The concept phase for the recently announced Type 83 Destroyer will begin in the next few years.

Mark Francois, MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, asked yesterday via a written Parliamentary question:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the initial operating capability for the Type 83 Destroyer.”

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

“The Type 83 will replace our Type 45 destroyers when they go out of service in the late 2030s. We anticipate the concept phase for Type 83 to begin in the next few years with the assessment phase following.”

Also, there are no concept images of Type 83 so our terrible mockup above will have to do for now.

The Type 83

The Defence Command Paper, titled ‘Defence in a Competitive Age‘, surprised many by stating that the UK will develop a new destroyer type, the Type 83. The white paper announced the upcoming “concept and assessment phase for our new Type 83 destroyer which will begin to replace our Type 45 destroyers in the late 2030s”.

What might the Type 83 Destroyer look like? We do not know but I’m going to take a stab at it anyway.

The Type 45 Destroyer replacement is just an early concept at this stage but a variant of the Type 26 Frigate has been considered for the job, at least to some degree.

Last year the UK Defence Journal spoke to Paul Sweeney, former MP for Glasgow North East and former shipbuilder and we were told that consideration is already being given to the development of an Anti-Air Warfare variant of the Type 26, a variant that could function as a future replacement for the Type 45 Destroyer fleet – the programme now referred to as Type 83.

HMS Daring, the first Type 45 Destroyer, was launched in 2006.

For a little bit of context, Paul Sweeney is a Scottish politician but more importantly for the purposes of a discussion on shipbuilding, he was formerly employed by BAE in Glasgow. Paul has worked with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Shipbuilding which published the results of inquiry into the Government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy, taking evidence from a range of maritime security stakeholders and industry.

It is understood that the Ministry of Defence have an aspiration is to achieve continuous shipbuilding with the Type 26 programme in Glasgow beyond the current planned number of eight vessels. Sweeney told me after attending the steel cutting ceremony for the future HMS Cardiff:

“It is clear that we now have a unique opportunity to create a truly international naval shipbuilding alliance with Canada and Australia with Type 26 (both countries have purchased the design) – and consideration is already being given to the development of an Anti-Air Warfare variant of the Type 26 as an eventual replacement for Type 45 – known currently as T4X. The aspiration is to achieve continuous shipbuilding with the Type 26 programme in Glasgow beyond the current planned number of eight vessels.”

We’ll publish more about the Type 83 as it becomes available.

 

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Goldilocks
Goldilocks
5 days ago

‘A few years’. Expect the Type 45’s to run into the 2040’s and this ‘concept phase’ to start 2030.

Tony
Tony
5 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

They should run into the 2040’s, they weren’t cheap ships and they are still extremely capable, when they are actually able to be at sea which unfortunately doesn’t seem very often.

Hopefully, seeing the availability issues we are having now, we go with more than 6 boats for the Type 83. I’m not holding my breath though, we will probably end up with 4.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
5 days ago
Reply to  Tony

Yes embarrassing when you have more aircraft carriers available than air defence destroyers built to defend them. But yes by 2040 they will be under 30 years old for the most part and should if these propulsion issues are finally solved have a few good years left in them.

John Clark
John Clark
5 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

I suppose the real point here, is a drumbeat of construction, so we can avoid very expensive life extension refits, like the T23.

I would want the T45’s replaced as they reach the 30 year point, or soon afterwards.

Ideally, we need 9 Type 83, to ensure 5 are always available and 6 at a push.

A larger RN (it’s certainly shaping up to be a larger force structure), will have an expanded need for AAW specialist ships.

Andy P
Andy P
5 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

“Ideally, we need 9 Type 83, to ensure 5 are always available and 6 at a push.” Probably mentioned it before but I’d be happy to split the ‘replacement’ bit of it and have 3 (seeing as how I’m playing fantasy fleets hopefully more) T83 cruisers and a AAW destroyer. Whether that destroyer was a variant of the T26 or something more advanced…. what ev’s. Even if it was 6 (or 8/10 seeing as how I’m doing the whole fantasy thing and various anti ship/land attack missiles are on the increase) they could carry out the more specific role of… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
5 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

I like it Andy, I like it, sold mate!

andy reeves
andy reeves
2 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

i’ll bet the whole design project will cost more than a t 31 beurocracy is expensive.

Pacman27
Pacman27
4 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Agree, we need to get a view on what our fleet needs to look like. realistically I think the RN has a requirement for 6 active fleets that will mean that we generate a new fleet every 5 years indefinitely. Fleet 1 – Carrier Strike 11 Ships Fleet 2 – Carrier Strike: 11 Ships (1 QEC, 2x T26, 2x T45, 2x T31, 2 x Tides, 1 x SSN, 1x FSSS) Fleet 3 – STG 1 – 15 ships Fleet 4 – STG 2 – 15 ships Fleet 5 – STG 3 – 15 ships Fleet 6 – STG 4 –… Read more »

JohnG
JohnG
4 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

This fantasy fleet is never going to happen. Current plans are for the following. 2 QE carriers, 8 type 26, 6 type 45, 5 type 31, 7 SSN, 4 SSBN, 5 MCM/asw mothership, 5 patrol ships (I think…) Plus support ships etc If designing a fantasy fleet it makes sense to me to try and make it realistic, although I appreciate the concept. The issue with the above planned ship list is it gives us one QE carrier group (QE, 2×26, 2×45, 1xssn plus support ships) 3ssn to saveguard the ssbn, 4 ssbn to ensure 1 is always at sea,… Read more »

Pacman27
Pacman27
3 days ago
Reply to  JohnG

Why not, we can create this now as its the same number of hulls as today and HMG have committed to increasing the escort fleet. So we swap out and recapitalise over the next 30 years. (MCM fleet becomes the MMS fleet as an example over time) This isn’t an instant fix it is to demonstrate that a 90 vessel navy costs £xxbn and should have a drumbeat of 3 vessels per year to keep the yards busy and efficient and smooth the money out thereby avoiding the famine and feast of previous plans that has resulted in too many… Read more »

JohnG
JohnG
3 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Because defence funding is limited and currently the government are trying to get as decent a navy as possible within budget. As things currently stand it would be a minor miracle if we had two converted oil tankers into commando carriers. I cannot see any more 31 purchases, 45s too old now to have more, and I cannot see an increase in 26 numbers. There is a bit of a feel that we should count things lucky that the 8 26s, and 5 31 orders will be upheld. You may get some increased flexibility from the 32, if one ship… Read more »

andy reeves
andy reeves
2 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

in national fleet inventories missile boats and corvettes are counted as front line units. a worthwhile upgrade to the archer of a fitted 30mm gun and
say a single shot asw torpedo would make useful units operating with a type 31

andy reeves
andy reeves
2 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

missiles mounted on archers. and batch2 river corvettes?

andy reeves
andy reeves
2 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

its not unreastic to suppose that a t26 coming out of its first maor refit could be configured as a principle aaw ship in the role currently taken by a t45 in the carrier groups

Jack
Jack
4 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

The propulsion issues will only be fixed when the time comes to sell them. No one will be willing to buy a lemon whereas the UK just has to take whatever it is provided with.

Nate M
Nate M
3 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

strange the way the mod thinks. have big vessels but not smaller ones to protect them, reach 1000s of miles across the ocean but not have the abelites to protect the homeland from an attack. the mod is trying to run before they can walk.

Last edited 3 days ago by Nate M
andy reeves
andy reeves
2 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

but no more of this fitted for but not with rubbish.

AlexS
AlexS
5 days ago
Reply to  Tony

T45 is an embarrassment not a normal, are you really thinking that next team will make mistakes like these one?

Marked
Marked
5 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

It’s uk defence so yes. Inevitably.

Nate M
Nate M
5 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

how are the type 45s embarrassing? apart from the engine issue, they are a no brainer for air defence. which by the way is there main purpose.

AlexS
AlexS
5 days ago
Reply to  Nate M

Nate M, it could have been just noisy sailor beds (to just take a fig from Ajax). If prevent the ship mission it is serious.

Paul42
Paul42
4 days ago
Reply to  Nate M

Yes indeed, but the vessel needs to be operationally reliable and at sea in order to attend the party as it were. Type 45 has more than its fair share of problems which seriously affect that. Its a little embarrassing that Diamond has a serious defect, but what’s more embarrassing is the fact we were unable to despatch a replacement vessel as a matter of urgency…….

Tommo
Tommo
4 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

That’s why we have FMG mobile their the guys at the ready to fly out and repair ships when required Including engine changes

Airborne
Airborne
5 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

No the T45 isnt an embarrassment, your knowledge seems to be gained from the red top rags.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
4 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

You clearly don’t know a single thing about the T45 Destroyer. Or any vessel for that matter.

Tommo
Tommo
4 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

FMG mobile are well versed in working on the type 45s always have their passports at the ready those are the guys who have all year round tans type 45s don’t seem to like the hot weather

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
4 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Never seen FMG in my part of the world. Had the BAe team on site for two core changes years ago. That’s a fun job to assist with!
The latter deployments of T45 prior to Montrose where pretty faultless even in the height of summer. By then software mods and modded cores had sorted out the hot weather performance issues.
Unfortunately those not in the know assume a GT issue is the same as the previous core issue which it isn’t GTs occasionally go bang and as you say pretty straight forward to change out… Unless it’s the power turbine!

Tommo
Tommo
3 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Probably Bea systems guys contracted for work on type45s (you built it you fix it) no longer the case of( User maintainer ) there seems to be money to be made in the sector of Contracted maintenance and repair . FMG doesn’t get Bonuses just bog standard LOA.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

The LOA rates in Oman for Montrose recent FTSP and engine change where huge! I bet that wasn’t factored in by MOD

Tommo
Tommo
3 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

In Oman ,blimey they use to have a 10pm curfew why didn’t the Montrose use Bahrain?

Goldilocks
Goldilocks
5 days ago
Reply to  Tony

There out of Service Dates are scheduled for 2034-2036 currently though.

Roy
Roy
5 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

They’ll have to go on beyond that. Indeed, they are only to be upgraded with Sea Ceptor “by 2032”. But some T45s may go in the 2030s in order to keep the others running. Then the question is, will 6 Type 83s actually be built? History suggests that may be unlikely.

Despite all the rhetoric about the supposed level of threat, etc. the reality is that there is no serious rush on much of anything when it comes to modernization and re-equipment.

Paul C
Paul C
5 days ago
Reply to  Roy

I think 6 is the maximum the RN will get, more likely 4 or 5. 8 would be great but hard to imagine given the baked-in budget shortfall and all the other projects that will be vying for funding over the next 20-odd years. Dreadnought, Astute replacement, Tempest, MRSS etc., plus the potential for less generous MoD budget settlements in future years and of course changes of government.

Last edited 5 days ago by Paul C
Roy
Roy
4 days ago
Reply to  Paul C

Agree. The most reliable predictor of the future is the past. In 1998 when the defence review set the goal of acquiring two larger carriers, the parallel capabilities assessed as required included 32 surface combatants and 10 SSNs. Today thereare 18 surface combatants and 7 SSNs. 12 Type 45s became 6. Officially there is now a goal of 24 surface combatants but there are massive questions as to whether that will be affordable, particularly when the UK Government itself shows absolutely no sense of urgency in terms of getting to that objective.

Dern
Dern
4 days ago
Reply to  Tony

Then again, Engaging Strategy posted a comparison of deployed days for Darings and they were broadly comparable to Iron Dukes, so… I’m not sure “doesn’t seem very often” is entirely fair.

andy reeves
andy reeves
2 days ago
Reply to  Tony

maybe some of the project could be based around a batch 2 or 3 type 26 configured as a destroyer

andy reeves
andy reeves
2 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

i hope get it sorted out design wise faster than the shambolic t26, and t31 specs were. and a reasonable order size.

andy reeves
andy reeves
19 hours ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

they’ll need duct tape to hold them together by then.

dan
dan
5 days ago

Let’s hope they will include anti ship and land attack missiles.

Gareth
Gareth
5 days ago
Reply to  dan

Indeed, and that we build more than 6 of them this time.

Ahms
Ahms
5 days ago
Reply to  dan

I always thought that the T45 should have had more missiles of all types. To me its always come across as a very capable ship but hamstrung with extremely limited missile capacity and capability compared to other destroyer classes. It really would have made more sense to if possible have installed the Mk41 launchers instead of the sylver launchers. More multi role capability and proven tech as opposed to the sylvers that only seem to fire the Asters.

Deep32
Deep32
5 days ago
Reply to  dan

I imagine that will depend upon whether or not the ship takes after T82, or is a direct replacement for T45? As a T45 replacement I can’t see it getting a land attack missile, why use valuable silo space, as that role is going to T26, however, if it comes as a more T82 type ship, then I can imagine it having a more rounded weapons fit. Having said that, perhaps a FC/ASM type missile might fit the bill.

Nate M
Nate M
5 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

speaking of missile will the type 31s have anti-ship missiles. because i was thinking we could just use the interim solution for them. like the NSM or gungnir. which by the way will give them land attack capabilities to a certain degree.

Deep32
Deep32
5 days ago
Reply to  Nate M

Well, that’s the million dollar question! We are getting the I-ASM, which by all accounts is going on T23s first. Given that any missile we select will have a shelf life exceeding the T23 OSD, the missile sets will be transferred to other units. My guess is they will arm the T31s in due course, but it’s only my guess.

Goldilocks
Goldilocks
4 days ago
Reply to  Nate M

So the royal navy expects to have 5 I-SSGW fitted to the five general-purpose frigates (Type 23). Then I guess they will be carried over to the (hopefully) five Type 31’s

Andrew D
Andrew D
5 days ago

Looking forward to see what Type 83 will actually look like,but know it’s going to be along wait ,hope RN get at least 9 . Wishful 🤔

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
5 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

And like it’s it was mentioned above bring the whole program forward and do a split batch. The Italian’s have already designed a pretty decent looking DDX destroyer, I think for service entry at the end of this decade, which could be tweeked a bit for the RN especially if using a mix of Aster’s and MK41 silos. Even if the T45 is a bit under done for some and additional two in the next 3-5 years would bolster the fleet and provide some additional ABM coverage and allow for the upgrades on the first six vessels to be well… Read more »

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
4 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

You paying? 😄

Andrew D
Andrew D
4 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Well Robert there say UK is 5 richest country ,just take a look how putin has rebuild is navy and there Economy is worse then UKs .Not that anyone’s in great shape because of COVID 19 .So sure it can be done 🤑

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
3 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Yes, but how much have Russia people had to suffer with a serious lack of investment in health care, education, adult social care, infrastructure ect to pay for it’s military. Nothing comes for free.

Ron
Ron
4 days ago

No, no, no, no matter which way I look at it the T83 cannot be based on the T26. First issue theT26 is a ASW platform, theT83 does not need the same quite hull. To put a main and secondery anti air radar on a T26 hull is not possible, the seperation between the systems would not be far enough. A T83 will need 72-96 anti air anti ballistic missiles, 8-16 anti ship missiles, 8-16 land attack missles a main gun 3-4 secondery guns and 2-4 point defence systems this does not include 2-4 helicopters. This is a ship of… Read more »

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
1 day ago
Reply to  Ron

I am also of the school of thinking questioning why there is such enthusiasm to base Type 83 on the Type 26 hull, considering the lengthy lead time there is more than enough leeway to develop a dedicated design. Certainly there should be pull through from Type 26 of systems but no more than that.

The time also allows investigation of pressing long term questions in relation to propulsion especially in relation to power generation requirements, growth, the future availability of fuel vs nuclear.

andy reeves
andy reeves
2 days ago

whatever the outcome, i hope that the R.N will get at least a one for one replacement for retiring t45’s

andy reeves
andy reeves
19 hours ago

the idea of a ‘beefed up’ type 26 as a destroyer makes sense. if the first t26’s acquit themselves as is expected, then the bulk of the design and build process would a be already in place. the idea will also mean the usual 5 year delay’s arguing over specs etc. which has been the curse of the t45, t26, and t31 design and build. maybe even more type 26’s might be the result.