Britain is set to become the first European nation to operate a ‘Maritime Ballistic Missile Defence’ capability that can detect and destroy anti-ship ballistic missiles.

An initial contract worth £300m has been signed with MBDA. The upgraded defence system, using the ASTER 30 Block 1 missile previously used only in French and Italian land systems, will help UK forces combat the increasing threats posed by anti-ship ballistic missiles at sea by developing the missile into a maritime variant.

According to the Ministry of Defence here, the UK is set to become the first European nation to operate a Maritime Ballistic Missile Defence capability that can detect and destroy Anti-Ship Ballistic Missiles as it commits to a significant upgrade of Britain’s fleet of Type 45 destroyers.

“The upgraded defence system, using the ASTER 30 Block 1 missile previously used only in French and Italian land systems, will help UK forces combat the increasing threats posed by anti-ship ballistic missiles at sea by developing the missile into a maritime variant. The Ministry of Defence has placed an initial contract for this work with MBDA which, when delivered, will be worth more than £300 million and support more than 100 jobs across the UK – including highly skilled technology roles in areas such as system design and software engineering in Stevenage, Cowes, Bristol and Bolton.”

Defence Procurement Minister, Jeremy Quin said:

“As we face global uncertainty, alliances and greater defensive capability are more important than ever. Joining our French and Italian counterparts will see us collectively improve the cutting-edge technology our armed forces possess. It is another example of us delivering on the commitments from the Defence Command Paper, helping protect our service personnel when faced with the most severe threats.”

The signing of the tri-national agreement is the first formal step in the upgrade of the six vessels, which will include converting existing missiles to the ASTER 30 Block 1 standard, as well as updates to the SAMPSON multi-function radar (MFR) and Sea Viper command and control missile system, under the full Sea Viper Evolution programme.

The Sea Viper Evolution programme follows the recent contract awards to introduce the Common Anti Air Modular Missile (CAMM) into the Type 45, which will see the missile outload of the platform increased from 48 to 72 missiles. You can read more about this news here.

Last year, I reported that there was concern over the lack of anti-ballistic capability on Type 45.

Concern over lack of anti-ballistic capability on Type 45

The following comes from a formal meeting of the Defence Select Committee, an oral evidence session specifically, discussing the recent defence review whitepaper ‘Defending Global Britain in a Competitive Age’.

Just so you know who’s who, Dr Sidharth Kaushal is a Research Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute and Rear Admiral Alex Burton is the former Commander UK Maritime Forces. Stuart Anderson and Mark Francois are both Conservative MP’s.

Stuart Anderson asked, referring to the Integrated Review’s ‘Defence Command Paper’:

“Do you see any particular areas of concern with what has been set out, doctor?”

Dr Kaushal responded:

“I would not necessarily state that the force structure laid out produced any particular areas of concern for me. The temporary trough in capability that the Navy will endure when the two Type-23s are retired will probably generate certain force generation issues, although in all likelihood not insurmountable ones. The Navy, however, will need to look at two key questions: first, the absence of a capability to counter anti-ship ballistic missiles on the Type-45 destroyer. That was discussed in the 2015 strategic defence and security review, as part of a wider ballistic missile defence capability for the vessel, but it was absent in this review, which I thought was noteworthy.”

Rear Admiral Burton also responded by saying “I would just reinforce Dr Sidharth’s view on the anti-ballistic missile defence, which I think was a wrong absence within the review”, he added later “one of the gaping holes within the defence review is an anti-ballistic missile defence mechanism, both at sea and ashore.”

Mr Francois pressed the point, asking “To be clear, a gaping hole, in your words?”

Rear Admiral Burton responded:

“There is a gaping hole in our ability to defend a carrier against a ballistic missile without the support of our allies, so there is mitigation there, but it is mitigation that is reliant on our allies.”

Burton later added:

“The Navy has been clear that there has been a national capability gap, for the last 10 years, at least, in an anti-ballistic missile defence capability. That can be mitigated by working alongside our allies, just like the Americans use our capabilities to mitigate their capability gaps. Firstly, this is known, and, secondly, it can be mitigated.”

It should be

You can read the full transcript here.

 

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago

Brilliant news.

The upgrades to Samson and other systems will also keep the AAW side up to date.

T45 is and will continue to be formidable.

Now for something land based?

Steve
Steve
1 month ago

I read somewhere that they are taking one of the two Sampson radars to track balastic missiles. What I wasn’t clear on is if this effectively doubles the detection gaps as only one of the radars will be tracking conversional missiles, in effect gaining one capability at the expense of another.

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

T45 has two main radars:-

SAMPSON – high resolution radar
Air search radar – which gives the wider air picture and can, if upgraded, look a lot further.

Using the area air search radar doesn’t degrade SAMPSON’s ability to do AAW.

Quite how it will work I’m not sure but I would hazard a guess that fusing the pictures from the two radars is key.

Target tracking will likely be a bit different to AAW due to the difference in speeds.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

I maybe wrong but a couple years back when I read s out the proposed upgrade to Sampson generally and specifically to track ballistic missiles and potentially even space threats was to add a third plane horizontally above the other two to give a constant vertical coverage. Don’t know if this is still the plan however perhaps a cheaper option like you seem to lay out is being considered now.

Nathan
Nathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

I was wondering about this, stick one or two of these in the arctic circle and suddenly Satan 2 doesn’t look quite so, Satanic…maybe just demonic.

David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  Nathan

It couldn’t Intercept am ICBM. The block 2 aster will be able to cope with BM ranges of 3000km. An ICBM would be too high.
The US trials to deal with ICBMs use a minuteman ICBM as the interceptor booster in the Ground based defence program

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

There was something about the tracking software couldn’t do both and so when they tested they had to switch modes. The idea I read was they would put half of the existing radar on the balastic software and half on the conventional but I am no expert and might have misunderstood

Rob N
Rob N
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Sampson can already track ballistic missiles as proven by its participation in US trials. I understood there would be a software update to incorporate ABM tracking. The SAMPSON radar would get a top plate to give better ABM top cover. There would then be a Sea Viper data processing upgrade, plus eventually Sea Ceptor.

So I do not think a plate on SAMPSON needs to be sacrificed, just another one added.

There is also a ABM upgrade of the S1850 on the market should MOD wish to do the job properly….

Suportive Bloke
Suportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob N

I suspect that both would be upgraded so that there was a proper fused picture.

geoff
geoff
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

With the sudden revival of the Cold War and the sinister threats from Russia, an effective anti ballistic missile system would be a game changer although even if it were possible to develop such a weapon we would still have the fallout from the Nuke to contend with. The world is full of mad people-witness the sick shooting of 19 children in Texas yesterday. Some world leaders will inevitably fall into this category-Putin and his henchmen obvious examples. It is thus statistically certain that at some stage Nukes will be deployed and the world, at least as we know it,… Read more »

Rob N
Rob N
30 days ago
Reply to  geoff

There is nothing inevitable about tge use of nukes. Putin is a dictator but not mad – he like everyone else does not wish to die in a nuclear war. There are also his henchmen who probably have families – they too do not want their lived ones to die in a nuclear blast.

so be optimistic there are lost of nutters in the world but I doubt any of them have their finger on the button…

geoff
geoff
30 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

I hope you are right Rob and whilst i don’t dwell on this stuff still don’t discount the likelihood of a nuclear conflict either by accident, miscalculation or a religious nutter who wants to go out in a blaze of glory.
Let us hope in the meantime, that the Ukraine conflict can swiftly see an end

ETH
ETH
29 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Was it here? – https://www.navylookout.com/upgrading-the-royal-navys-type-45-destroyers/

Sampson uses, in essence, two separate AESA radars mounted back to back in a near-spherical radome. It is claimed possible for just one of these two radar arrays to fulfil almost all conventional AAW duties (providing a great deal of redundancy if nothing else), meaning a significant portion of available radar resources can be dedicated to BMD.’

a british tom
a british tom
1 month ago

An easy fix would be to purchase the SAMP/T Air Defense System it uses the same aster missiles as the type 45’s and is already in service with the french.

Rob N
Rob N
1 month ago
Reply to  a british tom

Yes but SAMPSON is a more capable radar. It is true we need a UK ABM/SAM system to protect mainland
UK that is not ship based. We do not have enough T45s to pin them to UK waters.

We should also be looking into buying ASTER 30 1NT to add to T45 and eventually ASTER 30 block 2.

Ron
Ron
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob N

Just an idea rather than messing around with SAMPSON unless the third array is used why not upgrade the S1850M to the SMART-L EWC standard that the Dutch are doing. Detection of ballistic missiles on the Dutch frigates is 2000km.

As for ASTER 30 block 2, I am not sure but I think they need the SYLVER A-70.

ETH
ETH
29 days ago
Reply to  Ron

SMART-L is not suitable for the kind of close-range BMD that Aster is designed for.

Meirion X
Meirion X
30 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

Even a medium range BM targeted at the UK mainland, an interceptor would need to be launched further North to be intercepted. Maybe based in the Shetlands?

Last edited 30 days ago by Meirion X
Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago

US Congress has approved the sale of a land based radar installation and a couple of control trucks but the projects been put back again by the MOD to prioritize other projects and now not expected until the end of the decade. There’s no indication of what missile they would use with the purchased radar either at the moment.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

I think the point is do we use indigenous tech or buy it in.

Army are terrified of another development fiasco so want everything off the shelf.

Other heads say we have got this working on ships Ceptor/A15/A30 and Sky sabre so what is the issue?

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

I don’t think there’s a public plan to add any missile, and I expect it’s just a Fylingdales upgrade. On their website, Lockheed Martin state that the probable radar type (the Long Range Discrimination Radar) will “replace existing sensors in the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS)”.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
1 month ago

One hundred per cent SB excellent news.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago

A point I’ve made many times on here over the years.

A system that can be air-launched, from sea and from land. A stockpile of NSM/JSM would be most welcome!

https://www.kongsberg.com/kda/what-we-do/defence-and-security/integrated-air-and-missile-defence/coastal-defence-system/

In other news.

“Denmark is to supply a Harpoon anti-ship launcher and an undisclosed number of missiles to Ukraine to help defend its coast, the US Secretary of Defence Lloyd J Austin III announced on 23 May.”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/naval-weapons/latest/ukraine-crisis-denmark-to-provide-harpoon-missile-system-to-ukraine

ar_cds_nsm-mlv_p01.jpg
Last edited 1 month ago by Nigel Collins
Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Why don’t they keep quiet about this system instead of broadcasting it!? Why shout it out!? What idiocy! Why not have a bit of a surprise, stealth, so potential ship targets that need to be sunk are kept in range. His the Russian’s will have their eyes on Denmark and watch out for it arrive and then try and blow it up as soon as they can. It’s like a boxer telling his opponent about all his moves upfront! Time to tighten the advertising and keep on helping the Ukrainian’s to push Russia further back and hopefully several more knockout… Read more »

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin Drury

*His….The

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin Drury

Sorry, Now the Russian’s…

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin Drury

I understand your point, but in this case, telling the Boxer will make him think twice and keep him away from Odessa. “Ukraine has a pressing need to end the Russian blockade of its seaports: Ukraine’s grain silos are full, and there will be nowhere to store the next harvest if the existing stocks can’t be shipped to market. Meanwhile, the nations that depend heavily on Ukrainian grain – like Lebanon, Egypt and Yemen – are experiencing skyrocketing prices, which fall heaviest on populations that can least afford it. 41 of the world’s least-developed countries source a third of their… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
30 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Yes, breaking the ship blockade is going to be extremely tricky. I can’t see Russia being gracious here unless there’s some compromise both sides. Damaged rail and ship infrastructure makes it hard to re-route and vessels already loaded to leave.
Looks like the Danish Harpoon’s could be a notch above what the UK has too. Let’s hope they make it to wherever they need to go. Maybe it’s time to make some of the WW11 inflatable dummy look-alikes?

Rudeboy
Rudeboy
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin Drury

The Russian’s have so far, 90 days into the war, shown zero ability to intercept weapons shipments when they enter Ukraine…

They do not have the ISTAR capability or the weapons to engage moving targets without planes overhead.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
30 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy

I thought saw that yesterday and today in the media some MH177 batteries and or rail shipments had been successfully targeted by the Russian’s. Not sure where Russia is getting their drone tech from but sure hope Ukraine doesn’t lose any recent gains and still has the upper hand and momentum in pushing Russia back and right out of their country. Ukraine’s got to find away to stop the source of Russian bludgeoning tactics and give them some of their own medicine. It’s a bloody awful business. Strength to Ukraine 🇺🇦, its forces, people and President!

Rob N
Rob N
30 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Russia cannot stop Western weapon shipments, Ukraine is still mobilising and will soon have more troops then Russia has deployed. So Ukraine is just getting stronger and Russia is getting weaker. Soon the balance will shift towards Ukraine. What ever the Russians have taken they will loose….

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
30 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

We all sincerely hope Ukraine is victorious and soon as. Seems like a slug fest going on in the eastern Donbas region with lots of causalities. The Ukrainian’s sure need some more killer punches to kick the Russian’s out.

Meirion X
Meirion X
30 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

Ukraine might need more help in training more troops, maybe?

Last edited 30 days ago by Meirion X
David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago

What does the site at Fylingdales (sp) do?

Chris
Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry
David Barry
David Barry
30 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Thxs for replying, see below.

Meirion X
Meirion X
30 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

Detect and track incoming ICBM’s.

David Barry
David Barry
30 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Exactly, so can T45 not link with Fylingdales to engage?

Chris
Chris
30 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

Interesting idea but not currently possible as far as I know but I’m definately no expert on this.

BMEWS would have to share tracking info on Link 16, probably not an insurmountable problem.

That said we’d have to have a T45 permanently on station in the North Sea which given current pressures on the RN might be better serviced by shore based missile batteries like ageis ashore or an Aster based version of it?

Meirion X
Meirion X
30 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

May need satellite links, if available.

It’s a shame that Strategic Defence Initiative( SDI) was discontinued in the 90’s. The West would have had a space based missile defence system by now.

Last edited 30 days ago by Meirion X
Bulkhead
Bulkhead
1 month ago

About time, sadly it will take some time to happen😎

geoffi
geoffi
1 month ago
Reply to  Bulkhead

Another excuse to rotate the T45s through dry-dock 🙄

Suportive Bloke
Suportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  geoffi

I am not so sure. The radar head and other radar mast bits will be upgraded during routine planned periods alongside. All that needs is a crane: it does not need a dry dock. Whichever T45 is heading for a long dry docking will have the radar head rotor taken off and sent back to BAE to have the extra plate added and any other enhancements. This remanufactured radar head will probably be swapped for one of the others alongside. Rinse and repeat. The other stuff will almost certainly be done during minor maintenance periods. You don’t need to dry… Read more »

Matt
Matt
1 month ago
Reply to  geoffi

Need a drumbeat of work for the dry docks 🙂.

Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago

Great news, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with a lot of the stuff coming out about the navy over the last couple of years. There does semm to be a genuine and concerted effort to improve things.

Jonno
Jonno
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy P

Thank the Chief of Defence Staff and others at the Admiralty. Maybe the Type 83 will be a lot easier to conceive now we are progressing in a thoughtful way forward on the Tpe 45s

Suportive Bloke
Suportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonno

It is the clarity of de-risking programs.

Also having Mad Vlad making threats that might be picked up from the North Koreans or Iranians has probably put Naval ABM up the running order.

At least it is something that is pretty fully developed rather than a pie in the sky dream system.

Rob N
Rob N
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy P

Its ok soon Labour will be back in and everything will be cut again least we annoy the Russians….

David Barry
David Barry
30 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

Not this Labour man, I’ll gladly poke the Russian Bear.

Callum
Callum
1 month ago

Well that’s one less thing for us all to moan about. Assuming the entire Aster pool is upgraded to the new standard, a T45 with 48 such weapons might just represent the world’s most capable BMD vessel, at least against ballistic missiles in the terminal phase

Paul
Paul
1 month ago
Reply to  Callum

I think this is a great capability, but “terminal phase” needs to be better defined. The Aster 30 has a range similar to the SM-2. In the USN terminal BMD is one of the missions of the SM-6, which has considerably more range.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul

The SM-6 is 1.5 meters longer and three times the weight of a Aster 30, its designed to intercept Medium Range Ballistic missiles (upto 3,000km). SM-2 is similar weight class as Aster 30, same range, bit slower (Mach 3.5), 15,000ft higher ceiling but has no ballistic missile seeker capability. Aster 30 Block 1 is designed to deal with Scuds (600km) on a shallow ballistic arc, Block 1 NT is designed to deal with short-medium range (1500 km) ballistic missiles. Aster 30 Block 1 has a range in excess of 75 miles and altitude of 65,600 feet at Mach 4.5 its… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Watcherzero
Paul
Paul
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

The interesting question for me is whether the updated SM-2 Block IIIC (which reaches IOC next year) will have a BMD capability. I’ve never read any claim that it will, but It will have the same seeker as the SM-6 so it is at least a possibility.

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul

Both SM2 Block IIIC and SM6 use an adaption of the AMRAAM active radar. The SM6 uses a wider diameter flat plate antenna than that fitted to the AMRAAM. This will give a little bit more range and receiver sensitivity.

In theory as the SM2 uses the same active radar, it “should” be capable of homing in on to a ballistic target. The issue would be the missile’s software within the combat management system. But if it’s treated as a shorter ranged SM6 then it should be more than capable.

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

So I suspect that the SM6 will be hugely more expensive than Aster 30.

Paul
Paul
1 month ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

I have no idea what Aster 30 costs, but as far as I can tell the SM-6 Block 1A is around 4.5 million dollars each. They are multi-mission though and can handle aircraft, missiles and surface targets. The surface target feature was actually used by the old SM-1 missiles against Iranian ships during Operation Praying Mantis in 1988, so the capability is actually useful.

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul

A Quora source, Luke Xiang, has the Aster 30 price at $2M (2021) & the SM6 $4.3

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
30 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

I think those numbers are about right. Warships IFR did a good article on sea based BMD and the SM6 although capable is very expensive. Nearly as expensive as the missile it is trying to shot down.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

*Note horizontal range and max altitude ceiling are mutually exclusive in ABM weapons, maximum ranges are at an altitude of 3km while maximum altitudes are at a horizontal range roughly 1/3rd to 1/4 of its maximum range.

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

If a Ka or Ku band radar when fitted into the nose of an Aster missile can see further than 30 miles. I think somebody has found a loop hole in the laws of physics.

Stealth coatings work better the higher the frequency. What they are alluding to is that a Ku/Ka radar will see irregularities in the stealth coating better than a lower frequency radar, such as uncovered rivet heads, screws etc.

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

I would have thought that the biggest question is whether or not the upgrade is GaN

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

You describe Aster Block 1, the version mentioned in the announcement, as designed to work against a Scud type weapon. Do you have an opinion as to which version is designed to work against the Kinzhal, the air launched Iskander, possibly the biggest BM risk to our carriers?

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

“Our carriers”? You’ve only got one carrier, it’s always accompanied by a tug as it breaks down so often, and last I heard the floating dry-dock it was in had caught fire and sunk 😂

Last edited 1 month ago by Sean
JohninMK
JohninMK
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

Yup but she is now safe in a new dry dock dug out specially. Water pump out due to take two or three months.
Edit spelling

Last edited 1 month ago by JohninMK
Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Any condemnation of Putins illegal invasion of Ukraine yet?

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Water pump? Sounds like someone using a bucket at that rate! 😆

Shame Turkey has closed the Bosphorus, would be amusing to see the Ukrainians sink another of Russia’s major assets.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

Bucket has holes comrade.

The holes are designed to enhance the hypersonic velocity of the drips.

Leaks in dry dock are deliberate and comrade Mad Vlad designed to keep rust and oil leaks washed out.

Carrier has successfully tested submarine dual operation mode so can join cruiser when needed.

Brilliant Russian designs.

Airborne
Airborne
30 days ago

😂😂😂!!!!

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Ahh the Kinzhal, the weapon Russia claimed hit eastern Ukraine at hypersonic speeds and then provided video footage to reporters of it hitting a deserted pig farm only a couple of km across the border from Belgorod. Phantom weapon, its just a normal 9K720 Iskander M strapped to the bottom of a Mig-31.

Last edited 1 month ago by Watcherzero
Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Wonder weapons in an effort to stave off an embarrassing defeat…..mmm another Nazi head shed tried that about 70 years ago!

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

The original Russian claim, from memory, was that they used one on an old cold war bunker in Deliatyn western Ukraine near Romania, about the same time that Kalibers were used to strike the training base, also near the border in the west. The video I think you are mentioning was of a Kaliber or KH-101 or similar cruise missile, its flight path was too low a trajectory to be a BM. The Kinzahl is indeed an Iskander M modified to be launched from a Mig-31K. I doubt that anyone regards the ground launched original as anything other than a… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

FFS yaaaaaaawn, come on lapdog where’s the condemnation of Putins illegal invasion of Ukraine?

Suportive Bloke
Suportive Bloke
30 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

The Russians can’t fire them at defended military targets as when they do, they find the missiles don’t work or wander off course to hit a pig farm?

Why is that?

Are the Russians firing them to create shock and awe in deserted areas to demonstrate their supreme military capabilities.

Some might say that the guidance goes a little off when they go hypersonic?

Others might say that the weapons are total carp and joke level?

Whatever the truth is the weapons are proven as being highly effective at targeting schools, hospitals and residential areas.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Give it a break you sad no mark! The biggest threat to our carriers is a Russian suicide tug, if it hasn’t been sunk by just about anyone else! Continuous subtle efforts at seeming reasonable while giving out a bit of RT and Putin arse licking shite! You are a dog, with a collar, owned by your Nazi master! We are all pretty much bored of you now, and laugh constantly at your weak Russkie rapists supporting efforts!

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

And amusingly your Nazi nonce head shed Putins failing illegal invasion of Ukraine has sped up such arrangements and plans, along with other defence projects and plans, both here and in NATO. Say thanks to your head nonce please troll, cheers.

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Why don’t you message the Mods here and ask if my IP address is here in the UK? I can only trace one line of my ancestors back to 1340 Halifax, but that makes me English.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Which in fact if true makes it worse, doesn’t it as you still won’t condemn Putins illegal invasion of Ukraine?

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Also, very weak excuse, George Galloway is also a British citizen with a UK IP address and he is also a Russian/RT/Putin stooge! Also IP address, means nothing, FFS what is it with trolls nowadays, they think we are all ass sad and dumb as them!

Matt
Matt
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Ah. The Gorgeous One in the Hat.

george-galloway.jpg
ETH
ETH
29 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Block 1 or 1NT is fine

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul

You need a multi stage booster and an ex atmospheric kill vehicle to attack anything other than a very short range Ballistic missile at its apogee/mid course, so that’s a US ground based interceptor as part of the GMD system or a RIM-161. Everything else is trying to intercept in the terminal phase/which is probably the hardest as it’s deployed any multiple re-entry vehicles and countermeasures.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul

This is about protecting the ship and vessels it’s protecting and not land masses. Terminal phase will be a relatively small area around the ship. This protecting a Falklands task force rather than protecting the UK.

a british tom
a british tom
1 month ago

I welcome the news as it does fill a capability gap but why not skip to the block 1NT or the upcoming block 2 missiles?

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago
Reply to  a british tom

Yes I was wondering that, this seems to be a fresh development contract on top of the one signed last year alongside Italy to recondition our existing Aster 30 stocks. Italy and France are pursuing having Block 1 NT’s alongside Block 1’s in their land based system and skipping straight to a Block 1 NT on their ships. The Block 1 NT upgrade is scheduled to enter service in 2023 and has been under development since 2015.

Suportive Bloke
Suportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Because we want to sign on the dotted line once it is derisked.

Isn’t silo length a thing with this as well?

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago

I was wondering that as some French ships do have the longer Sylver A70 for launching cruise missiles, but no its compatible with the A50 on Italian ships.
I think its the Block 2 that would have required A70’s. Thats supposed to have a much better performance, 230,000 feet exo-atmospheric interceptor capable of intercepting 3,000km medium missiles with maneuvering capability. I believe its still under development but no one has officially ordered it yet.

Last edited 1 month ago by Watcherzero
Meirion X
Meirion X
30 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

I would say, that is intermediate range of BM.

Martin
Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  a british tom

Aster 30 block 1 is an existing ABM capability, NT is in development and block II is theoretical. However once we can operate block 1 in AMD from the ship we can move to NT and probably block II although we may need to replace the A50 VLS cells with the A70 strike length to accommodate block II, this was originally envisaged as Aster 45 and it’s probably going to be longer.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

If we need 6 x new A70 cells, why can’t they go the whole hog and put in 2 MK41s at the front on the space that already rcists and go with CAMM side silos? Could then be a real bloody ripper of an upgrade!

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

*rcists… exists

Meirion X
Meirion X
30 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Not worthwhile, just to install two units. Mk 41 VLS are usually sold(FMS) in blocks of 8 units.
As been said above, only A50 cells required for atmospheric interception of medium range BM. Highly unlikely every medium range classed BM will be of max of 3000km!

Last edited 30 days ago by Meirion X
Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
30 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Hi Meirion, yes I always mean by 1x mk41 as with 8 cells so 16 all up in addition to the 48 Aster A50/70 silos and if CAMM down the sides this could be way more potent missile mix.

Meirion X
Meirion X
30 days ago
Reply to  Quentin Drury

RN could replace some A15 cells with Mk 41?

Rob N
Rob N
30 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

We should replace all the A50 with A70 and put in the 16 MK41s in front in the space they were slated for. Tis way we could quad pack Sea Ceptor into 8 of them (32 missiles), this would leave 8 VLS for anti-ship missiles.

Chris
Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  a british tom

Interestingly this is only the initial contract, possibly the block 2 in the near future

DP
DP
1 month ago

“one of the gaping holes within the defence review is an anti-ballistic missile defence mechanism, both at sea and ashore.” So there is now public recognition we have a gaping hole ashore also, which is a start, even if there isn’t the cash to back it.

Meirion X
Meirion X
30 days ago
Reply to  DP

BM’s aimed at the UK mainland would be beyond medium range, so interceptors would need to be positioned well beyond our shores.

Rob N
Rob N
30 days ago
Reply to  DP

It is ultimately not about cash – the UK is one of the worlds wealthiest countries. If it was in the government’s interest it could find the cash. An example is the new SSBN – very expensive but we found the cash. So it is really about political priorities.

we can only hope that the Russian’s heavy use of strike missiles in Ukraine hS not gone unnoticed in the MoD and in Westminster.

John N
John N
1 month ago

Or…..

The UK could just procure the m in service SM-3 missiles instead.

Suportive Bloke
Suportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  John N

I think the issue is to make sure we have sovereign capabilities.

There are always odd footnotes in US FMS which basically say we can veto use or export for various nebulous reasons.

There isn’t generally that issue with European programs. There is more UK IP in this than you might think.

John N
John N
1 month ago

Yes I understand the issue of sovereign capabilities, my comment was a bit ‘tongue in cheek’.

Here in Oz we pretty much do US FMS purchases these days, cheaper, simpler and plugging into an existing supply and support chain too (we’ve pretty much given up on Euro procurement, think of the very troubled Tiger ARH and MRH90 programs).

As for US FMS issues, I can’t really see that as a problem for the 5 Eyes nations, the US shares, or is about to share, nuclear technology with the UK and now Australia.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  John N

UK used to export masses of arms a lot less now (50%) than before but it is still a big earner. Given the success of UK kit in Ukraine this is going to take off again. The problem is if you have one little bit of FMS stuff in your kit you need US approval to sell it which can kill the deal as it slows it down and makes it expensive. There is no reason to buy this one in as we have the tech to make it ourselves. US projects like F35B are not immune to problems. That… Read more »

John N
John N
1 month ago

Yes, and here in Australia we were a big purchaser of UK equipment across all the services, but those days are long gone. The last combat aircraft the RAAF procured from the UK was the Canberra bomber, we looked at TSR-2 as it’s replacement, but that project turned into a dead end and we went with F-111C, and US combat aircraft since. Yes we are now procuring T26/Hunter class, but not with UK sourced weapons or combat system, etc. And if we select Astute class SSNs (over Virginia class), I would imagine we will have US weapons and combat system… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  John N

Other countries are already indicating increased interest in various UK produced systems.

If we can make it and then export it: why not?

It isn’t helpful or healthily to let US have a monopoly on some areas of tech.

AUS doesn’t have the historical depth of R&D to do this themselves.

Sea Ceptor is a run away success as are it AtG cousins. I can see interest in Sampson picking up too.

Paul
Paul
1 month ago

The Australia-US relationship is very interesting and is not just a one-way street. The AEGIS consoles on Australian ships are from SAAB Australia, the radar of the Hunter class is Australian (CEAFAR), so AEGIS integration is being handled by Lockheed Martin Australia, and LM Australia is continuing the development of the ship launched LRASM. Where US systems are used there is often an Australian interface or system involved.

One of the primary and very widely used soft kill anti-ship missile defenses in the USN is the Australian designed NULKA decoy.  

John N
John N
1 month ago

If you look at things from the perspective of Australia, a future potential conflict in the Asia-Pacific or Indo-Pacific will likely see Australia operating in a coalition with our major defence partner, the US.

From an operational, support, sustainment and supply perspective it will serve us much better to be ‘plugged’ into the US supply chain by using common weapons and weapons systems.

Suportive Bloke
Suportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  John N

I totally agree with you that AUS + US makes a lot more sense particularly as UK defence policy seemed to be centred around this weeks round of capability cuts.

Fortunately we appear to have woken up a little but not quite as much as I would like to see.

Martin
Martin
1 month ago

Problem is the USA is increasingly politically erratic, Australia and the UK need a wider range of partners, the west relies on the USA too much. Trump could be back in the White House in two and a bit years then what? The next guy after him may be worse. EU defence integration is a joke. A third pole formed around the CANZUK countries Friendly with India and Japan is what is needed to ensure global security. Something that can help to bind Europe and the USA with Asian democracies.

grizzler
grizzler
1 month ago
Reply to  John N

Strange that you were pursuing TSR-2 until the project stopped and you went for F111C’s instead…I bet that was a pleasant surprise to the yanks….

Martin
Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  John N

I get the distinct impression that the UK and Australia are working to harmonies procurement rapidly. We are getting E7 from you and probably switching to all boxer. T26 for Australia and I think The RAN will opt for SSN(r) Astute replacement. CANZUK may be closer than anyone realises. It was the UK and Australia who initiated AUKUS not the USA. F35 is also technically a joint UK/USA development by LM and BAE.

John N
John N
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

I agree the UK and Australia are growing and increasing the defence relationship, agree completely. But…. That doesn’t mean that we will ever swap the US out for the UK when it comes to the vast majority of our defence equipment procurement, that’s never going to happen. The US is our No 1 defence and security partner, they operate in our part of the world, the UK, not so much. CANZUK is a pipe dream, never happen, the Canucks and Kiwis will never step up to the plate, they will continue to lean on, and rely on, their big neighbours,… Read more »

Martin
Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  John N

The US is the UK number one partner as well, however when it comes to defence procurement the UK and Australia have much in common. Meaningful Industrial participation for anyone other than the UK is impossible for the USA and it’s difficult for even the UK that has a company like BAE. For aircraft the US will certainly be the go to partner however I can see naval procurement between the CANZUK countries being the main area of cooperation with the potential for NZ to take the type 31. Australia, UK and even Canada jointly developing the SSN(R) is not… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
30 days ago
Reply to  John N

I do remember you saying over a year ago, you like to test us Brits to take it on the chin, something like it, John?

John N
John N
29 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Mate, not quite sure what you mean by testing you Poms to take it on the chin?

Yes I do put my Australian perspective on things, which is a broader perspective, not specifically UK centric.

Cheers,

ETH
ETH
29 days ago
Reply to  John N

SM3 is not cheaper…

Meirion X
Meirion X
30 days ago

I agree.

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
1 month ago

Excellent this should’ve be a priority from the outset, next hopefully a land based system. On the money side this should be funded directly out of the MOD budget like the deterrent, and not navy or air force. Choose one missile, radar and launcher and we should have UK wide coverage

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

’bout ****** time!

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
1 month ago

Brilliant news. I really think the gears are starting to turn in Whitehall. Years of weakness and mismanagement is in no small part why our rivals are so emboldened. Keep it up, HMG. Here’s hoping for a significant boost to the MoD in the autumn

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago

Blimey, it’s very interesting that the government have said nothing about increase defence spending since the Invasion of Ukraine but there does seem to be a real push on new capabilities. Really good news.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

This is spending the previously agreed uplift wisely?

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago

Excellent!

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Unfortunately Paul it’s got no chance of occurring, even if any western power was willing to put any warships in what was essentially a potential death trap Turkey has closed the straits to military vessels as is their right.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I think it will happen. I’ve read that Egypt, which depends on Ukrainian wheat has been approached. Millions in Africa depend on Ukraine wheat and it’s absence from the world’s markets would drive us into recession. Putin cannot be allowed to hold the world to ransom. I sense a denouement of this war with pressure being put on Ukraine to cede some territory lost in exchange for guarantees for Odesa, a ‘Marshall’ plan to rebuild and guarantees on future defence.

grizzler
grizzler
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

guarantees for Odessa….are you serious …would you believe anything Putin signs…Ukraine need to do whats best for them …if the world doesnt like it the world can step up…put up or shut up as I think the saying goes.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  grizzler

Just to be clear….guarantees by the signstories of western nations; some kind of international treaty …an extension of the one which controls the Bosphorus for example but not just Turkey.

Suportive Bloke
Suportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

There were some guarantees when Ukraine gave up her nuclear weapons.

Let’s see how well those worked? Oh, they were just ignored.

Fortunately the UK had a PM with a Churchill complex and Poland got more than a bit worried as did the Baltics. That woke up sleepy Joe.

So you think the Ukrainians will trust any more guarantees other than of the Article 5 variety?

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago

I think the issue is whether the US is prepared to see the conflict turn into a ‘forever’ war. The provision of Harpoon to Ukraine by Denmark is a US initiative which will secure Odesa from amphibious attack. The Egyptians have a capable navy and are big customers of Ukrainian wheat and it’s difficult to see diplomatically how the Russian Black Sea fleet could oppose them escorting a grain ship convoy. They would lose their influence on the 3rd world. I see the pieces on the chess board being moved. Once Putin sees he cannot get Odesa; that he cannot… Read more »

Matt
Matt
1 month ago

I think Ukraine will build a military that will make such guarantees mainly cosmetic.

IMO ditto Poland.

But they will still want them anyway – correctly.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Hi Paul I don’t think the west is ever going to be seen to be pressuring Ukraine into ceding territory, it would give a might is right message and I simply cannot see Ukraine ceding any of land unless it’s defences collapsed and it lost the war, the same with Russia. They are going to keep fighting if Africa starves that is what will happen, War has caused nations in Africa to starved constantly and the international community does not lift much of a finger. I also don’t think the west will send warships into the Black Sea even if… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Morning Jonathan, well you may be right but I hope you are wrong. Odesa must not fall: Ukraine would be landlocked. And Putin must not reach Transistria otherwise Moldova will fall. I’m guessing that US diplomats are working overtime trying to persuade Turkey and Egypt to create safe sea passage into Odesa.
As so often in history all roads lead to Constantinople.

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I don’t think Putin has the stomach for Odessa anymore, as much as he may lust after it. Even if he succeeded, I doubt Moldova is in that much danger militarily. In fact there’s an outside chance it could even get bigger. A Russian link up with Transnistria would cut off Ukrainian Bessarabia (Budjak), and it’s possible it could end up joining Moldova.

Steve M
Steve M
1 month ago

Now as long as they have the sense😂 to do all these upgrades while the ships are in having the PiP completed we will have world class ship in a reasonable time frame
also do we actually have enough ASter30 to put 48 on each ship and still have any reloads? i don’t think 288 would be enough for WWx

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve M
Pacman27
Pacman27
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve M

we should have enough as the difference between Aster 15 and 30 is an additional booster, so to upgrade the 15’s is not too difficult.

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Previously confirmed the 15s are being upgraded to 30s

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve M

ATM the funding taps are open for projects that can deliver needed capabilities at low risk.

So having 48 x 4 x 2 A30 would seem about right to me with reloads.

I can’t see more than 4 x T45 being deployable operationally at any one time

Steve M
Steve M
1 month ago

Thats 2 CSG’s with decent AAW guess the booties will have to BOHICA in the LRG

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve M

Different maths if you are looking for a land capability or a mobile land capability as well.

Steve M
Steve M
1 month ago

Thinking more of the LRG escorts en route to amphibious operating area, I would think it prudent to seperate the CSG & LRG by at least couple hundred miles so not to present 1 very large target rich area, this would put the LRG outside of the T-45 defence area, with the limited T-26 (doing ASW work CSG and Deterrence) the LRG would only have what ever T-31/32 are available which has limited AAW (12 if renderings are correct) and virtually no ASW protection. IMO need another 3 AAW and 4 ASW hulls.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve M

One PiP is done there will be 3/4 T45 deployable at any one time.

3 in theatre with one reloaded in transit?

It is unlikely a CSG would depend on one T45 in a contested environment?

Steve M
Steve M
1 month ago

sorry talking types not quantity, personally would like to see
2x CSG- 1x QE, 1x T-83, 2 x T-45, 3 x T-26 in each CSG
LRG – 1 x LHD/A, 1-2 LPD, 1 x T-45, 2 x T-26, 2 x T-31
plus would need extra t-26’s for deterrance with t-31/32 carrying out fwd deployed / MCm mothership roles and ideally enough hulls to be able to conduct the old ‘goodwill’ tours around the world showcasing our great UK manufacturing etc and be able to provide contributions to NATO STANAGs

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve M
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve M

I don’t understand this comment. T83 replaces T45 and is hopefully loads more capable. Hopefully T83 will increase number over T45 but the chances of T83 overlapping T45 for long are small. 3 T26 in a CSG is a big ask, two is more likely. Three T31/T32 for rear shepherding functions and that is your lot. I still don’t understand where support for ground forces from Albion or Bays comes from other than Apache and F35B and/or drones. Thing with NGS is that it is cheap being able to fire 500 shells. Anyone who has ever done any training will… Read more »

Steve M
Steve M
1 month ago

agree with comment about NGS, my ideal would be move the 5” fm the T-26 to the T-31 better to risk £250m ship inshore doing NGS than £1B ASW asset. wonder if we can do ship launch brimstone?
I hope we can extend the T-45’s worried that if the T-83 are much bigger that the usual only need need 4 ships to do same job which seems to be the default every new type is at least 2 hulls less than its predecessor

branaboy
branaboy
30 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

I think the hull numbers issue can be solved in the following manner Order an additional 5x Type 26 but this Batch 3 will have their Mark 41 silos increased by 16 (2 additional modules of 8), the 5 inch gun replaced with the 57mm gun. These additional AAW variants (still retain standard Type 26 ASW suite) would be designated Type 46s. They can now suppliment the Type 45 in the AAW role while retaining that ASW capability. I think BAE systems should be able to build these additional units for the same price or even less as that of… Read more »

Steve M
Steve M
30 days ago
Reply to  branaboy

Agree t-83 should be step up in size /power, but i can guarantee treasury won’t stump up for enough hulls to even replace T-45’s 1 for 1. theT-26 hull is ultra quiet (expensive) for optimised ASW work. I fthe want more hulls better to build extra t-31/32 you can get 3 or 4 for price of 1 T-26. The t-26 need to be patrolling on own at least 20 miles from the noisy CSG to be really effective so need a good balance of weapons, T-31’s can have VLS with additional A30’s to be controlled by T-45/83 and also carry… Read more »

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst
1 month ago

This is great but we also need “ashore” land coverage.

 “one of the gaping holes within the defence review is an anti-ballistic missile defence mechanism, both at sea and ashore.”

Just on the RN side is this also just showing up lack of T45 numbers, and the need to upscale any possible T83 into being a cruiser-type solution?

Alba seaborne
Alba seaborne
1 month ago

The images of the Bae shed at Govan intimate a near 200 mtr length and the existing dock is 90 mtrs wide so plenty room for 10000 tons

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst
1 month ago
Reply to  Alba seaborne

👍

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 month ago

Do like the idea of T83 being a type of cruiser ,if there Get the size right weapons fit and a good Helicopter deck .Numbers would be nice to.Or one can dream on.💭

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew D

…yes, numbers, numbers, crews, … and do we have time before it all kicks off bigger time…

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago

Excuse me while I clean up the tea I just spat out.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

😆👍

Pacman27
Pacman27
1 month ago

lets hope this spend is is not restrained to this and that the following changes are made to T45 to finally open up its ful spectrum of capabilities. Add the Mk41 (or Sylver A70 if money is tight) Add a Quad VLS for SeaCeptor (perhaps Sylver A35 for price) Buy the targeting upgrade for SeaCeptor that gives it targeting capabilities (small boats and land targets) Add CEC – which is a must have for such a modern vessel and fleet. Upgrade the current Aster Stock to Block 2 BMD (if that fits into the A50’s) upgrade the radars Lastly, given… Read more »

Rob N
Rob N
1 month ago

When will we get this upgrade on ships?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

Apart from the maritime ABM capability defending the QEC, can this really be utilised to defend against IRBM against the UK?

And WILL this radar upgrade include the LBTS Land Based Test Site up on Portsdown Hill overlooking Portsmouth, which has the T45 radar installation.

If so, do we suddenly have a useful home defence BM system on our hands?

Suportive Bloke
Suportive Bloke
1 month ago

Probably and if I were a betting man this will be the one that was upgraded first so the system has actually be tested for some time. Just my guess mind. I would further speculate that the top plate was added, maybe it was one of the side plates moved up with a dummy plate to balance weight for rotation. It was then run through the two plate front-backend kit onsite to de-risk it without paying fortunes for the work. It would be how I would do it if I was tasked with it for the tea money. Given the… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

Ah, good, was hoping you or DB would answer.

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst
1 month ago

I’ll doff my cap to you knowledgeable chaps, but I’m concerned also about low-level, long-range Rooskie (or other) cruise missiles coming in from the Atlantic or Arctic. Do we have / are planning for anything to detect and counter this threat? The few T45s can’t be everywhere 24/7/360.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

There are radar sites that cover the west, there are other NATO countries assets, and the RAF maintains a comprehensive RAP and QRA system. Beyond that I’d ask the MoD via a FOIA, but they won’t tell you much more than most here.

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst
1 month ago

Thanks Danielle.

See my comment to DaveyB below.

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago

E7 Wedgetail.

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Thanks DaveyB

I just hope that we have enough of them. I’m concerned about the 100 to 1,000 mile range coming in at low-level and having constant coverage to be aware – let alone do something about it.

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago

That was the primary reason of replacing Sentry with Wedgetail. Wedgetail gives a significantly enhanced performance capability over Sentry at detecting very low flying targets. In the current climate dropping the numbers from 5 to 3 seems ludicrous, unless someone has a cunning plan!

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Gulp! Same old same old.

All I can think of Mr Blackadder is some sort of Global Hawk-type long-endurance drone with suitable sensors – maybe quantum radar or something current/simpler?

Back in the 1980s the US Navy tried to do something to cover this threat with an AWACS-equipped long-endurance large airship.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

All three of them?

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago

Yes, but up to a point. The ship has to be within the re-entry vehicle’s or one-piece missile’s path, as it will only be intercepting it during the terminal phase. The Aster missile does not have the crossing range to deal with high flying or distant intercepts, compared to SM6 (yet!). Even short range ballistic missiles, such as Iskander, reach heights over 150,000ft when flying a traditional ballistic path. Iskander though, can be programmed to fly a quasi-ballistic path. Which means after its initial boost phase, it levels off and flies nearly parallel to the ground. This is done to… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Thanks, as always a comprehensive answer. I think It would be criminal not to make use of it or not provide the 3rd array as you note.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
1 month ago

This upgrade, alongside the CAMM upgrade will make the T45 an absolute beast of a Destroyer. Great news. 🇬🇧

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago

It’s only taken since 2015 , if the Ukrainian war hadn’t woken us up too the Russian threat, I wonder how long we’d still be waiting ?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

Let’s than our lucky stars that the coffee had started to permeate when China tuned nasty.

That got a capital spending boost which is now working through.

If anyone didn’t think that was serious Ukraine has given them a good hard jolt.

IRL we are going to have to spend more as next time it won’t be a walk in the park and we will need real mass even to arm a proxy.

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago

Sp true SB espresso would wake even the drowsinest of the MOD too what happening beyond the Blinds of Whitehalls facade

Phil Chadwick
Phil Chadwick
1 month ago

Would the upgraded Sampson be able to track hypersonic missiles?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Phil Chadwick

Yes

Phil Chadwick
Phil Chadwick
1 month ago

Cheers 🙂

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago
Reply to  Phil Chadwick

The current Sampson can do that quite nicely.

dan
dan
1 month ago

About time! Will take some pressure off the USN BMD destroyers/cruisers.

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 month ago

Is this true or has HMG been drinking again 🍸🍷. It’s about time there give our Type 45s the potential there were built for 😀

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew D

You can thank what’s happening to the East of Cacton that HMG have now decided too equip what should have been equipped before the Dragon and the Bear flexed their muscles Andrew

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

👍

Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub
1 month ago

Is the T45 radar test facility on Portsdown Hill still operational, as maybe this could be the basis of an ashore ABM site able to offer some protection to Portsmouth?

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago

I would think so as Samson is being updated at ARE if not then , Fort Nelson and the other Pamistones Follies on the hill would be our last resort 🙄 BDTP

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

Mostly all closed up there now Tommo.

The LBTS ( T45 site /MWC ) at the eastern end and the Portsdown West DSTL site at the western end are the sole operational sites up there I think. The others are closed and I don’t think the Admiralty underground fuel installation is used either?

You mean Palmerstons follies. 😀

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago

Often see both Merlin’s and Chinooks flying some sort of racetrack patterns around the hill, so assume that the LBTS is still a functional facility mate.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

Yes mate, I’m sure it is, the MCSU and other RN bits and pieces are based there as well as QinetiQ.

Last edited 1 month ago by Daniele Mandelli
Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago

Cheers Daniele, Auto predictive txt sorry the underground fuel tanks are no longer there’s a video on you tube explorers having a look round them

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
30 days ago

I thought the underground fuel system was shut down ages ago in the 90’s after the last of the Leanders was withdrawn?

All the pumps ran on DC – if I recall everything was original 1930’s vintage.

Problem was that it totally relied on the machine shops to knock up random parts as they broke. When the rope yard (?) machine shops were shut down that was the end of that.

Nothing complied with H&S and bringing it up to standard would have cost crazy amounts. Realistically you couldn’t expect people to work in that environment these days.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

Yep, already asked this.

andy reeves
andy reeves
1 month ago

future proofing is all well and good, but we seldom hear of the progress in any other areas such as the laser system which we’ve been told will be trialed soon.how long is soon?

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  andy reeves

Andy, in 82 the Backroom boys came up with an Argon Dazzler Laser which they quickly and quietly fitted on us ,that kind of laser was later fitted too other boats during Granby so what I’m trying too put is those Backroom boys have had 40yrs too devolp a Laser capable of not just Dazzling the pilot but shorting or burning a plane or missiles electronics they’ll probably blame the energy crisis for their lack of trials as boy do those things use the Amps

Donaldson
Donaldson
1 month ago

How much life will be left in the Type 45s by the time CAMM and BMD capabilies are added?

eclipse
eclipse
1 month ago
Reply to  Donaldson

As far as I understand, CAMM and BMD is a lot less work than PIP. Take Daring, she is at Cammell Laird for her PIP right now. I believe that the only major physical change required to the radar is the possible addition of a top plate, but I am unsure if this plan has been cancelled. Otherwise, the only thing necessary is a software update and the purchase of Aster Block 1. A50 has the length for this missile and also for block 1NT. A70 may be required for Block 2. So I don’t see why the BMD upgrade… Read more »

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago
Reply to  Donaldson

Look at the upgrades in another light – the capability will likely be continued onto the Type 83,having been tried and tested ( de-risked ) on the Type 45’s regardless of how many years they have left to serve.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago

Really interesting article on British involvement behind the scenes in Ukraine weapons procurement:

Inside A Hub for Military Aid to Ukraine (foreignpolicy.com)

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago

Now I wonder if they will move from block 1 to block 1NT when it’s ready or if the will look to support block 2. It would seem logical to gradually step up to the ability to manage IRBMs, hopefully the block1NT is only a couple of years away now anyway.

RodneyABC
RodneyABC
1 month ago

This is great news, upgrading the T45 AAW capability is long overdue but they still only have a single 4.5” MK8 for anti ship use. The decision to cancel the intermediary AShM is a massive risk and IMHO needs to be reversed.

Pacman27
Pacman27
1 month ago
Reply to  RodneyABC

if they add sylver A35 cells and quad pack sea ceptor, then buy the targeting capability from BAES that solves the small craft capability.

Sylver A70 or Mk41 would solve the AShM capability gap as I am sure tomahawk can be used in this role if needed (software again).

Its all doable with just a small amount of further funding.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
1 month ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Using the VLS capacity for anything other than AAW defeats the prime purpose of the T45 which is being boosted. Mk41 are going onto the T26 frigates so TLAM is an option for them.
I’d just buy the NSM and fit them where the Harpoons were, off the shelf and usable on the F35 as well.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
30 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Or cannister launched LSRAM…but will be more bucks for a bang (misquote intended) 😆

Pacman27
Pacman27
30 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I disagree on this. Every major surface combatant should have strike capability as do we really want our SSNs too be exposed watching the tv program where HMS Duncan was ignored by the Russians because it didn’t have this capability ( as stated by the crew not me) and shadowed the AB destroyer instead is a key indicator of why Mk41 is critical to keeping our enemies on their toes. I also don’t subscribe to single task ships. If the T26 had Sampson it could do everything and more that the t45 can. Why not maximise our assets instead of… Read more »

Pacman27
Pacman27
30 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Also T26 is still years away. Mk41 could be put onto T45 this year if the RN wanted and the money was there. It doesn’t need 3 years of certification. Get it on and certified in 3 months

Suportive Bloke
Suportive Bloke
30 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

I know I was banging on a lot about Mk41 a few months ago but the reason for noting putting it in may be that there is a choice down the road for SM6 or the longer version of Aster that need the A70 tubes.

There may be a method in the apparent madness?

The Ceptor tubes are easy to move and putting them in quickly gets a good proven system into play?

Maybe another way of looking at what is going on?

Last edited 30 days ago by Suportive Bloke
Pacman27
Pacman27
30 days ago

I agree and would prefer 16 mk41 than 24 ceptor tubes as worst case scenario is we use 8 of these for sea ceptor. Best case these are additional for TLAM and we insert 24 or 18 captors between the A50 vols

You get no argument from me

For T26 we should purchase a quad pack able VLS that also has the ability to take on longer ceptors as this is probably the direction of travel

Sylver A35/A50 or similar design is good enough imo

Robert Billington
Robert Billington
1 month ago

War is a-comin’ ladies and gentlemen. British advocation of an international navy to ship grain from the Ukrainian Black Sea ports, all
it takes is one missile one bomb, one bullet and it’s like 1914 all over again. Tie that with the other news concerning US defence of Taiwan. Then we have all those other conflicts and all the independence movements.
Not if, but when

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago

About blooming time. Also need interim AShM asap.

How about a naval blockade on Russia? In the Black sea at least. They’re doing it to Ukraine by stealing their ports & coastline & blockading/bombarding what’s still in Ukrainian hands.

John
John
1 month ago

Between the engine fix, the increase in missiles and now this, the T45 is seeing a lot of important investment. I have to wonder if the missile increase and this defensive system will be installed during the same window.

OldSchool
OldSchool
1 month ago

This might be one of the reasons the RN has drpped an interim SSM. Money can be spent on things like this T45 upgrade instead.

OT I know but I’d get Blackhawks for army and add a few more to cover moving sone army Wildcats to the RN. Then give them FLASH sonar to boost RN ASW capabilities. The Type 45 needs all the asw boost it can. Doesn’t even have a supported hull sonar now. Appalling given its role in anti mine and anti torpedo defence.

Pacman27
Pacman27
1 month ago

question on Sampson. Is there any value in upgrading the 2 radars within Sampson to 2 or 3 Artisan Radars from a performance perspective and would it reduce top weight? We could swap 2 out to the QEC and give them full fat Sampson and do the same for Batch 1 of T26 which means a purchase of 12 new Artisan radars (or better) to make this work. this would give us the 3 plan BMD Sampson that I read was the proposed solution, upgrade the carriers and Batch 1 of T26 to the current Sampson (software upgraded) for very… Read more »

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago
Reply to  Pacman27

No, Sampson is a step change in capability over Artisan (even the more powerful Artisan 300). One clue to this is the shape of the antenna. Artisan obviously uses a flatter rectangular antenna. There are very few if any public images of the Sampson’s or Artisan’s antenna array without the protective fairing. But I can tell you Sampson’s it is a lot squarer. The antenna array’s height and width are nearly the same. This is crucial for not only electronically steering the beam, but also forming the beam. By having an equal number of transmitter-receiver modules (TRMs) in height and… Read more »

Pacman27
Pacman27
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

thanks Daveyb

I thought that Sampson itself was 2 radars working together, so my question was could / should we upgrade those with Artisan or are we saying that each of the current radars within the Sampson dome are still better than that.

as a slight deviation – wasn’t there a plan to put an upward facing radar into Sampson for BMD?

btw I never knew there were different versions of Artisan until your reply

every day a school day

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Sampson is one radar system with two antenna arrays placed back to back as far as I’m aware. It uses modular blade servers for the waveform control, received signal processing, timing, predictive tracking etc. These can be added to, to increase the performance of the radar along with having one antenna face doing long range volume search work whilst the other does the target inspection through higher dwell time. However, as the ship has the S1850M, this does the majority of the volume searching leaving Sampson to do the target inspection and discrimination work. The original T45 specification had a… Read more »

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
30 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

From a analytical perspective having a third uplooking array would seem to offer very marginal utility at large expense. However, in view of the pending AB upgrades (2025) to SPY6 with GaN, albeit lower down on the superstructure but with more powerful arrays, do you think upgraded Sampson + Artisan will still be superior?

Daveyb
Daveyb
30 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

The Arleigh Burke (AB) Flight IIIs with the full fat upgraded SPY6, will have the same issues that the T45 has. The four SPY6 fixed panels are arranged to cover four 90 degree sectors. The are fitted to the structure where they lean back by 20 to 30 degrees. They will have exactly the same blind spot above the ship. But in the AB’s favour, they have SM3 and SM6. Therefore, they can intercept threats that are transiting to the point where they tip over to a near vertical dive when attacking the ship. China in particular were enthusing over… Read more »

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
30 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Hear what you say, but last I read Chinese hypersonic was missing the target by 20 nautical miles, it is no small thing to get accuracy at these speeds, due to the laws of physics.

Meirion X
Meirion X
30 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

A triangular array of panels, they could rotate a bit, would be better still, Davey?

Last edited 30 days ago by Meirion X
Daveyb
Daveyb
30 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Having 3 Sampson arrays mounted up high on the mast would be good. But they do need to be mechanically rotated, unless you add a vertically facing fourth array. The reason for this is the drop off in power when you get closer to the arrays edges, i.e. when the beam gets pushed extreme left or right (+/- 60 degrees). As there are less transmitter-receivers modules at the edges forming the beam, it can lose its coherence (no longer circular). But as less TRMs are adding to the beam, the beam’s power drops off. To counter this you generally use… Read more »

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
30 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Are there any indications that Sampson is getting a GaN upgrade?

Daveyb
Daveyb
30 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

No, DE&S have said that Sampson is being upgraded and modernized. Which could mean anything, such as replace the signal processors with more up to date versions. Yet it could also mean the array components are being upgraded to GaN. We will have to wait and see what is released to the public.

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
30 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

From a computer game navy perspective it makes sense to put everything on the QE, but in the real world, as the QE are always travelling with T45, what earthly reason would you have for putting Sampson on the QE

Pacman27
Pacman27
30 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Not at all. Mast height increases performance and the QEC is much taller than a T45

I could argue that the T45s don’t need Sampson if the QEC has it and they all have CEC

Sampson is a fairly trivial cost for a ship costing £3.2 bn. Hardly video game or fantasy fleet stuff this.
By your logic why has it got a radar (2 actually) at all

ETH
ETH
29 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

In a real AAW scenario, the Type 45s won’t be trailing the QE like you see in the (staged) photos. They all need their own sensor.

Pacman27
Pacman27
29 days ago
Reply to  ETH

I know that, my point is if there is no earthly need as okam has stated to put Sampson on the QEC, then 1, why does it have a radar at all and 2 why shouldn’t that radar be Sampson if it would outperform a T45 due to its height which gives it a bigger radar horizon.

in all scenarios a T45 cannot outperform the QEC from a radar perspective with Sampson, it’s that simple physics with the same radar set up.

and as the most expensive surface ships in the RN an extra £5m n radar is negligible.

ETH
ETH
28 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

QE’s radar exists for situational awareness and fighter/air traffic control. Yes, it gets a better radar horizon than Sampson but it wouldn’t be able to do anything with it (no interceptors, no CEC).

It’s more than just the cost of the radars. They’d need to re-start the production line for the radar itself and fabrication of the electronics, which would be very expensive for just two new systems. Whereas Artisan was more numerous to begin with and will stay in manufacture for at least the first three Type 26s.

Dave Wolfy
Dave Wolfy
30 days ago

What is a missile “outload”?
Is it the same as a missile load?

Charles Verrier
Charles Verrier
30 days ago

So… Block 1 and not either Block 1NT or Block 2 then?

Rob N
Rob N
30 days ago

Should not the T45 also get a gun upgrade to the Mk45 so it can fire the enhance range ammunition that offers the possibility pf shooting down cruise and ballistic anti-ship missiles.

Rob N
Rob N
30 days ago

Did we ever work out if the T45 would get CAAMMS ER or if it would get the standard one…