The Public Accounts Committee was recently informed by the Permanent Secretary for Defence that the first Type 31 Frigate will be in the water by 2023 and that the in-service date will be in 2027.

Earlier statements however indicated that the in-service date would be 2023.

According to the February 2020 update of the ‘Naval shipbuilding‘ research briefing in the House of Commons Library, the approved in-service date for the Type 31 frigates is now 2027, according to a letter written by the MOD’s Permanent Secretary to the chair of the Public Accounts Committee in January 2020.

The National Shipbuilding Strategy said the first vessel should be in service by 2023.

According to the research paper, when Babcock was selected as the preferred bidder in September 2019, the company said manufacture would commence in 2021 with the first ship “scheduled for launch in 2023”.

Noting the change in language, respected defence commentator Save the Royal Navy said in an article quoted in the research paper: “There is a big difference between the launch of the structurally complete hull and a fully functioning warship that is actually in service.”

If not for this work by Save The Royal Navy, this slippage might have gone unnoticed by most.

The research paper goes on to say:

“On 20 January 2020 the MOD informed the Public Accounts Committee the approved inservice date for the first ship is 2027: Evaluation of the Preferred Bidder’s schedule and deliverability assessment has confirmed that Ship 1 will be in the water in 2023, with all ships accepted off-contract by the end of 2028. The IAC [Investment Approvals Committee] has approved the InService Date of Ship 1 for May 2027.”

The Ministry of Defence also reportedly told the Commons Library “the competition we held demonstrated that no bidder could achieve a ship in the water before 2023” but suggested to the author that the in-service date could be earlier than 2027.

You can find the research briefing here.

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Mr Bell
Mr Bell
7 months ago

Why does it take the UK 7 years to build and get into service a warship that is already in service in another navy?
What does this slippage mean for the worn out type 23s? I seriously think the RN needs to lease some Arleigh Burke class

Paul Bestwick
Paul Bestwick
7 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

They are having to apply for planning permission for the new construction halls. I think that and building the halls once permission is given might be part of the timescale.

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
7 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Type 31 is not in service anywhere AFAIK. Only the UK has ordered some to this day. Also once ship hull is built , you need time before operational in service to iron out issues, engines, integrate and test all weapons and systems, etc…
4 years may seem long but that may also be due to budget reasons, giving you more time to spread the costs over years instead of having to make 1 huge payment upfront. Anyway this ship should be competive for export market.

Rob N
Rob N
7 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

The spreading cost over time is a well know false economy. All that happens is that inflation drives up the unit cost over time and before you know it you cannot afford the number of hulls you originally planned for! This is ALL about lack of political will to Invest in the armed forces properly. The politicians talk a lot about Global Britain but are not willing to fund it…. 7 years to build a frigate! It is like putting the Marx Brothers in charge of UK defence. No wonder the majority of voters in the Uk have lost confidence… Read more »

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

You may be right that spreading costs may not save money in the long run, but it’s more about resolving cash flow issues.

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
7 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

ie borrowing and annual budget limits

maurice10
maurice10
7 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

Let us hope the Iranian situation stabilises for a decade or so. If however both Iran and Chinese expansionism continues the chances of putting to sea two RN carrier battle groups, if required, would be unlikely? The Type31 project was flawed from the beginning, and it is highly likely it will continue to be so.

Trevor
Trevor
7 months ago
Reply to  maurice10

Chinese expansion looks to be going on the back burner.

Cam
Cam
7 months ago
Reply to  maurice10

China will never take on nato! We have far more better hardware and would sink every ship they have. RN not needed, ok astutes and carriers and destroyers and nuke subs needed.

Trevor
Trevor
7 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

The original announcement was important for the govt, before the election campaign. Having said that it will be some time from launch to it being in service. The QE is inevitably taking a very long time before geťing into service.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
7 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

Let’s be honest no one on here really thought the original date was feasible, but the delay of 4 years is as delayed as the original planned timescale was supposed to actually be. Perhaps they are being built by Crossrail.

Sean
Sean
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

“Marx Brothers”… you mean Corbyn and McDonnel? 😆
Thank god they didn’t get in. Put everybody needs to keep reminding HMG that there first responsibility is Defence.

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Profound question Mr Bell. Perhaps a deep seated UK cultural tendency to indecision. In out , in out shake it all about….EU membership anyone 🙂

Sean
Sean
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

There was no indecision over EU membership. The public have wanted out for years. It was a self-serving political cast that tried to overturn the referendum result.

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago
Reply to  Sean

Well, at a National level i.e. not distinguishing between the people and the ‘political class’, there clearly was indecision. We changed our minds. The ‘political class’ are your elected representatives. They work for you. You pay them to understand the detail of complex issues and look after your interests. Problems arise when they lose their bottle and abdicate their responsibilities, which is what in the referendum. Cameron lost his bottle. What was remarkable and quite concerning about the whole Brexit episode is how a character who has never been elected to any UK office was used by reactionary forces to… Read more »

SD67
SD67
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Oh puhleeze, give it a rest. We voted to leave 4 times. Referendum EURO elections, 2017 GE, 2019 GE.

And Cameron did not “lose his bottle” – a private members bill for a referendum passed the house of commons in 2014 Against Cameron’s Objections. Cameron had no choice.

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
7 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

The USN has no Arleigh Burke spare to lease, systems wise they are completely different to anything the UK operates and they don’t meet RN habitability standards and the very low freeboard on later Flights due to the overladen design might cause some issues with the Health and Safety Executive!

Joel Evans
Joel Evans
7 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

To be honest, I think 7 years to bring a new type of vessel into active service is pretty good- the previous timetable was frankly unrealistic (which a STRN and others did note at the time). I know that the T31 is based upon the Ivor Hertfeldt (or however you say it), however it has been adapted physically and the mission systems changed, plus the equipment is UK spec rather than Danish. That’s a lot of new stuff to get right on the first vessel of a new type, plus working up the crew to get familiar with a unique… Read more »

Peter Elliott
Peter Elliott
7 months ago

The Burkes have their own issues. It’s an old design, and expensive to crew. The updated Flight 3 ships are late and over budget. The RN really doesn’t want to go there. Couldn’t afford either the purchase or the running costs. The T45/T26 combination will be better Task Group escorts than the legacy Burke, and cost less both to build and run.

We like to beat ourselves up over ship building. But the Cousins are actually in a worse place than we are right now. The Australian and Canadian selection of T26 shows that.

Paul42
Paul42
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter Elliott

The Burkes, specially the flight 3s are far superior to anything the RN has or indeed likely to have! Once again the UK proves how incapable we are of getting anything right. Scrap all our very long term building plans and buy off the shelf from the US.

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

Firstly i do not agree that UK are incapable. Secondly buying off the shelf from the US is a strategic error and undermines the whole idea behind Brexit and UK independence. You become dependant on foreign procurement and the goodwill of those governments while losing know how and capability that was acquired through generations of effort. And once you lose this know how and skilled worforce it is much harder to regain it in the future if not impossible.

Paul42
Paul42
7 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

Sadly, we are incapable, Defence wise, the only items delivered within a specified period that are actually ready for use are those we buy off the shelf. When it comes to Surface escorts and submarines we are really struggling and its embarressing – the Astutes are a prime example! HMS Audacious is so far behind it’s incredible and would not be accepted elsewhere. The build time for the Type 26, now the build and in service dates for Type 31…..and earlier this week the first P8 had to land at Kinloss because the works at Lossiemouth aren’t finished despite Us… Read more »

Rob
Rob
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

& Paul delaying the T31 will mean extra spending on them, extra spending on keeping clapped out T23’s going and extra spending on training. All money we haven’t got.

False economy!

Paul42
Paul42
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Sadly not. The latest rendition from Babcock shows the the Type 31 Corvette has been downgraded further to just 12 Sea Ceptor as opposed to the initial 24 which was a come down from the Type 23 number of 32. It appears our fishery protection group is indeed expanding….. with some new Corvettes lol

Sean
Sean
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

The Type31 was never shown to have 24 Sea Ceptor silos, only 12. A proposal to Poland by Babcock based on the Type 31 had 24.

HF
HF
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

Yet the USN is having problems building new SSBN’s to replace the Ohio class because of capacity issues. The grass is not always greener.

Robert blay
Robert blay
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

They are resurfacing the runway at Lossiemouth, that is why it has gone to Kinloss. Most nations can’t even build anything like we can, except the Americans, and even they run into cost overruns and delays, just look at the Ford class as a example. You shouldn’t do this country down.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
7 months ago
Reply to  Robert blay

Not running the UK down at all, it is just political decisions. HMG should insist ships in service date is maintained and bulldoze through planning for construction halls. The first batch need to be in service much sooner, meanwhile a 2nd batch much more capable GP frigates with surface strike and mk41vl silos needs to be ordered immediately after first of first batch in service.

Robert blay
Robert blay
7 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

The T26 will have such capability, and all of our Astute Class have TLAM.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
7 months ago
Reply to  Robert blay

But Robert…the concept should be distributed lethality so as many of our ships and subs have multiple spectrum attack options, not just relying on a small number of submarines

HF
HF
7 months ago
Reply to  Robert blay

The LPDs built for the USN also had significant problems.

Steve R
Steve R
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

It’s not incapable at all. Capability is not the problem. It’s political will.

WeeWill
WeeWill
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

There’s plenty of US programmes that are / were a proper mess. They just have more money to throw at the projects to keep ‘em going and eventually pull through. And because they order in bulk and over extended timescales, earlier problems are forgotten.

Steve10
Steve10
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

Try some facts please, hand wringing is pretty pointless. The French and Italian managed 4 T45 minus equivalents between them. One of their Frigate classes relies on man pads for AA. The Spanish managed 2 conventional submarines for the cost of the Astutes. The Germans sent their last three destroyers back because this listed. The latest US carriers are behind schedule and cost $12bn each plus crew cost for 5000. So a few countries do a decent corvette/light frigate, big deal.

LL
LL
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve10

Italian and French Horizon are actually more modern regarding missiles.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
7 months ago
Reply to  LL

Only because they have the extended range aster 30s, the type 45s could easily be equipped with these weapons, political decision at this time not to equip. Otherwise the type 45 is superior to French and Italian Horizon class air defence destroyers in every way. Sampson radar is better than Horizon radar.

The Artist Formerly known as Los Pollos Chicken
The Artist Formerly known as Los Pollos Chicken
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

Name one country in the world who hasn’t got issues with defence , where every single defence procurement programme is on or ahead of schedule and every type of equipment in use is performing to 100% ? Cos I’m pretty sure there aren’t any even the yanks have issues with multiple programmes and equipment despite a 600 billion dollar defence budget . Don’t take my word for it go look it up. Even some of the most successful programmes in history can have Rocky poor starts AH64 Apache is a prime example , didn’t work was considered 💩 and almost… Read more »

Lee1
Lee1
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

While I do think we should be better at budgeting and build times etc. You are blinkered if you think other nations including the US do not have similar or even worse issues with their build and procurement. The Arleigh Burkes are not better than the type 45s. They are an old design (Although very good) that has been updated but they are due for replacement. Their replacement is the Zumwalt class and they are having major issues. So much so that after a cost of $7.5 billion per ship they have cancelled the program after 3 ships and are… Read more »

Darren
Darren
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

Don’t be so silly and hysterical. Nearly 1.9 billion dollars for a Burke without weapons etc.

Paul42
Paul42
7 months ago
Reply to  Darren

I’m stating facts. We have a very serious problem in the UK. At the moment the ongoing delays with HMS Audacious could hold up the programme because the following boat – HMS Anson cannot be launched until such time as Audacious finally vacates her Berth. The Type 23s are undergoing Lifex and will no doubt continue to serve, but the in service dates for new vessels is being pushed further back – something will give in the end. When it comes to Defence procurement, Boris Johnsons sidekick Cummings is right – we’re getting it badly wrong. Lossiemouth should have been… Read more »

James M
James M
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

The solution to that is not to outsource defence capabilities. This is caused by government costcutting and a lack of a proper shipbuilding strategy. The USA is having similar issues with tried and tested designs – the delayed flight 3 Burkes are only being built because the DDG1000 programme failed, and they’re outdated, expensive, and completely different to anything else the RN operates. The only reason there are issues with the T31 is because the government keep messing around with the requirements and because we don’t build enough ships for companies to justify investing in their facilities. Neither of these… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
7 months ago
Reply to  James M

The solution is somewhere between the two I think… Some very poor decisions have been made re procurement, the spiraling cost of Astute is a typical example of this, ordered far to late and with only 7 and 4 SSBN’s, there’s no economy of scale or ability to keep a steady drum beat of design and construction. T31 will, (without doubt), end up being far more expensive and late, as goalposts get moved and the design is played with. There will probably eventually be little in the way of saving in the split T26/31 order, as opposed to just building… Read more »

Cam
Cam
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

It proves kinlosss is a viable airfield and we should use it.

Darren
Darren
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

I am not disputing the UK having a problem, but it is not caused by The UK shipbuilder being rubbish. It is caused by something else.

Trevor
Trevor
7 months ago
Reply to  Darren

Exactly!!

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
7 months ago
Reply to  Darren

What about a purchase of flight 2 burkes ex us navy, not new. 3 of these vessels would provide much needed offensive firepower.

BB85
BB85
7 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

We wouldn’t be able to crew them for one thing. The US is not going to give them away for free and we could not afford to run them even if they did.
The LIFEX the T23’s are receiving is pretty substantial they will certainly outgun the T31 just lack the multi mission modules.

Trevor
Trevor
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

Idiotic

Rob N
Rob N
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

I think you will find that the T45 is a better air defence platform than the US equivalent. The T23/26 are better anti-sub platforms then anything the USN has. Both the Australia and Canada have bought off-tge-shelf and selected T45.

I could go on but I do not think I need to.

Robert blay
Robert blay
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

Well said.

Paul42
Paul42
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

The Burkes combine AAW, ASW and Surface/Land Attack in one hull, as opposed to multiple hulls for differing roles . Yes they expensive, but far more capable.

Meirion X
Meirion X
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

So the Burkes seem to be True General Propose warships!

Paul42
Paul42
7 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Yes they are, certainly the best all round Destryer out there with certain vessels being armed with SM6 to take down ICBMs

Rob N
Rob N
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

Jack of all trades master of none. I would rather have the best AAW destroyer, the best anti-sub frigate in separate hulls than a single hull that compromises. Yes it would be nice to add capabilities to T45 – towed array sonar, better anti-ship capability etc, but we just cannot afford the extras. T26 in many peoples navies would be classed as a destroyer, be thankful we are getting such a capable platform.

Pacman27
Pacman27
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

Actually I would rather have a Burke over the T45 and the T23 combined, as unfortunately whilst they may be better at individual tasks (not convinced either ship is – as a lot is down to crew, training and knowledge), I would rather have 30 vessels that are really good and cost effective than a handful of exquisite assets

I do think that a T26 with a better radar and more VLS that can be quad packed will become the best ship in the world and hopefully our friends in the USN will adopt it

Meirion X
Meirion X
7 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Remember, the RN use radar Homing missiles, unlike the USN and RAN, use simi-homing.
So some radar systems will Not be compatible with RN warpons.

SD67
SD67
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

The Burkes are short ranged and heavily crewed. Gas Turbine only and 300 people. Only the USN could ever operate them, they require logistical support and manpower that only the US has. Of course there are economies of scale in a production run of 87 units

John Fedup
John Fedup
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

T26, not T45.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

I have worked on number DDG 51s and they all have issues.
Stick with what we have …it would not be cost effective to lease them from the States…the spare part bill alone would cripple the MOD budget.
Then you need to add in training on the systems, the additional manpower, they are designed around the USN manning philosophy not the RNs so are a lot more manpower intensive….one person does one job.

DaveyB
DaveyB
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

Why?

Sean
Sean
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

The Burke’s aren’t superior. More heavily armed than most ships, yes.
But the Type45 is superior at AAW, and the Type 26 will be a better ASW platform.
The RN designs just need to be fully armed from the start, not FFBNW.

Paul42
Paul42
7 months ago
Reply to  Sean

The Burkes are superior in being true general purpose and Aegis is a pretty damned good AAW radar, designed from the outset for continual upgrading. Sampson is very good, but six ships, four in reality with refits etc cannot be everywhere at once. A Burke Captain can take on anything in the combat zone, our Type 45s are AAW and cannot defend against a submarine or tackle a surface warship.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

Ok now switching to Weapon Engineer mode… Actually Aegis isn’t a radar. SPY is the radar and the version that is in service is far behind Sampson. Only with the just coming into service SPY 6 will the USN actually have an active phased array radar that can illuminate a target and control missiles in flight without a separate tracking radar. So thats at least 10 years behind the RNs capability. Aegis is just the battle control computer that integrates the systems in to one overarching system. A DDG 51 has Harpoon as does the T45 so on ASuW they… Read more »

WeeWill
WeeWill
7 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

And the T45 radar horizon is considerably further out from the ship because SAMPSON is mounted higher. Swedish subs sneaking in to the middle of US carrier groups says all you need to know about the Burke’s ASW ability – they might have more sensors and weaponry for the role than a T45 but they’re not much better at it!

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

Really, the Burkes are cramped over laden designs with accommodation that falls waaaaay below what the RN would regard as acceptable now. The propulsion machinery and associated systems are of a similar vintage to that installed to the Type 42 in a hull that is contemporary with the Type 23 development wise. The Electronics related to AEGIS have been updated but AN/SPY1 is generationally behind SAMPSON having started development in the 1960’s vs the 1980’s for the latter. They have less automation requiring more crew to perform the same tasking which is a serious issue for an RN that is… Read more »

Ian
Ian
7 months ago

The Chinese can build a hospital in 5 days , and we can build some ships in less than 15 years……what has happened to us !!!!

Steve R
Steve R
7 months ago
Reply to  Ian

China has massively more money than we do.

Also, I’d be wary of the quality control of anything put together too quickly.

BIG D
BIG D
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

Had a brand new Chinese motorbike which rusted up within a year had to scrap it. The scrap dealer couldn’t believe it was only a year old because of the State of it. So I wouldn’t want their ships even if they can build them fast, but this is a crazy amount of time to wait for these ships just as well that we build them to last.

Ian
Ian
7 months ago
Reply to  Ian

yup watch some videos concerning the property bubble in China, the ghost towns and the level of building quality, truly shocking

Darren
Darren
7 months ago
Reply to  Ian

The hospital had many many diggers at work and a huge number of workers building a pre fab hospital. What happened to us is known as the modern UK government, with it’s officials and politicians who fart arse about.

Trevor
Trevor
7 months ago
Reply to  Ian

Building hospitals out of shipping containers is not an idea we should encourage for the UK.

Robert blay
Robert blay
7 months ago
Reply to  Ian

A hospital made of porta cabins, that won’t be in use in a years time. Yeah awesome. I’d question the communist regime that has led them to such extreme measures, rather than using that as an example to be little British defence manufacturing.

James
James
7 months ago
Reply to  Ian

The Chinese built a temporary prefab warehouse in 5 days, which they will use as a hospital.

WeeWill
WeeWill
7 months ago
Reply to  James

Japan on the other hand…a few years ago when they filled in that sinkhole that appeared within a few days. Impressive! But I digress…

John Fedup
John Fedup
7 months ago
Reply to  Ian

The 5 day hospital was fake news.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 months ago

What does, “all ships accepted off-contract by 2028”, mean?

That can’t mean the Navy is going to get all 5 ships in side 12 months? Sounds like another fudge…

Philip Chandler
Philip Chandler
7 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

No, but the first will be delivered before 2027 and spend a year or two on first of class trials. Similarly the last won’t be in service in 2028 but presumably have reached a point where it’s on the RN’s books. So you could be looking at launching a ship a year from ~2023 and meet that schedule.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 months ago

Hi Philip,

I understand the timings for the lead ship, but I am not convinced about the final delivery in 2028. I might be possible, indeed should be possible, but recent experience suggests otherwise. Hopefully, I’m wrong.

Farouk
Farouk
7 months ago

The one thing that British MPs and civil serpents ( yes I wrote that correctly) have become good at is becoming adept in the art of being pound foolish and penny shy.

WeeWill
WeeWill
7 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Yes. It’s definitely the fault of civil servants. Trying to bring some consistency and continuity to political whim, flip-flip ideology, knee-jerking and schizophrenia.

Rob
Rob
7 months ago

This is disastrous. It means some T23s staying in service as relics, coasting £squillions to keep going, while the fleet drops well below the already too low level of 19 escorts. These builds are a defence PRIORITY. Why can’t we launch 2 every year in the 2020’s when we could launch 60 every year between 40-45? Everyone new this was going to be the case but the politicians and MOD just kept denying it – the frigate replacement programme is under funded, lacks urgency and is badly planned. I hope that the SDSR can address this with some sensible thinking… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

I suspect what will happen is that the T23 ‘relics’ will be laid up and their duties performed by River 2s; fleet ready escort and contribution to Indian Ocean Combined Maritime Task force. Frigate escort numbers will dip until T31 enters service.
https://combinedmaritimeforces.com/ctf-152-gulf-security-cooperation/
At a convenient point T23s will be put up for sale.

Meirion X
Meirion X
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

The dip in fleet numbers is more to do with the delayed and slow T26 building program, to replace the T23 ASW types.
This is the program that needs speeding up!

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Agreed. But it seems to me that a conscious decision has been taken to spend what money there is, not on T26 but on lifexing the Type 23s, finishing the River 2s and building T31. Actually this strategy is probably the one which will maintain hull numbers at the level needed to enable the RN to fulfil their commitments. I doubt that throwing money at the T26 production line or would have accelerated their build. We might well have seen catastrophic laying up of T23 wrecks. The time to have avoided the situation we are in was decades ago when… Read more »

Ian
Ian
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Paul……if we don’t trust BAE why do we still do business with them….. if the missed a few contracts they would not take us for granted

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago
Reply to  Ian

Well Ian, I dunno. But it takes two to tango. I have to believe that BAE engineers are not only very good but want to do a good job and are as patriotic as the next UK man.
We ought to have put much more effort into nurturing our relationship with our primary defence contractor. Real failure to resort to punishment.

Paul T
Paul T
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Paul P – The French have a few issues too ,their original requirement for FREMM was 17 Ships,they will end up with 8.

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Yes. The French hit the same financial issues. Horizon class cut to 2; Fremm numbers cut to 8 and a variety of older frigates and patrol ships. Granted they do have the job of providing presence and reassurance for Pacific islands for which they need a large number of small patrol ships. But that said I think we are handling the challenge of building a mixed fleet rather better. One T31 platform with the option of differing armament levels will likely be cheaper and more adaptable than a combination of La Fayette and Floreal, as well as offering real growth… Read more »

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

France started building FDI/Belahara, 5 ordered – comparable to T31
France will start replacing Floeal class in 2028 with 6 EPC (European Patrol Corvette) built with Italy, Greece and Spain.

Paul T
Paul T
7 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

Lordtemplar- The FTI/Belharra Frigates are Full Fat front line ships,they overmatch the spec of the T31 (as published) in most regards https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frégates_de_taille_intermédiaire As to the EPC,that looks interesting but as the saying goes ‘Too Many Cooks…………………

Trevor
Trevor
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Is this really a significant problem with the T31s? OK, something of a problem but the T26s are currently being built to replace T23s and are
expensive anti sub ships… eventually the T31s will come on stream but are limited in scope.
“Save the Royal Navy” blog offers options to improve the T31s, and they are a roomy hull and could be improved on over time. But all the options themselves have been done to death and it’s clear that opinions are divided.

James M
James M
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Mainly because between 40 and 45 ships were simpler, we had more shipyards, and the entire nation was on a war footing and fighting for our very survival. It’s easy to justify spending 30-50% of GDP on the military when the alternative is the Waffen-SS showing up on the doorstep of Buckingham Palace.

It is an utter disaster though, hopefully SDSR2020 brings a better procurement process and a higher budget so we can avoid all this penny-pinching each year at the expense of overall cost.

Frank62
Frank62
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Incompetance, corruption, duplicity & the imperative to keep the richest out of the tax regime, thus impoverishing the treasury. This is the real face of globalisation when everything is reduced to making the maximum profits for the smallest “elite” at everybody else’s expense.

expat
expat
7 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

How do you figure the richest are kept out of the tax regime. Anyone earning over around 45k is paying something like 63% back to the government on everything they earn. 40% income tax, plus around 3% NI then 20% VAT on almost everything they buy. James Dyson’s family contributed to 1/2 the cost of a T31 alone paying 127.8m in tax. The UKs top 5 tax payers will pay for the entire T31 program in 2 years! Perhaps look the problem another way if we could encourage another 4 James Dysons to the UK that’s 2 more T31’s paid… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
7 months ago

This is not a surprise, after all who builds and and brings into service a whole new class of complex warship in 3 years. It was not going to happen.

rec
rec
7 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Well, begs the questions , would the RN be better served by 10 T26s built at a faster rate supplemented
By some uparmed rivers.
Or gone for the Leander

Sean
Sean
7 months ago
Reply to  rec

Should revert to original plan, 13 Type 26’s – 8 ASW, 5 GP.

(Get the first into service ASAP and it might even be reconsidered by the US if their frigate selection programme is delayed further.)

Frank62
Frank62
7 months ago
Reply to  rec

I was amazed by the size of the chosen design for the T31s after years of being told they’d be cheaper, lighter etc. Pity we won’t put a decent medium gun on them. The Rivers could be easily up armed as many ohter countries has far more capable OPVs & those we’ve exported are armed up to corvette standard.

Paul T
Paul T
7 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Jonathan – cant compare Apples to Oranges I know but Fincantieri can.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 months ago

By the way, if you look at the rendering above there are only 12 Sea Ceptor launch tubes, something confirmed by Save the Royal Navy:

https://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/the-type-31-frigate-in-view/

Rob
Rob
7 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

So it will be late, have no anti-ship capability beyond a 57mm, can’t do ASW, can’t do NGS and is under armed in missile / air defence. The only good thing is it is a large hull and theoretically adaptable if somebody finds some money down the road.

Please remind me, why are we getting these? A fleet if 12 T26 would surely pack more punch.

Trevor
Trevor
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Yawn. Just read back through umpteen articles and threads to work out that the T31s are quite different to 26s and are a lot lot cheaper.

Rob
Rob
7 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

Trevor YAWN. The idea that everything is OK because that is the budget is stupid. Increase the budget, build proper warships, give the crew a chance to survive in a conflict. Accepting second class warships to defend our country is crazy and, god forbid, be revealed if these bargain basement frigates ever have to go to war.

Frank62
Frank62
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Spot on Rob.

Trevor
Trevor
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

The T31s are 250mil each and designed to do a job accordingly. T26s are 3 to 4 times as much and very specialised, that’s why they are expensive. This has been widely discussed. T26s are going to replace T23s, and is it not important that T26s are built before T31s?

Meirion X
Meirion X
7 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

The earlier Type 23s(GPs), could have done been replaced first with Type 31.

Meirion X
Meirion X
7 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

The MoD would have Save a Lot of money by Not have had to LIFEX most of the earlier Type 23s.
The Type 31s, would had started coming into service about now, if the MoD had got the timeline right!

Paul42
Paul42
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Spot on indeed

Paul42
Paul42
7 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

They are a lot cheaper because they are oversized expensive OPVs/Corvettes that have no real purpose other than really basic tasks. When it comes to combat there vessels are a major liability.

Steve R
Steve R
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Seems ridiculous.

I know these are meant to do things such as anti piracy and low-intensity operations but still, its barely armed at all for a frigate.

Seriously, how much would it really cost to put on 24 Sea Ceptor, the gun and 8x NSM in quad canister launchers bolted onto the deck?!

Paul42
Paul42
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

We could decommission the general purpose Type 23s and transfer the 32 Sea Ceptor tubes to the Type 31

WeeWill
WeeWill
7 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I’d missed that article. In what scenario are they thinking 12 SAM is appropriate? If the air threats that low, smash it with the 40mms. Anything higher and you’re overwhelmed anyway. And that’s before starting on the volumetric inefficiency of the SeaCeptor VLS in the first place. Ffs.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 months ago
Reply to  WeeWill

Hi WeeWill, 12 SAM does make much sense except perhaps in the Gulf as Iran has few effective aircraft, but I agree it is too few, way too few to be effective but it justifies the expensive lump at the mast head. As for the low density of the SeaCeptor that’s because the RN / MoD are using the old Sea Wolf VLS with the CAMM missiles in canisters inside the Sea Wolf VLS. We do not know for sure which VLS system is being fitted to T31 but the rendering shows the mushrooms as per the T23, but that… Read more »

WeeWill
WeeWill
7 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Ah thanks for the info, I didn’t know they were old SeaWolf tubes. Heaven forbid we commit to a modern multi-mission capable VLS (licence built Lockheed or Sylver, I don’t care at this point – committing to one or the other would allow weapon integration cost to be spread out) and build our surface combatants around it.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 months ago
Reply to  WeeWill

Apparently, T26 is getting both Sylver for the forward VLS farm and strike length Mk41’s amidships. Later was reported as being ordered as long lead items.

WeeWill
WeeWill
7 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Have you got a link to that? The last render I saw I’m sure it was (what I now know as) SeaWolf VLS and mk41 crammed in forward of the bridge? Although it wouldn’t surprise me – cost is a concern but hey, let’s have two disparate bits of kit doing the same job, one of which we’re introducing new to service.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 months ago
Reply to  WeeWill

Hi WeeWill,

You are right the VLS are all forward of the bridge.

This Save the Royal Navy article suggest 24 Sylver and 24 Mk41.

https://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/will-the-type-26-frigate-deliver-a-punch-commensurate-with-its-price-tag/

The US (Lockheed is it?) has offered a version of ASROC fitted with UK Stingray torpedo. Of course, the Mk41 could be quad packed with CAMM missiles which would be quite the SAM outload 🙂

I would hope that Mk41 are fitted to T31 and married up to the Thales radar…

James Fennell
James Fennell
7 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I think its 24 Mk 41 and 48 Sea Ceptor silos.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Hi James,

It may be 48 SeaCeptor silos, but The Save the Royal Navy article that I linked to above has a CGI labelled up as 24 SeaCeptor silos.

DaveyB
DaveyB
7 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

As Gunbuster says the Stingray is a much better torpedo than the MK46/54 series. It would be great if ASROC could be fitted with it.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Hi Davey,

Yeh, ASROC would give the T31 real force multiplying value as it could operate in support of T26 or prosecute contacts developed by sonar buoys. Another string in its bow potentially. ASROC with Stringray as you say would be quite a capability as well.

Meirion X
Meirion X
7 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

No plan to install Mk.41 on T31s. Let hope they get CAMM in new type quad pack silo boxes. 4 Sea Ceptor under each hatch!

Meirion X
Meirion X
7 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Not correct, the Type 26 frigates are getting Mk 4, and CAMM in quad pack silo boxes.

Meirion X
Meirion X
7 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Sorry, typo again, Mk. 41

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Hi Meirion X, Have a look at this article. There is an excellent GCI of the latest version of the T26. There are 24 Syler / SeaCeptor silos and 24 Mk41’s. https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2020/01/royal-navys-first-type-26-frigate-hms-glasgow-more-than-half-built/ There is also my original link to the Save the Royal Navy article above that states the same (they could be refering to the same source of course, which would be very internet!). The link below is to the MBDA website. If you scroll down to ‘Features’ it clearly states that CAMM can be quad pasked into both MK41 and Sylver. There is a great picture on the… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
7 months ago

Would it not make sense to cancel the order and go with these instead and have them Built-in Italy? Last one off the production line this year. That should give the industry a wake-up call. In April 2007, DCN became DCNS (now Naval Group). This followed an agreement where Thales became a 25% shareholder in the new company and DCN acquired the naval business of Thales France (excluding naval equipment). The first Italian frigate was launched in July 2011 and delivered in May 2013. Deliveries are expected to conclude in 2021. The first of the class is Carlo Bergamini, which… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
7 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

And the MOD civil servants FFS 👿👿 Lewis Page, late of this parish, summed up what happened when the government tried to exercise that option: “… it later got rescinded, on the grounds that putting catapults into the ships was not going to cost £900m – as the 2010 [Strategic Defence and Security Review] had estimated – but actually £2bn for [HMS] Prince of Wales and maybe £3bn for Queen Elizabeth. This would double the projected price of the two ships.” The Aircraft Carrier Alliance – heavily dominated by BAE Systems – had not designed the new carriers to have… Read more »

Paul T
Paul T
7 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Nigel – i’ll stick my neck out and say the Royal Navy doesn’t need the FREMM Design ,the Type 26 covers those bases- but for the T31 Requirement I want a few of these Babiescomment image

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

What is that???

Paul T
Paul T
7 months ago

Daniele – its the First PPA, Paolo Thaon Di Revel whose construction started at about the same time as HMS Glasgow.

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

5-6000 tons and 143m, a single hull that can be configured as a frigate or an OPV.
Let me think….where have I seen that idea before?
😉

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Thank you both Pauls!

McZ
McZ
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

The Italians are absolutely getting this right.

A 400m baseline vessel, with (currently) three different standard outfits, easily upgradeable. All content is coming from Italy, from state owned companies having no pressure to make huge profits.

2x Horizon
10x Fremm
16x PPA OPV/frigate hybrids (and easily more)

Plus two light carriers, three light LHDs and 8 subs. Talk about balanced forces.

WeeWill
WeeWill
7 months ago
Reply to  McZ

I’d not considered the Italian fleet in its entirety before, but agree; something they seem to be getting right at the moment. And those PPVs are are pretty specced up!

McZ
McZ
7 months ago
Reply to  WeeWill

Constant drumbeat, one vessel a year. Pretty much straightforward. The RN in the meantime took a 10yr surface warship building holiday, totally and utterly self-inflicted. T31 would have been required in 2012, because a bad warship is better than no warship. Instead, the overspecification mafia still has all the power. Now, we wonder how rebuilding a lost industry can take 5 years.

WeeWill
WeeWill
7 months ago
Reply to  McZ

U.K. again suffering from government ideology knows best. The shipbuilding strategy, like most other Government commissioned expert reporting, will be ignored because it doesn’t fit government rhetoric.

If we had 5 lines of development (sub, carrier / HELO, support / landing, escort and ancillary) there could be intermittent reviews to determine how many of each are needed and if tech dev is needed. Subsequently introduce a one out of service, one in to service ad infinitum for each line of development. Resultant support for at least 5 ship yards.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 months ago
Reply to  WeeWill

Hi WeeWill, Yup, that would be nice. I joined the Procurement Executive back int ’89 as a tech and did 22yrs the last 10 having being privatised! After general elections we always metaphorically held our breath while we waited to see which way any new government would go. It usually meant some sort of disruption – not the way to run any long term engineering strategy. The trouble is our politicians do not understand the need for stability and strategic planning be it the Railways or Defence! The other problem is that senior service personel are always changing the spec… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Yes, that looks a very promising option. Note the build times! Until we can get our shipbuilding strategy sorted out, I would personally cancel the Type 31 and get these tacked onto the current order if they can build them within the timeframe we require. The PPAs are being built at Fincantieri’s Integrated Shipyard of Riva Trigoso and Muggiano, with delivery expected, for the first vessel of the class, in 2021, while the following deliveries will take place in 2022, 2023, 2024 (two units), 2025 and 2026. The PPA “full” version will see its total displacement increased to 6,400 tons… Read more »

Paul T
Paul T
7 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Ive given this problem some thought and here are my views -(1) Post Brexit it wont do us any harm to offer a few Olive Branches to our Neighbours in Europe,with Italy we have some great joint projects ongoing and planned in the future, and a lot of common goals(Tempest.MBDA) to name two.(2) The Italians seem to have made an offer to Brazil for the last Two FREMM’S which are nearing completion – maybe they see a slight overcapacity in their Surface Fleet and can afford to lose these for a total of Eight – this offer to my mind… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

That makes perfect sense to me Paul T.

Personally, I would scrap the Type 31 in favour of these so we can have replacements by 2025/26 and get our yards in order for future projects like the Solid Support Ships and hopefully quicker builds of the Type 26s.

More investment is required in the south!

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
7 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

£500M, with a large enough order that could be reduced no doubt?

If we don’t have the money or the manpower and want a bigger Navy…

“It is very quiet. Compared with the Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burkes, there is just very little in the way of ambient noise, and there is almost no noise in the berthings.

Even the engine room is quiet enough that hearing protection is not required to enter.

The ship has also integrated a ton of technologies that cuts down on manning.

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2018/05/30/we-spent-3-days-on-a-top-ffgx-contender-heres-what-you-need-to-know/

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul T
Grubbie
Grubbie
7 months ago

I haven’t been so surprised since I learned that the pope was a Catholic. This project has disaster written all over it. It’s convenient that it it has no real mission, just vauge stuff like “showing the flag”, making it easier to deny failure.

Rob
Rob
7 months ago
Reply to  Grubbie

You are so correct. What the MOD & politicians have been desperately trying to avoid admitting is that we can’t afford 13 proper frigates so we will buy 8 then order a very much second rate batch of ships to do all the other things like ‘fly the flag’ & catch drugs smugglers – which is OK as long as they never have to go to war because the scandal will be massive.

geoff
geoff
7 months ago
Reply to  Grubbie

And I hear the Archbishop of Canterbury is an Anglican!!!

Robert blay
Robert blay
7 months ago

I think anyone with a realistic grasp of warship building would realise the first of these ships was not going to be in active service in 3 years time. Built and launched in 3 years, yes. Built,Fitted out and passed sea trials and handed over to the RN in 3 years, definitely no.

Mike
Mike
7 months ago

Good news all round. This will deter the English from sticking their wee noses in other country’s affairs. A pathetic little country that Scotland would be best free of. A sad wee navy that no one really wants or cares about. Consign it to history.

OOA
OOA
7 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Did you have a ‘wee drink’ before you posted that one?..

RobW
RobW
7 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Xenophobia, look it up and then look in a mirror.

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
7 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Mike, You’ve been told before – this site is for grown-ups.

Meirion X
Meirion X
7 months ago
Reply to  Mike

You have A CHECK to use a English name for Yourself!
You English Hating Hypocrite!

BIG D
BIG D
7 months ago
Reply to  Mike

If you think that what the hell are you doing on this site. This is for people that care about the Royal Navy.

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Oh dear.
England as a naval power dates from Wessex kings. Aethelstan defeated the Vikings in a naval battle in 851. As I recall after 1066, Margaret of Wessex married Malcolm III of Scotland bringing according to legend, grace and good manners to the Scottish court, and becoming St Margaret of Scotland for her trouble.
Mind your manners 😊

David Flandry
David Flandry
7 months ago

Rename Audacious: HMS Unpunctual.

Mark
Mark
7 months ago

Given this in service date I have to wonder why Babcock was bothering to be in Dublin this week trying to drum up interest in the design for the Irish Navy. There’s no chance that the Eithne will serve on till then.

James Fennell
James Fennell
7 months ago

The problem was of course political – they had an out of service date for T23 and had failed to order ships in good time, so they set the contractors an impossible target. Launch by 2023 is reasonable given the state of out shipbuilding industry, the fitting out could be accelerated maybe, but as a lead ship there will be more trials before she can accepted. The must of course build two at a time, but who knows if we have the will to stop this avoidable mess. Years of pruning and trimming back to pay for spiralling operational costs… Read more »

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Hi James, Yup, a pretty accurate summing up. The impact is that the yards have been under employed and slowly rundown and closed over the years. We now have a shortage of trained Naval Architects and Engineers. It takes at least 15 years to fully train an engineer and 2 years to get your legs under table on a new complex project. This is the problem that we now face with the Astute Class and Babcock now face with the T31. We probably pushed most of our capabilities onto the Carriers and the T26 are running so slowly that BAES… Read more »

geoff
geoff
7 months ago

Might it not be easier and more cost effective to build an additional 5 Type 26-this last five to be basic economy models with lower equipment specs? There HAS to be big economy of scale in that option surely?

Paul T
Paul T
7 months ago
Reply to  geoff

Geoff – that’s an idea that has been discussed here before,while it makes sense it would need a re-design to make it cheaper which equals more cost,plus you are still tied to BAE Systems for building them which ties you into the long construction times.

Meirion X
Meirion X
7 months ago
Reply to  geoff

At the rate of Type 26 construction, they would have to wait till after 2036 to be built!

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago
Reply to  geoff

I am naive enough to believe this was considered. But I suspect most of the build cost of a T26 is in the construction of the ‘silent’ hull. Sophisticated welding of intricate vibration dampening panels plus state of the art engine mountings. That sort of thing.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Yup, spot on. Capability often depends more on such mundain stuff as engines and anechoic linings in machinery spaces… All very expensive when added up.

Sean
Sean
7 months ago
Reply to  geoff

That was the ORIGINAL plan!!

Paul T
Paul T
7 months ago
Reply to  Sean

Sean – the Original Plan as I understood it was 8 ASW Type 26 and 5 GP Type 26,the difference being the way they are configured (aka Type 23) in that the GP Versions don’t have the Impressive Tail Sonar and associated equipment.But in terms of Construction they are pretty much all the same.Whats being proposed above is a Major Modification of the T26 Design to remove the expensive bits like quiet machinery measures etc and build a much Cheaper version,thats not the same thing as what you say is the Original plan.

JohnHartley
JohnHartley
7 months ago

The new graphic seems to show only 12 SeaCeptor & no anti ship missiles.

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
7 months ago

The clue here guys is in the phrase National Shipbuiding Strategy. This is defined as a method of promising something by organising a document to tell you what is going to happen which in itself is delayed in publication, then you postpone the tendering date by blaming the inefficient private sector for not getting brief correct. Next re launch the idea but keep with the “in the water” wording. A new Defence Secretary who of course needs time to re evaluate Perfect….four years on and now in the water means launch date and not in service. Cynical me ?

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

Cynical, no. You have just described politics as it works in the UK.

1. Take any difficult decision for which you may be held responsible,
2. place decision options in can,
3. place can on ground, and
4. hoof it down the road.

Repeat steps 3 and 4 needed. Trouble is every now and then some cans get nailed down and some luckless unqualified politician actually has to make a decision.

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago

The Canadians and the Australians have chosen T26 for good reason. It’s the best frigate design available at some say £1B a shot. The UK will be lucky to afford 8 of them; enter T31 @ £250m a shot. Should we have gone for a fleet of Fremms? The French and Italians bid €500 each for the Canadian contract for 15. I’d love to know the true cost of these ships. Anyway, you get what you pay for. We will struggle on for a few years with ancient T23s but there is light at the end of the tunnel; a… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I agree. I have not given up on the concept of the T31 at all.

HMG will not pay for 19 high end escorts.
We complain at lack of numbers here constantly, including me.
Reality, by a mix of high end and cheaper vessels, allied to, hopefully one day, upgraded RB2’s, to get some sort of mass into our stretched escort fleet.

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago

Yes. I think what is happening is that the strategic thinking work done earlier this decade on the Black Swan sloop of war concept is bearing fruit.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/658163/20120503-JCN112_Black_Swan-U.pdf

Circumstances, funding constraints, indecision, falling manpower and global aspirations are combining to create a trend towards higher numbers of cheaper ships.

A River 2 for example bears some resemblance to the Black Swan design proposal. Big flight deck, 30mm, global deployment, UAV. Of River 2 must still be capable of hauling in fishing nets…but you get the idea.

Frank62
Frank62
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

That 30mm is of negligable surface use against anything larger than fast atack craft, vritually zero anti-aircraft & no anti-missile capability. If you’ve only one gun system on a ship, it should cover anti-ship/AA/anti-missile to at least the minimum standard. R2s aren’t being kept in home wathers, but globally deployed, so any could find themselves in a war zone & easily liquedated. Empty promises & political spin save no lives. The Black swans had 6×4″ guns capable of anti-ship, NGS & AA fire, 40mm & 20mm AA guns & ASW depth charges. The R2s is incapable for any of these… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
7 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Sorry, that should be “proper”.

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Frank, I was not comparing R2 capability with the original Black Swans; just making the point that the high costs of ships like T45 and T26 is driving a rethink. A ship can only be in one place at once so we are trending to a fleet of more affordable ships.
We are still figuring out the right mix and working from minimum specs, hopefully reaching something realistic.
Agree your detail points re R2 armament. My thinking would be a River 2.5 class with the Bofors 40mm or 57mm for those ships off the Horn of Africa.

Steve
Steve
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

The t23 are not that old and are well equipped. The question is if we will pay the cost of extending their life to cover the delay, my guess not.

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve

I think the decision has been taken. Lifex most but not all T23 to some degree and in parallel build T31, sell 3 T23s to Brazil and use River 2s instead for constabulary duties until T31 enter service. Find the money for this strategy by slowing down the T26 program.

Paul42
Paul42
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

All the Type 23s are listed for Lifex although only a limited number will get new engines.

LL
LL
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

It is pretty much irrelevant, when Type 26 arrive in service, FREEM will be already almost 15 year old. So at that time Italians and French will be designing the next frigate while RN, Canadians and Australians are stuck with an older design. Btw i don’t think Type 26 will be only one ship class, there will have to be several builds due to the production time span. That said i’ll not be surprised by the political-journalist complex dumbness. Another point the Type 45 while have better radars than Italian/french Horizons have older missiles and will be less capable than… Read more »

LL
LL
7 months ago
Reply to  LL

Just checked. First FREEM French was commissioned in 2012, the Italian ones which are a bit more capable 2013.

If indeed the Type 26 is commissioned in 2027 – that is still a question – that is 15 years later.

Cam
Cam
7 months ago

Is this some kind of joke I don’t get? It’s not funny. I hate our government

peter french
peter french
7 months ago

Get the Chinese to build them and they will be in Service tomorrow, However I suspect its a budget ploy

700 Glengarried Men
700 Glengarried Men
7 months ago

Does anyone know if future proofing is built into the design of these ships. In 4 years technology will have advanced quite a bit, would we therefore be building obsolete vessels or could they easily incorporate new gismos as they are developed

PaulSergeant
PaulSergeant
7 months ago

In addition to the late delivery, the House of Commons briefing paper refers to Janes saying the total cost of the programme is just under 2 billion. This includes associated costs such as integrated logistic support, initial training, provision of government furnished assets, and completion of capability trials.

julian1
julian1
7 months ago

Call me dumb…t31 is delayed….why don’t we just add a couple of hulls to the t26 order and try to build them quicker to make up? I know t26 is 3 times as expensive, but with a bigger order book and foreign orders via Canada and Australia, wouldn’t the price come down quite a lot? seems a better idea to me than reducing the escorts/unplanned refits or foreign vessel leasing

RobW
RobW
7 months ago
Reply to  julian1

The Aussie and Canadian ships are being built in those counties, it will have no impact on the unit cost of the RN T26. If we order more T26 we can kiss goodbye to a follow on order of T31 and the hope of increasing the escort fleet beyond 19 hulls.

Paul42
Paul42
7 months ago
Reply to  julian1

That’s far too logical and beyond the comprehension of HMG

Frank62
Frank62
7 months ago

We need a public enquiry into MOD purchasing etc, but I would expect all we’d get is a censored whitewash. It’s a disgrace how slowly we get urgent programs done & at what extrordinary costs. The cuts & gapping along with this are frankly diabolical. One day we could be caught very unprepared & ill equipped.

Reaper
Reaper
7 months ago

Our procurement system is a fucking shit show. Absolutely laughable. Why anybody is surprised at this is the strange thing. The only politician who’ll stick their neck out for defence is Mercer but hes light weight and a nuisance in the other lots eyes. What our elected representatives do not realise is that their constituents are Patriots and desire a strong military. What the constituents do not realise is the absolute farce getting kit online to defend them and their interests is. It’s been like this since the 70s and it’s got worse and worse since. We need to start… Read more »

Helions
Helions
7 months ago

Just saw this article (arrived in Hawaii yesterday) and all I can say is: Who the H*LL is running this cluster????? That is all…

Cheers to all from Pearl Harbor.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 months ago
Reply to  Helions

Hi Helions,

Politicians are ultimately to blame – far too much kicking the can down the street. Twenty years of studies from the late ’80s, because no one would agree to a sensible spec for the Global Combat Ship. Up shot is our ship building industry faded below sustainable levels – such is the short sightedness of our politicians…

How’s Pearl Harbor, sunnier than it is here in good ol’ soggy Blighty I bet? 🙂

Ian
Ian
7 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

ChariotRider………politicians are poor at big money builds and getting value
9 billion on not much HS2 ….Crossrail years behind and about a billion over budget…..lots of military projects that seem to go up in price , stretch out in time , and deliver less than promised at the start

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 months ago
Reply to  Ian

Yeh, as I said somewhere else I have come to the decision that the last people you should allow to run the Treasury are politicians, it’s like letting kids loose in the sweet store with no adults..!

Sadly, we haven’t come up with a better way to run a nation state…

Paul42
Paul42
7 months ago
Reply to  Ian

Strangely endless amounts of money to waste on HS2, but not enough to ensure our armed forces have the kit they need when the shooting starts…….we’ve learned the same lessons over and over again eg Falklands and both Gulf Wars. But those lessons are quickly forgotten again and again……..

Paul42
Paul42
7 months ago
Reply to  Helions

HMG

Martin
Martin
7 months ago

https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-news/2020/02/09/defense-secretary-mark-esper-on-how-the-navy-can-get-to-355-ships/ Interestingly even the USN cant afford Burkes, “we can’t afford to wrap $2 billion dollar ships around 96 missile tubes anymore” Burkes are superior at Land attack, Anti Surface and ABM to anything in the Royal Navy but even the USN does not think they are superior to T23/26 in ASW or T45 in AAW which is why the USN opts to use RN assets in these roles when available. Burkes are suppose to be the general purpose destroyer to beef out the force but they are suppose to be supported by AAW Cruisers and Frigates both of which… Read more »

rec
rec
7 months ago

Surely the simplest answer is to speed up T26 production and add 1 more T26 to batch 2.

Dean
Dean
7 months ago

I suspect that will slip even further, building a warship now isn’t the same as 30-40 years ago, yes it requires a good dose of political will and also the right attitude from the MOD, but warships these days are far more integrated and technologically advanced beyond imagining that the ships put out in the 60s and 70s you cant just throw every tom dick and harry at them from off the street any more they require tradesmen at all levels of construction now, training for all sorts of things is required, correct live working procedures, confined spaces, welding, hydraulics,… Read more »

Big H
Big H
7 months ago
Reply to  Dean

Quick quezzie from an amateur please gents. Are there any names on the table for these ships?

Paul T
Paul T
7 months ago
Reply to  Big H

Big H – Not yet, it will be interesting to see which Historical Path they use for them – either ex Leander names ,ex Type 21 names or something completely different.