimum 3%GDP defence budget for the next five years at least.

In answer to the obvious follow-up, whatever needs to be cut. Nothing is more impotent than defence; no safe space, no anything else.

Nat White
Nat White (@guest_761212)
8 months ago

No matter how the Royal Navy’s Top Brass spin this, it is a thoroughly damming report, as the majority of the Surface Escort ships are unavailable for active deployment. Whilst I doubt very much that the Attack Submarine fleet is faring any better.

Louis
Louis (@guest_761665)
7 months ago
Reply to  Nat White

This is very good actually. 3 T45s, 6 T23s and 2 SSNs at sea, with a further T23 and 2 SSNs available at short notice.
The main issue here is Fort Vic with the Albions also being an issue albeit less important.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_761809)
7 months ago

So what it really . Means is, at the very best we have a fleet six destroyers and eleven frigates. We’re in the same place as the Chilean, Italian and Spanish navy. Embarrassing all the political guff aboutT26 and the T3, means nothing until the are in service. There’s too much distraction with all the talk about the new toys, like Proteus and the stirling castle. The focus should be more about’ surely we can still have a job for echo and enterprise those pair are substantial platforms although not built to a military spec could easily carry out any… Read more »

Louis
Louis (@guest_761933)
7 months ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

The RN is leagues ahead of all of the countries you mentioned. By the end of 2025 Britain will have the 3rd largest Carrier aviation force, and the 2nd largest in terms of capabilities. Even now it is arguably the second most capable. The RN already has the 4th most capable submarine fleet, this won’t change for a long time. Those are the two most important assets for a Navy. 7 frigates and 3 destroyers at sea. It will only get better from here as the new frigates arrive with numbers going back up to 13 from 10 now as… Read more »