The Type 31 Frigate fit out could potentially include an anti-ship missile system, is one really required though?

Kevan Jones, MP for Durham, asked via a written Parliamentary question:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the Type 31 will possess an anti-ship-missile capability.”

Jeremy Quin, Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, replied:

“Flexible by design, the Type 31 frigates will be adaptable to a range of capabilities, which may include an anti-ship missile system.”

The British government released a Request for information detailing the desired characteristics of the Type 31e, this included a Medium Calibre Gun ≥ 57mm, a point defence anti-air missile system and the optional ability to launch and recover unmanned aerial vehicles. Notably the RFI does not include anti-ship missile systems.

Will this be a problem? Probably not, the ships aren’t likely to be tasked to do anything that requires them.

Be under no illusion, this is primarily a result of funding.

Type 26 will cover the high end tasks and Type 31 will generally cover low end constabulary work.

During a 2016 Defence Select Committee hearing, First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones described the vessel that would become Type 31e as “to be a much less high-end ship. It is still a complex warship, and it is still able to protect and defend and to exert influence around the world, but it is deliberately shaped with lessons from wider industry and off-the-shelf technology to make it more appealing to operate at a slightly lower end of Royal Navy operations”.

The requirements any design must meet.

IHS Janes described it as a “credible frigate” that will cover “maritime security, maritime counter-terrorism and counter-piracy operations, escort duties, and naval fire support sitting between the high-end capability delivered by the Type 26 and Type 45, and the constabulary-oriented outputs to be delivered by the five planned River-class Batch 2 OPVs”.

So there we have it, they could be fitted but they probably aren’t needed.

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Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
1 year ago

Just when you think there’s light at the end of the tunnel, the MoD come straight back at you with yet more stunning incompetence

Nelson
Nelson
1 year ago

Incompetent, sadly, putting it rather mildly.

Martin
Martin
1 year ago

Sticking an anti ship missile on the side of a frigate is a piece of piss in comparison to integrating Sea Ceptor. The RN and almost every other navy has never fired such a weapon in anger, primarily because the lynx that will be on the frigate carry’s a much more deployable anti ship missile. Better to get the ship in numbers with a medium capability fit like sea Ceptor and main gun with space to add items like ASM in the future if required and the ability to embark a Lynx or Merlin which are significantly more useful platforms… Read more »

Martin
Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin

I’m noticing my comments about Mr Allison have me black balled in this site now. And here was me thinking there was no moderation on UK defence Journal comments section.

I miss think defence. TD ran a tight ship before he gave up and was replaced by this lot and would never allow the amount of racist xenophobic comments written in the comments site of UK defence journal.

Martin
Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  George Allison

Dear George, Thank you for finally engaging on here. Firstly I would like to apologies for some of my harsher comments which were designed purely to see if it was even possible to generate a response from a moderator on this website, apparently the mention of you name is sufficient to generate such a response. The reason for my disdain at this site is the combination of your quite literally weekly article on anything that slightly mentions Scotland and or ships and the flood of bigoted racists xenophobic anti Scottish rhetoric that it invokes in the comments section. As a… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
1 year ago
Reply to  George Allison

George the chip on his shoulder is heavy, and I can only imagine how hard it is going through life with an unbalanced outlook.

Airborne
Airborne
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin

No, your pathetic rants about racists probably have got you “lack balled”, which interestingly is terminology that is no longer acceptable in the workplace, oh dear.

Ron
Ron
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin

Martin, to drop in a MK41 is not quite as easy as it sounds. You need command and control targeting information cabling, electrical cabling, water plumbing for cooling, fire supression systems, some form of ‘armoured’ box for passive protection, curcuit breakers the list goes on. Unless these are installed at the very begining then it would take several weeks to install a Mk41. Yes I agree that the T31 has the space for 2-4 Mk41 blocks but unless they have the fittings for them installed then its not quite so easy. It is also where the major cost is, the… Read more »

Jack
1 year ago

Doesn’t Sea Captor have an anti surface capability ? Albeit a limited one.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 year ago
Reply to  Jack

It’s capable if the MOD funded that option initially. I gather they’ve simmed it in exercises but not heard a definitive. Still, with so few to be fitted that would seem to limit your options to the primary function in most cases either way. Personally puzzled why design would not just opt for even a few of the mk 41 silos in that case to leave flexiblity for whatever your needs (think there is an adaptor that would quad Ceptor in this silo).

Callum
Callum
1 year ago
Reply to  Jack

It can, but it’s an option the RN hasn’t taken up. I imagine they realised using your main defensive system to sink boats was a poor strategy

spyintheskyuk
spyintheskyuk
1 year ago
Reply to  Callum

I take your point but then if you use them to sink boats one presumes that you do so only because you have little other option than to wait to be sunk yourself which makes their use in an anti air role pretty moot. So probably better to at least have that option so that you might be in a position to do other jobs even if only after a re-supply. Otherwise there will be very few places potentially where you can safely operate to do anything useful outside of disaster relief.

Callum
Callum
1 year ago
Reply to  spyintheskyuk

Valid argument. It’s worth considering the situation that would require using an air defence weapon on a surface target. At the sort of ranges where you’re detecting and engaging small craft, guided munitions from the 57mm or maybe even the 40mm would be more effective and cheaper. Adding a surface attack feature to Sea Ceptor would be an unnecessary extra expense that would give you the option of using it as an expensive alternative to a guided shell. There’s also the wider strategic picture. A ship can only stay on station while it can defend itself; in a combined arms… Read more »

Geoff
Geoff
1 year ago
Reply to  Callum

Especially if the amount of silos has been reduced from 24 to 12…

Robert
Robert
1 year ago

In fairness, the original specs were to be able to have provision for anti-ship missiles but not fitted with, hence not in any pictures of the type 31

spyintheskyuk
spyintheskyuk
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert

Which makes a lot more sense than having even less hulls to play with if an immediate commitment to fit them from the off was taken. No potential to fit them would however be mad and probably the worst of the three options. I guess its grappling with matters of this nature that gets the MOD so much criticism when it is perhaps forced to simply make the best ‘bad option’ so often offered to it from above. You can argue your corner as much as you like but in the end others are holding the strings for the most… Read more »

Cam
Cam
1 year ago

Do you think because it’s highly unlikely that we will use the likes of an anti ship missile is the reason they are penny pinching?. We don’t even have enough for our current fleet, and because our current fleet hasn’t had to use them hardly atall is the reason the type 31 might not receive anti ship missiles.

spyintheskyuk
spyintheskyuk
1 year ago
Reply to  Cam

I guess its a good job that they didn’t make that judgement in the 30s or we would have had battleships without guns (though the PoW was pretty much close to that when confronting the Bismarck due to problems with its 4 gun turrets) and aircraft carriers without strike planes (though that wasn’t far from the case too when you consider the Swordfish). Not advisable.

Andy
Andy
1 year ago
Reply to  spyintheskyuk

Actually the PoW guns still managed to land a mission kill shots on the Brismarck.
And the swordfish did manage to disable the Brismarck, sink the italian fleet at taranto, preformed highly effective anti submarine patrols and actually sunk more enemy shipping than any other allied plane in the in ww2 .

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 year ago
Reply to  Cam

As per my previous, Cam, I fail to see why we’d not have installed even a few of the mk41 in a class that is designed to take them from scratch, providing the forward mission bay allows. You don’t have to fill them all with missiles all the time but could both load suitable new missiles or swap in and out of your other units depending upon the mission envisaged and the risk level in the area you intend to patrol, thus extending the type’s championed flexibility. That would in fact make the article headline totally apposite! Good deterrent factor… Read more »

Derek
Derek
1 year ago
Reply to  Cam

The RN are looking for an interim ASM with a Land attack option. My guess is that they may buy half a dozen sets and fit them as and when required across the fleet for ‘high threat’ deployments – ie patrols in Straits of Hormuz or SCS islands – so a trip to the Caribbean, for example, would not need a set fitted. This seems be the way that RN mange their assets vs budgets.

MadMatt
MadMatt
1 year ago

Just arm them properly and get on with it. Tell that bunch at Abbey Wood to JFDI and stop having endless meetings and colouring charts.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
1 year ago

Although a technicality, the Wildcat it will surely embark will by then have Martlet capability. I’m also crossing my fingers that they get a 30mm cannon or two which as we’ve seen recently, can possibly also be upgraded with Martlet.

Waddi
Waddi
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

This is a very important point, the Wildcat is the main RN anti-ship capability. The current version of Harpoon on the T23 and some T45 is outdated and probably wouldn’t be risked, unless in the middle of the Atlantic with no other vessels bar the target around. Certainly wouldn’t be risked in the Gulf. A Wildcat with Sea Venom, Stingray and Martlet would be the offensive tool of choice. T31 Is designed to be an oversized OPV, any more capability and you can wave goodbye to eight T26. If to be used as a GP Frigate it really needs Tomahawk… Read more »

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  Waddi

We do need to remember that a Wildcat would have to get pretty close (8 km) to a target to launch Martlet, so it’s really only useful against smaller craft/those that don’t have any real dedicated AA capabilities.

Waddi
Waddi
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Sea Venom 20km range, due in service 2021…..or so.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  Waddi

I completely forgot about Sea Venom!

Tenordream
Tenordream
1 year ago
Reply to  Waddi

Same issue. Within 20km of major escorts is a suicide zone.

spyintheskyuk
spyintheskyuk
1 year ago
Reply to  Tenordream

Yes plus all your eggs on one helicopter that has other jobs too is hardly ideal. I wonder what the service availability for a Wildcat is whilst onboard a ship.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 year ago
Reply to  spyintheskyuk

The only time we ever missed a programmed sortie with a lynx was after a castrophic failure grounded it. That happened 3 times in the 15 years I was a back end. One of those times we where carrying 2 Helos anyway so didn’t lose the capability.

Keep the maintenance in date and they are pretty good. Even with battle damage they just keep on going.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 year ago
Reply to  Tenordream

I suspect MBDA are sandbagging on the range, perhaps by as much as 2x, similar to previous observations on CAMM. The types and capabilities of AAW missiles carried by corvettes, one of the stated targets, isn’t a secret. Making the claim that Sea Venom enables “Safe standoff – aircraft can turn away from the target post launch to remain outside surface to air missile range” tends to imply that a helicopter can pop up over the radar horizon, launch and runaway to fight another day.

Steve Taylor
Steve Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Waddi

During the Falklands War the Argentine tug ARA Alférez Sobral was hit by several Sea Skua and lived to fight another day bruised but not out. Throwing the equivalent of 4.5in shell at something isn’t going to do much. Small patrol boats will be hurt, but once you get up to something over 500 tons it will take a lucky hit somewhere vital. Then you have to consider something shooting back at the helicopter. Smart munitions fired from the main gun would be better option. The Italians have an interesing promo cartoon showing heat seeking 76mm round barrelling down towards… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Taylor

The Italians have theirs with AShMs. Why must we constantly seek to remove essential warfighting gear from our few ships when all our likely enemies are fully kitted out? Maybe a sense of urgency & responsability is something HMG/MOD is fitted for but not equipped with.

Steve Taylor
Steve Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank62

I don’t know. After discussing these matters and asking questions over a decade all I can say it seems that the RN is very clever and the MoD always knows best and every peer country else doing something else is due to them having different defence needs; even though it seems all their needs seem to be somewhat similar. We are where we are.

Frank62
Frank62
1 year ago
Reply to  Waddi

Helicopters can be shot down, busy conducting ASW or simply be unservicable. Then what? No ASMs & a tiny 57mm pea shooter if enemy ships would be so kind as to come within a few miles without blowing our ships out of the water with the ASMs or decent sized medium guns they’ll not be lacking?
These are GP warships, not OPVs.

Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub
1 year ago

If they can only scrape together enough pennies for a measly 12 Sea Ceptor rounds, you can bet the house that they won’t bother with ASMs.

Dave in Pompey
Dave in Pompey
1 year ago

It’s not a lot different to how the Type 21’s were originally delivered before they got Exocet and STWS – a capability that can be added when the money allows but keeps them within budget during build and trials.

Paul T
Paul T
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave in Pompey

Yep,id agree with that,i just hope that once in service they don’t get the ‘FFBNW’ Class moniker !.

Dave in Pompey
Dave in Pompey
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul T

We can but hope!! 🙂 I served on HMS Amazon in 87/88 and they were good GP frigates when they were upgraded – but a few more Sea Ceptors and maybe a MK41 VLS would really add to their capabilities. Maybe by then the Navy will have decided what replaces Harpoon. Fingers crossed.

spyintheskyuk
spyintheskyuk
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave in Pompey

Yes hopefully that decision is why we have heard so little about such a capability be it at launch or later in their service. Costs and capabilities of that decision will play an important role in any decision. If they buy a temporary solution till the main one is in operation in the thirties then I wonder if whatever intermediate they buy could be transferred to these ships. Would be ridiculous to have an expensive missile system for just ten years or so and then get rid. Indeed if that were their plan then you can bet due to that… Read more »

Robert Blair
Robert Blair
1 year ago

The displacement goes up and the punch goes down………. A Leander Class frigate (Late batch circa 3,500 Tons displacement) was equipped with 4Exocet, 1×6 Sea Wolf launcher+required radar, 2 x 20mm, Ships Torpedo Weapons Systems (Stringray) and a towed array Sonar. Not forgetting it could carry (and hanger) a Lynx capable of using Sea Skua or Stingray. The threat these ships had to deal with then is the same now, have I missed something?

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Blair

Towed array leaders had sea cat and exocet

Sea wolf leaders had exocet but no array and they where no where near as capable as say a T22 They where a stop gap measure. Steam turbines low range and a big crew for there size.

And the accom on board was awful… You would never get away with the living conditions now.

Steve Taylor
Steve Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

The only plus point for Leander over T22 was the former was quieter underwater. It was criminal HMG didn’t cough up for rafting in T22.

The difference in range was only 500nm or so in an era where there were more oilers in service.

Living in a ‘zoo’ would put most youngsters of these days.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Taylor

Tabbing in the mess square, you and your kit stinking of fags, fold up bunks in the square and the sprogs couldnt get there heads down until everyone had finished their “3 tins”, Cockies in the lagging, asbestos everywhere, the dobie putting creases down the front of your jeans…. nope I don’t miss it and most people today would scream in horror at what we put up with.

Steve Taylor
Steve Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

The difference between the (off watch) life of the ratings and the Wardroom was not so long ago too great.

I abhor smoking too. Thinking back to the days when it was a common practice makes heave even today. Living in it day in day, no. The though of being in a mess deck on 3 or even lower in a big ship closed up………yuk.

Callum
Callum
1 year ago

Before everyone gets outraged about the lack of an anti-ship missile, remember that no future AShM has actually even been chosen for the RN yet. Perseus is a decade away, and the interim weapon system still hasn’t been chosen. Likewise the RN doesn’t have any Mk41 weapons for the T26 (apart from Aster, which can theoretically use Mk41 but hasn’t been qualified for it). The MoD has years to make the decision, they’re almost certainly waited for the SDSR to conclude. There’s a solid chance they’re trying the same tactic the USN did a few years back when they drew… Read more »

Sean
Sean
1 year ago
Reply to  Callum

This story is a little unfair in the T31.
The T26 is in the same position as the T31, and if you discount the obsolete Harpoon, the T45 and T23 are already without an anti-ship missile. Hopefully the RN will get an interim solution sooner rather than later to cover the capability gap until Perseus.

My concern is in allowing the capability-gap to open in the first place. It gives the bean counters the argument that if the RN survived X years without a particular capability, does it need it at all?

Callum
Callum
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

That doesn’t seem to be too likely. Especially this decade, we’ve seen a lot of capabilities gapped that are now being brought back. Carriers and MPAs are the big ones

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst
1 year ago

Madness! …or wilful neglect?

Rugger13
Rugger13
1 year ago

T31 as general purpose patrol ships not with the fleet i.e.not protecting the carrier, they are capable vessels but lightly armed. I suppose AShM are considered offensive weapons but war is not predictable and air cover is not always guaranteed by Merlin, Lynx/Wildcats and F-35B . In fact I am not sure that the F-35B has a dedicated AShM planned for service. I guess the SPEAR and Brimstone could be used. The MOD/Govt should copy the USA and buy the Naval strike Missile/Joint Strike Missiel or planes (Inc P8A and Typhoons) and for Frigates, and Destroyers. If the Marines and… Read more »

Helions
Helions
1 year ago
Reply to  Rugger13

That would be my suggestion. Put a couple of NSM box launchers on the T31 like the USN is doing with the LCS. They’re cheap and plug and play. 8 ASMs would be quite a OTH punch for the class for little invested…

Cheers

Ian
Ian
1 year ago

If the ships are fitted ‘for, not with’ anti-ship missiles then the capability can be added further down the line if the threat warrants it, but ultimately, the lack of anti-ship missiles only denotes ‘incompetence’ if the operating concept necessitates anti-ship missiles. I doubt that the navy envisages much in the way of direct ship-to-ship engagements between major surface combatants given that this way of fighting has been arguably obsolete since WWII.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 year ago

In-service date 2027, plenty of time to look at what’s available in the near future. The Gungnir Mk 4 is due to enter service in 2020 as an example, no doubt there will be others by 2027 to consider for both the Types 31 and 26. The real question is, what’s the best option for the Types 23 and 45 between now and 2027? The first deployment of the QE in 2021. “The Russian Navy’s (VMF’s) Northern Fleet is set to receive six surface combatants, submarines, and other vessels in 2020, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told a meeting of his… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 year ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Just came across this post albeit air-launched.

28 February 2020

Japan confirms development of new air-launched anti-ship missile.

Japan is developing a new air-launched anti-ship missile (ASM) to arm the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s (JMSDF’s) P-1 maritime patrol aircraft.

https://www.janes.com/article/94593/japan-confirms-development-of-new-air-launched-anti-ship-missile

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 year ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

It always makes me laugh when they label the 57mm gun as medium calibre! The twelve 6″ gun main armament of the Belfast was considered medium calibre back in the day. The problem as highlighted by the recent Warship program (part 2) with HMS Duncan, shows that the ship can be used for any task, besides its main one of protecting a task group or carriers. Therefore, the ship must be able to fight with what she has to hand. Being swarmed by fast attack craft armed with multi-barrel rocket launchers etc requires a quick and decisive response if attacked.… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 year ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Couple of things. Imaging IR is not infallible. It has a number of performance limitations in poor weather, rain and mist. It can be thrown off by flares or a dazzler blinding the homing sensor. You only have say 8 ASMs on board where as with a 4.5 you have over 200 Shells. 4.5 is accurate. Very accurate. It has proven its self in a number of conflicts where it has defeated and demoralised the enemy. Dat links are jamable. Radar homes are not ideal. As a former maintainer I know what harpoon and Skua can do and as you… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 year ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Have you been sitting in the sun again? Totally agree with the 4.5″, but is the T31 going to get it? It would be great if it did, then place the 57mm in either the B position or on the hangar roof. The option of a multi-purpose surface to surface missile is that it gives the ship more flexibility to respond to a threat or to act offensively. The imaging infra-red (IIR) sensors used by Sea Venom and NSM are the latest generation multi-spectrum type incorporating near infra-red, medium and long wave infra-red wavelengths. They are based on a pixel… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 year ago
Reply to  DaveyB

LRASM is an option but adopting it would almost certainly kill the FC/ASW program. LRASM is Storm Shadow/SCALP class while NSM/JSM is at least a class below in terms of overall mass and warhead size; arguably a complementary solution for either a supersonic or stealthy FC/ASW.

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 year ago

The problem with Perseus is that it is at least ten years away and LRASM is available now. It has been integrated with the F35 and Poseidon, so that’s something we don’t have to fund. The Aussies are also purchasing the LRASM for their Poseidon aircraft, they are also purchasing the NSM/JSM for their F35As to be carried internally. Japan have asked Kongsburg to see if the NSM/JSM can be modified to fit the internal bay of the F35B. They have said if it can’t, then they will develop their own ASM.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 year ago
Reply to  DaveyB

I guess it comes down to how urgently we view the need for an ASM and land attack missile and whether we need both a heavy and medium weight option immediately. I’d also break it down into air launched and ship launched needs, even though the same missile is likely to do both. I view air launched as the priority because I struggle to come up with realistic scenarios for ship-to-ship engagements, especially if we have air launched options, and especially between peers. In this context, similar to yourself I believe, I see NSM/JSM as the ideal interim/long term lower… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 year ago
Reply to  DaveyB

sorry miss read the 57mm and went full auto about 4.5…its been a long week !

As for detecting missiles most RN vessels carry a passive missile detection sensor . Other navies also have something similar.

Branaboy
Branaboy
1 year ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Clearly the issue is lack of money to currently purchase new AShM in the Type 31. I suggest the current Harpoon system, though obsolete with regards to peer opponents, will do as an interim weapon especially with regards to likely opponents of a lone Type 31 on patrol. Here I am thinking of an adversary such as Iran, North Korea, and lesser nations. I suggest the existing Harpoon Block 1 be refurbished and fitted to the Type 31 until 2030 when Persus is available.

Dern
Dern
1 year ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Things change. in ww2 Belfast was a cruiser, now its smaller than many Frigates. Back then a 16 inch gun was not unusual, now try to point at anything in service that has a 6inch gun.

maurice10
maurice10
1 year ago

You could not write this story as fiction…..could you? What a mess this whole Type31 debacle has been, with more dithering than a learner driver doing a three-point turn! To save money, the ship’s safety company will be compromised. The current Warship doc series on Channel 5 clearly demonstrates, the requirement, to threaten a ship to ship missile exchange if necessary. Without a ship to ship capability, one has to question the wisdom of the brains at the MOD?

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 year ago
Reply to  maurice10

The MoD is Predominantly, A civilian Organisation!

Nick
Nick
1 year ago

I would guess a lot will depend on the decision of the interim ASM contract (https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/mod-further-details-future-anti-ship-missile-contract/). If they go for the NSM or RBS15, it would be relatively easy to add them to the Type 31. If they go for the LRASM, then more difficult as no Mk41 VLS. With MBDA offering surface launched versions of both Brimstone and Sea Venom, it would not be surprising for the Type 31 to be equipped with one of these (probably the latter) if the LRASM is added to the Type 26. they Type 45 could go either way.

Paul42
Paul42
1 year ago
Reply to  Nick

LRASM was successfully test fired from a ‘Topside Cannister’ on 26/07/2019 at White Sands. Lockheed Martin are aware of the requirement to be able to fit LRASM to vessels without Mk41 vls. There are question mark’s hanging over the future of the Perseus deal….and whether the UK will actually continue on with it. The project is too far away from even deciding on key aspects of the design.
We need a top of the range system in the here and now and LRASM fits the bill, combined with Tomahawk Block IV……

Nick
Nick
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul42

Thank you Paul

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 year ago
Reply to  Nick

Yes, LRASM will require Mk. 41, the strike version, to be launched. It looks like a Storm Shadow!

Paul42
Paul42
1 year ago
Reply to  Meirion X

It has already been successfully test fired from a cannister – 26th Juky 2019 – White Sands.

Paul42
Paul42
1 year ago
Reply to  Nick

Update, LRASM was successfully test fired at an angle from a ‘Topside Cannister’ validating its ability to be launched from Mk41 vls and Non-Mk41 on 26/07/2017 at White Sands missile test range. The Cannister mounting is along similar lines to the angled Harpoon Cannister and will enable bolt on deck mounting on Warships without Mk41 vls.

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul42

It must be quite A heavy weight cannister? Looking at the thickness of the missile!

Paul42
Paul42
1 year ago
Reply to  Meirion X

I’m sure size and weight have been taken into consideration for a production unit suitable for fitting to surface units. On the Type 23 and Tyoe 45 in the absence of Mk41 vls, the canisters would sit where the Harpoon tubes currently are sitting at approx the same angle.

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
1 year ago

I expect nothing and yet some how continue to be disappointed.

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo
1 year ago

1: T31 will have a Wildcat with up to 4 SeaVenom. I think that is “good enough”. Of course, having ASuM, such as NSM will be very nice to have. No objection. But, I will prefer “12 more CAMM to make it 24” than adding 4-8 ASuM. I understand adding 12-more CAMM to the existing 12 is cheaper than adding a completely new weapon system, ASuM. If RN gets 11 sets of NSM (or alike), then T45 and eventually T31 will carry them. 2: By the way, “But the vessels look potentially very lightly armed for their size.” (by Senior… Read more »

Pete
Pete
1 year ago

Strongly suggest a couple of 8 cell sea spear or spear 3 would greatly enhance Type31 with UK kit

Defend other veessels at range from swarm fast attack craft (gulf scenario)

Allows t31 to launch saturation attack aginst enemy corvette or frigate at range

Allow T31 to hit coastal defence sites. Radars missiles etc

Allow t31 to support special forces ashore if enemy vehicles closing in.

Small price for significant capability and 100km range if Spear 3.

P

James
James
1 year ago

They should put harpoon missiles on just in case, I’m pretty sure you would want to be over armed than under armed, but have the infrastructure ready for the Perseus missile in development.

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo
1 year ago
Reply to  James

How are you going to pay for it, within the big shortfall of budget?
By cutting a T26? Of course not.

It is just, no money.

Ian
Ian
1 year ago

Donald…….the foreign aid budget has lots to waste!! ….Dave and George attacked the defence budget time to give some back…

Frank62
Frank62
1 year ago

HS2, North channel bridge, Billion pound bungs to the DUP etc. So it’s not lack of money but the refusal to spend it on basic essentials. A escort warship with no decent medium gun or AshMs just doen’t cut the mustard deterring other warships & is a liability to the fleet & its own crew.

Grubbie
Grubbie
1 year ago

Before you can spec the weapons fit you need a clear mission.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Grubbie

Well the problem with that is that the range of actors prepared to take potshots and make odd choices has proliferated. If you go back to Cold War then things were done by both sides according to doctrine. Now you have asymmetric activity and the plain mad cap. So you walk softly with a big stick hence why 8 VLS tubes even with nothing in them is actually a bluff that someone has to be prepared to call. And if the 31 does have VLS fitted then then UORs to put munitions into the VLS are a lot quicker than… Read more »

Jack
1 year ago

I think that the 57mms & two 40mm guns using the FUZE 3P programmable ammunition is arguably a lot more important than asm for the Type 31’s.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Jack

In a perfect World I’d agree.

Uncertainty creates a breadth of scenarios and threats that there is an obligation to protect the team onboard the T31 from.

If there is something big heavy and ugly that can be chucked in an aggressors direction then it gives pause for thought and acts as a damper for stupidity.

I’d also agree with other comments that a naval to naval set piece engagement is very very unlikely.

Frank62
Frank62
1 year ago
Reply to  Jack

Not for attacking or defending against other warships or sinking enemy merchant ships. By the time you’re within range of the 57mm, the enemy would’ve bklown you out of the water with their Ashms & already landed hits from their own medium guns. Also they’re way too light & short ranged for shore bombardment, which something more expendable like the T31s should be 1st choice for.

As secondary guns & AAA/anti-missile/anti fast boat weapons they’re excellent. But you can’t expect a vespa to do the job of a pick-up truck.

farouk
farouk
1 year ago

The Royal Navy today:comment image

Steve R
Steve R
1 year ago

It’s the height of stupidity to have a frigate so underarmed. It’s essentially a stretched OPV.

It doesn’t have to cost the earth to up-gun a Type 31 frigate: 24 x Sea Ceptors, the main gun and NSM in a pair of quad canister launchers bolted onto the deck to give 8 antiship missiles.

Gives it the chance to defend itself if attacked whilst also making it somewhat useful if it were needed to join our carrier group. For an actual combat mission another pair of canister launchers could be fitted, giving each Type 31 16 missiles.

Mike
Mike
1 year ago

With a multi billion pound black hole in military spending, savings MUST be made.

Steve R
Steve R
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike

Why do you post on this site if you hate the military so much?

Alex
Alex
1 year ago

Fleet of paper tigers, pathetic

Ulya
Ulya
1 year ago

I know the weapons fit has still to be officially finalised, but there was an article the other week saying the type 31 might only get 12 SAM, add that to no AshM and and biggest gun being 57mm, sounds like you are only getting a big expensive glorified corvette, not a frigate. If that’s what the navy wants then fine, just misleading calling it frigate

Ron5
Ron5
1 year ago
Reply to  Ulya

The contracts have been signed, the fit has been finalized.

Ulya
Ulya
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron5

It has? I missed that sorry. It is only 12 SAM or I remember wrong?

Ron5
Ron5
1 year ago
Reply to  Ulya

12, yes.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron5

Is there a bow sonar in the finalized fit?

Simon m
Simon m
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron5

When & where was this made public? Can you send a link?

Frank62
Frank62
1 year ago
Reply to  Ulya

Most corvettes are far better equipped than these T31s. Shame on us.

Ron5
Ron5
1 year ago

Biggest exposure with the Type 31 is not lack of missiles, it is a total lack of any ability to detect underwater threats. No sonar of any description.

Best way to attack a T31 would therefore be to spread a rumour that a submarine was in the area. Exit T31.

Paul42
Paul42
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron5

Nail on the head

Frank62
Frank62
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron5

Or that any enemy warship was in the vicinity.

Steve Taylor
Steve Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron5

Yet T45’s MOAS fit out doesn’t concern you.

You are right the vector from where the navies on our side will suffer is subsurface.

Nobody here would argue that as an ASW ship T26 doesn’t need AA missiles, air search radar, and stealthy faceted upper work because the aircraft and missiles are threat. But when it comes to subsurface everybody just seems to shrug.

I blame the RN labelling tailless T23 as ‘general purpose’ when all escorts since T12(M) have been ‘general purpose’ that is able to engage threats in all spheres to some extent.

Julian
Julian
1 year ago

I’m not convinced by this bit in the article… “ Will this be a problem? Probably not, the ships aren’t likely to be tasked to do anything that requires them. Type 26 will cover the high end tasks and Type 31 will generally cover low end constabulary work.” With 8 T26 planned and at least one carrier needing escorts at any given time then, using the 1-from-3 deployable units assumption and 2 ASW escorts per carrier required we’d better hope for either no high end tasks outside of a carrier group’s remit or that we can better the 1-from-3 rate.… Read more »

T.S
1 year ago

I guess we have to accept that batch one T31 are simply just about hulls in the water and patrol duties only. I personally will only accept this situation (as we are told we will maintain 19 escorts, which these are not) if a 2nd batch of 5 are ordered, but with a specific mission set and armed appropriately. Therefore, it’s the 2nd batch that really replace the GP T23’s, but we get 5 extra presence and patrol hulls to spread around and train on etc. Mission set for T31 b2 I see as follows: t45 our primary AAW platform… Read more »

Mike
Mike
1 year ago
Reply to  T.S

Noting what you will only personally accept, what happens if your wishes are not met? What will you do?

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 year ago
Reply to  T.S

Cummings Types Have Been And Gone Before!

Making More Enemies Then Freinds!

Did You NOT Understand My Last Post?
I have posted it again for You below!

If You Are More Interested In Those Other Issues, Just Clear Off From Here, To Those Reverent Sites!
Why Waste You Time Here!

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 year ago
Reply to  Meirion X

You Do Not Have the Intelligence to Understand that this is A Defence Forum, Not A Pacifist Forum!

What About All The Money Wasted On Gender Charge, and then they Regret it Later!! Then They Want to Change Back Again!! Hay?

What About, All The Money to Be Wasted On HS2??

Why Not Spend this On Flood Defences??

David Barry
David Barry
1 year ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Do you have to capitalise every word? He has a point of view, agree to disagree.

As my, 26years BAOR served father said, discretion is the better part of valour – possibly something to be said about biding our time before jumping in behind America.

Ps, I served too.

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 year ago
Reply to  David Barry

I was giving emphasis to my dialogue with the troll, but by Not shouting. I see people like him trying to undermine what democracy we have got, by disarming us. I don’t agree with every thing America does, but preferably to what Russia and does.

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 year ago
Reply to  Meirion X

I should add China and Iran as well.

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 year ago
Reply to  David Barry

I feel we are in a new sort of Cold War, which we mainly the western countries, including Australia and Japan, are in a struggle with authoritarian like regimes which include Russia and China and Iran.

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 year ago
Reply to  Meirion X

You against Overseas Wars!! You Hypocrite!
Tell Your Russian Freinds To Stop Bombing the People of Idlib!!

I Never See Your Friends Demonstrating Outside the Russian Embassy against it??

Rob
Rob
1 year ago

In an ideal world the RN would be buying LRASM as a stop gap but there simply isn’t the money. Until Perseus comes online the navy will have to make do. For fleet anti-ship defence we will need to rely upon f35 delivered munitions; an off the shelf air launched missile would seem an appropriate buy. As far as T31 goes the lack of missiles is a concern but we have Sea Venom coming online and given their role this would seem adequate. Much more concerning is the downsizing of the Sea Ceptor allocation. We have already seen the Iranians… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 year ago

If You Are More Interested In Those Other Issues, Just Clear Off From Here, To Those Reverent Sites!
Why Waste You Time Here!

JohnHartley
JohnHartley
1 year ago

Anti Ship missiles are rarely fired in anger, but they serve as a deterrent. If an enemy ship has them, but T31 does not, then there is nothing to stop the enemy ship firing its missiles at T31, knowing the T31 has no anti ship missiles to fire back. Even 4x Harpoon on T31 would be enough deterrent for most tasks.

Geo
Geo
1 year ago
Reply to  JohnHartley

Lets call it 8 at least to make it worth it.

JohnHartley
JohnHartley
1 year ago
Reply to  Geo

Somewhere in my roaming round the internet recently, I have seen a low mount, 2x side by side Harpoon, pointing out both sides, so 4 in total. I thought, oooh , that’s good for keeping centre of gravity low. I fear that T31 will be sent somewhere dangerous, because the RN has nothing else available that minute & end up in trouble, as it is not carrying a big enough stick to deter the other side. Even a slight upgunning, say an extra cell of 6x SeaCeptor to raise from 12 to 18 + 4x Harpoon or similar, would allow… Read more »

Geo
Geo
1 year ago
Reply to  JohnHartley

Four feels light …..but obviously its limited by space. Id like more than 4 as no point having something that needs defending. It has to be able to look after itself in reasonable scenarios.

Ron5
Ron5
1 year ago
Reply to  JohnHartley

You probably saw chaff launchers.

Lusty
Lusty
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron5

Mk-141 launchers can be utilised in double or quad fits. I’d put money in it being Harpoon, as some do chose to use the double option.

Steve R
Steve R
1 year ago
Reply to  JohnHartley

Four is far too light. As this is a GP frigate I’d say eight would do: enough to protect itself and fight back if it ends up in a fight against another ship, and to actually be somewhat useful if joining our fleet in a pinch. RN antiship doctrine seems to be totally reliant on the 1-2 Astute subs that will be with any carrier fleet we sail. No good if a ship appears from the opposite direction from the Astutes. Our Type 45s seem very capable of fending off any attack but can’t hit back. Against a peer fleet… Read more »

JohnHartley
JohnHartley
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve R

So I went back to May 2018 & looked at the original Arrowhead proposal for T31. Armament was mentioned as 5 inch gun, 30mm cannons, 16 cell heavy VLS for ASW/AAW weapons, ASuW canister launchers, CIWS. Plus a stern ramp for a boat or unmanned vehicle.
Industry told Gov that T31 would cost at least £350m, but Gov would not pay more than £250m, so class will be crippled for £100m per boat. The old phrase of “spoil the ship for a halfpenny of tar”.

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo
1 year ago
Reply to  JohnHartley

Even in 2018, the Arrowhead 140 with such big armaments were clearly stated that “not talking about UK T31”. T31 rationale was “make it cheap to save 8 T26”. Its cost is coming from the same wallet T26 is to be built.

Already, the original budget (1.25+0.25B GBP) has inflated to 2B GBP. Now it is “more than 2 T26 and nearly 3”. If add more, the final cost will cost as much as 3 T26.

“5 T31” vs “3 T26”. The latter must have been better, in my opinion.

Ernest Harrison
Ernest Harrison
1 year ago

Type 31 is a jumped up Corvette – the tonnage says frigate, capability says Corvette/OPV – I would have thought some anti ship missile system would have been a must, being RN ships hunts in packs of one..

David
David
1 year ago

Unfortunately I agree. This so called defence review will be all about saving money, thus expect yet more cuts.

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 year ago

@Harold

The Fisheries Minister has Just Warned the EU, that RN is to be Used To Protect British Waters!

So the Gov. are going To Need More Warships Now, Aren’t They!!

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 year ago
Reply to  Meirion X

@Harold
The UK as being A Major Economic and World Power, Is A member of a few International organisations, the UN, OECD, NATO and Maritime Orgs. as well. Which means the UK has International Obligations On the High Seas.

So the UK sends its Navel vessels All Over the World, Just as Other Major Countries Do!

I Hope this Info Sinks In to Your Brain??

nigel
nigel
1 year ago

According to your graphic In service by 2023? thought this was now delayed or have they changed it again ?

Paul42
Paul42
1 year ago
Reply to  nigel

In service bu 2025. Which allows 5 years for our politicians to wake up and realise the RN needs WARSHIPs not oversized Gun Boats!

Paul42
Paul42
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron5

Wishful thinking on my part! Well perhaps sometime in the next 7 years we’ll wake up………..

Douglas Newell
Douglas Newell
1 year ago

The MoD are true F**kwits.

Paul42
Paul42
1 year ago
Reply to  Douglas Newell

They are constrained by lack of money, although they do waste a load of it on occasions…. I think you need to include our brain dead politicians in your statement….

Admiral Ashley
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul42

New man here. Having just watched the tv program with HMS Duncan I feel duty bound to post. Swarming attacks have been well discussed here before, but actually seeing such a large ship surrounded by small vessels was a bit sobering. In an ideal world these small vessels would all swarm out of a hidden anchorage and try to overwhelm the defences whereupon they would be taken out by the 4.5 inch gun and so on. However the reality is that these things potter around BEFORE taking action, and in this case they are very close. What I saw was… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 year ago

There is a line of thought that says 5 T31 frigates and 5 sets of Harpoon replacements is too much of a co-incidence. Would be good. Worst case is that T31 will have to make do with Wildcat and Sea Venom. Assuming the RN frigate has satellite intelligence on rough whereabouts of any possible adversary, Wildcat’s Seaspray radar ought to see the adversary well before it can fire its AShM. Sea Venom has a published range of 20km. I’m guessing that is conservative. As I understand things Wildcat could approach below the radar horizon, pop up and launch Sea Venom… Read more »

Mike Thomas
Mike Thomas
1 year ago

I’m sure troops on the ground will be over the moon to hear that Naval Fire Support will be provided by a 76mm Pea Shooter. These vessels will cover “maritime security, maritime counter-terrorism and counter-piracy operations, escort duties, and naval fire support” Less hope then then that Future Conflicts will be nothing more than a Dhow armed with a couple of .303’s or some Camel Jockeys with soe Flintlocks.

Frank62
Frank62
1 year ago

Imbicility at the top. Let’s fully equip our warships & drastically cut MPs expenses. After all we’re supposed to be all in it together.

It’s bad enough having a tiny pea shooter main gun, without removing the anti-ship missiles as well. Should we build ramming bows to make up for this gaff or just a nice set of clean white flags?

Ron
Ron
1 year ago

I’m not sure about ‘not having’ a Anti Ship missile, if I understand correctly the MoD are buying five sets of intrim Anti Ship Missile for the T23 GP vessels. These are to be either the RBS-15 or NSM/JSM. As the T26 will have Mk41s then it will make sense that the intrim missile will go to the T31s. So for the potential ‘Batch1’ T31s Anti Ship missiles will be available. My concern is the T26, we do not have the Mk41 in the fleet and no missile to fire from it, Aster 30 BMD is not suited to the… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron

Not correct, the interim ASM is for the remaining T23 ASW’s.
The T23 GP’s will be out of service by 2028.

Ron
Ron
1 year ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Thanks, I thought they were for the T23 GPs, my mistake.

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron

ARTISAN is still S-band radar, so it is compatible with Aster 30.

Paul T
Paul T
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron

Ron – would it not be possible for the Type 26 to carry some Aster 30/NT in the MK41 VLS ,and then have the Type 45 doing the Targeting and Tracking – essentially using the T26 as a surrogate force multiplier Ship ?.Obviously they would have to be sailing in the same fleet but that would be a given in most cases anyway.

Ron
Ron
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul T

Paul T, Theoreticaly it should be possible, if I remember correctly one of the concepts for the T45 was to be able to do just that. It was also one of the reasons given for the reduction in T45 numbers. However, due to cost this capability was not installed. I agree also with Meirion X that ARTISAN can at a push be used with the ASTER family but it is really pushing the capability of the radar missile mix. I keep asking myself if it would not be better to install the 24 Mk41s on the T45 or even 24… Read more »

Trevor
1 year ago

This is frankly a load of click bait fake news. And obviously it’s worked.
It has a range of capabilities which may include anti ship missiles. It may it may not as and when and it may or may not have a myriad of other system. Possibly. Possibly not. Perhaps. It’s a 250 million frigate. Since the end of WW2 how many anti ship missiles have attacked another ship (excuding Israel?) ?

Bob2
Bob2
1 year ago

I am right in thinking that the sea ceptor vls for the t31s are being transferred over from decommissioned t23s? If so, could the proposal of just 12 cells per t31 be due to only two t23s being decommissioned by the time the 5 t31s reach a stage in constriction when the cells need to be fitted? ie we cannot fit more sea ceptor to T31 because we do not have more cells available. I am not familiar with the t23 decommissioning schedule or at what point the cells need to be fitted to the t31s, so this hypothesis could… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob2

Sea Ceptor on the T23s, are using old Sea Wolf tubes modifed to launch Sea Ceptor. The tubes would be welded in tightly, It would most likely involve a lot of work to remove them and costly, requiring a Refit at end of service.

Bob2
Bob2
1 year ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Meirion thanks for your reply.

Are you saying that t31 will not be getting the old sea wolf launchers from the t23s?

If so, do you know what launchers they will be using?

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob2

I am not sure exactly, that are the new launchers are a modified version of Sea Wolf launchers.

I would prefer quad packed ExLS VLS.

Paul T
Paul T
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob2

To me it would make no sense whatsoever to re-use the VLS Silos from the T23 and transfer them to the T31,surely they will use New ones specifically for Sea Ceptor as is the case for the T26.

Bob2
Bob2
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul T

Hi Paul, I agree with you and I have probably misunderstood what is planned. My confusion is probably caused by some drawings for t31 (and t26 I believe) showing mushroom farm cells similar to those on the t23s following sea captor being installed in the sea wolf cells.

Surely mbda have come up with something neater.

Geoffrey Hicking
Geoffrey Hicking
1 year ago

Can helicopters be fitted with SPEAR 3?

Steve
Steve
1 year ago

I know the budget is tight and the national finances are in a complete mess etc etc, but it baffles me that we don’t spend the small amount percentage wise to properly equip the expensive platforms. Instead we waste huge amount of money constantly pushing back decisions to buy stuff.

Whilst i don’t like Boris or his spinning everything to make him look great whilst achieving nothing, i can’t help being impressed that someone is calling out the MOD / civil servants for their poor management of expenditure. Whether it will get anywhere is a whole different topic.

Dan
Dan
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

The Royal Navy top brass should get smart and brand the T31 frigates as “Boris Boats”. That should ensure they get as much funding for them as they want!

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 year ago

Lots of Money Wasted On Other Political Correct Projects!

Those Flooded Homes Should Not have Been Built On Flood Plains!!

Building Development Plans Passed by Corrupt Councils, Including LEFT Wing Ones!

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 year ago

You Hypocrite!! Tell Your Friends To Keep Their Noses Out of Other Countries Then!

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo
1 year ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Sorry to say, I am also “supportive” of not spending “more” on T31. But, this is not because I think defense is of less use. Simply, even looking from far east, increase in defense budget is not likely. At the same time, if cleverly handled, I think NO CUT in budget can happen, thanks to NATO commitement of “2%”. (The same to DfID 0.7%). The problem is, the 1- year equipment plan is in short of money by 2.9-13B GBP. So, even with NO CUT IN BUDGET, equipment plan needs “cut” (or reform). So, even if I am talking about… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 year ago

@Don

I do agree with you that the MoD equipment budget Needs reforming to keep the budget to about 2% of GDP.
But I Disagree with Your viewpoint on the T31 frigate, even though the T31 has it shortcomings.
The size of the T31 means, it will have better sea keeping abilities than a Smaller vessel would have.
Which is what A Blue Water Navy needs.
The low basic cost of £250m will allow the MoD to expand the Fleet in A future SDSR, and also to up-arm.

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 year ago

My apologies, I missed out your full name Donald!

Simon m
Simon m
1 year ago

This has been a known issue for sometime the RN confirmed only 5 sets of the 16 yr ‘interim’ missiles would be purchased for T23 towed array which to me is ridiculously low. I don’t understand as to why a vessel escorting a carrier needs Ashm what’s the F35 for? I don’t understand that if we’re short of money as to why a land attack requirement has been added as this then excludes, harpoon upgrade, Large ER, Exocet (probably all cheaper). Other than TLAM I wouldn’t want to get in to missile range from land any way? I also cannot… Read more »

Gareth
Gareth
1 year ago

At this rate we’ll be lucky if T31e is fitted with a catapult. Our ability to build a decent sized and well engineered hull, only to scupper it’s potential by not properly kitting it out for warfighting never ceases to amaze me. No other country seems to do this.

peter french
peter french
1 year ago

Oh Please lets not fall into the trap of Part Capability which we did 30 years ago.
The Russians , Americans ensure their Warships are totally capable of meeting any threat wheras we in our stupidity hope for the best by part equiping our Warships.
Nothing changes ,head in the sand justification

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 year ago

Did You Not also Tell Your MP that You have A Mate callled Putin? And You Support His Aims to Disarm the Uk 100%??