The Ministry of Defence has notified bidders of its intention to purchase an interim anti-ship missile as current Harpoon stocks reach end of life and a replacement not being due until 2030.

The Ministry of Defence has issued a Prior Information Notice (PIN) for “Next Generation Surface Ship Guided Weapon (SSGW)” to equip Royal Navy vessels..

The notice is as follows:

“Short description of nature and scope of works or nature and quantity or value of supplies or services:

The Authority has a possible future requirement to procure a next generation ship launched anti-ship weapon system for use within training and operational roles with the Royal Navy. First delivery of the ship installed equipment would be required by December 2022 and first delivery of missiles would be required by December 2023. The potential contract will be for 4 years, with the potential of option years to follow (up to 9 more years), the potential contract would cover the following activities:

Manufacture and delivery of the weapon system to be delivered in Financial Year 2023/2024.

Installation of the weapon system onto Royal Navy ships.
Provision and support of interface requirements to assist ships installation.

Provision of train the trainer courses.

Maintenance and technical support for the operational upkeep of the weapon system.

Should this requirement proceed, a Contract Notice will be published in due course with more precise requirements and interested parties will be invited to complete an online pre-qualification questionnaire, which will be measured against selected criteria in terms of commercial and technical requirements.

The technical requirement will be base lined against the user requirements and include questions regarding:

— battlefield effect,
— terminal effect,
— interoperability: climatic and environment,
— munition sensitivity,
— system and design safety,
— human factors,
— deployability,
— training,
— sustainability and supply chain,
— Capability resilience and reliability.

Evidence will be required at the PQQ stage to demonstrate the weapon system can meet the Authority’s requirement set.

Estimated value excluding VAT: Range: between 100 000 000 and 200 000 000 GBP”

When Harpoon exits service in 2023 there will be a serious capability gap until the potential entry into service of FC/ASW programme in 2030 if this does not happen, warned a report published by the Defence Committee last year.

During a Defence committee session Lt General Sir Mark Poffley, Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff, made clear that the MoD wanted a surface to surface anti-ship missile to fill the capability gap. However, he conceded that there was not a funded line in the equipment plan for such a purchase and that it was therefore one of the MoD’s “aspirations” for the Modernising Defence Programme.

The report advised:

“Alongside the work being undertaken by the FC/ASW concept phase, the MoD should conduct a careful analysis of the various options for filling the capability gap. This analysis should include a technical assessment of: the potential for Harpoon’s lifespan to be extended; whether other existing capabilities could be augmented to provide a stronger anti-ship function; the various off-the-shelf options that exist, including the procurement of Harpoon Block II for the P8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft; and the potential procurement of Exocet as a surface-to-surface capability for the Royal Navy.”

According to the report, which can be found here, the possible off-the-shelf alternatives that could be considered by the MoD include the following:

i) Lockheed Martin’s Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM): the LRASM comes with both air and vertical canister launch capabilities, relies on onboard systems for target acquisition without the need for GPS navigation or external data-feeds and is able to defeat jamming and detection measures. It offers interoperability with the F-35. The LRASM will enter service for the US Air Force this year and the US Navy next year. Australia, the UK and Canada are reported to have expressed interest in the missile. Cost per unit is in the realm of $700,000–1,000,000.

ii) Naval Strike Missile (NSM): the multi-role variant of this missile, jointly developed by Kongsberg and Raytheon, would be compatible with the F-35 and would offer lower costs than the LRASM or the latest Harpoon variant. According to Raytheon, the NSM is “proven, affordable—and available today. The Naval Strike Missile is a long-range, precision strike weapon that can find and destroy enemy ships at distances up to 100 nautical miles away”. The NSM’s lifespan extends until 2040.53

iii) RBS15 Mk3: produced by Saab, the RBS15 Mk3 is, according to Naval Technology, “packed with a range of high-end features, including sophisticated electronic counter-measures (ECM) and an advanced graphical user interface [ … ] it carries a heavy, high-explosive blast and pre-fragmented warhead over a range of around 134 nautical miles and at a speed of 0.9 mach”.

iv) The MoD could seek to procure the Block II+ variant of Harpoon. The US Navy is due to introduce the Block II+ this year and it “offers greater reliability and survivability” than previous variants, including new GPS guidance and a new data link that offers “in-flight updates”, as well as improved target selectivity and “enhanced resistance to electronic countermeasures”.

v) Another alternative could be deploying the latest version of the Exocet MM40 Block 3 system. The Royal Navy operated Exocets until 2002 and according to Naval Technology, the Block 3 offers an increased range of 97 nautical miles and “a number of other enhancements and upgrades, including changes to its navigational system which now accepts GPS waypoints to enable it to use different angles of attack against naval targets and to provide a limited land-attack capability”. An upgraded Exocet model, the Block 3 C will soon be available to the French Navy and, according to Janes, offers “a new coherent active radio frequency (RF) seeker as the centrepiece of a ‘digitised’ guidance and navigation package” that should bring “significant improvements in target selectivity and electronic countermeasures performance”.

The Harpoon anti-ship missile was due to be retired from Royal Navy service in 2018, that changed last year.

Jane’s reported that senior sources informed them that the missiles would remain in service at least until 2020. According to the publication:

“There is work ongoing to look at options for longer extension in service.”

Royal Navy ships were originally to lose anti-ship missile capability in 2018 when the Harpoon missile is withdrawn with a replacement not due until ‘around 2030’, the interim missile would fill that gap.

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Jonathan
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Jonathan

Interesting this, from the timeframes a couple of questions come up: If they pick something that’s compatible with the MK41 launchers on the type26 will they then think about adding MK41s to the type45s. I would imaging sorting out deck launchers for say the LRASM on they type 45s vs MK41 may not be that much ( in the grand scheme) different in costs. The type 23s will I assume need a deck launched option no matter what. What about the type 31 will it get the same deck launcher as the 23s or maybe transferred over later in deletion… Read more »

Callum
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Callum

“something really short term, wasteful and a bit second rate.” Remember this is MEANT to be a short term, off the shelf option while Perseus is developed. Most likely, it’ll only be integrated on the T45s, T31s, and the last 8 T23s. The cost: capability ratio is heavily skewed in favour of a cheaper weapon, especially since there isn’t actually any money currently available for it. For the foreseeable future, I’d give up any hope that Mk41 will ever be fitted to the T45s, and I definitely wouldn’t be planning future purchases based on it. Additionally, LRASM is just too… Read more »

John Pattullo
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John Pattullo

perseus is in collaboration with the french – its as good as cancelled already!

and even if its an interim solution these weapons can be transferred to older/smaller assets in the event we do get perseus – slap a couple LRASM on those batch 2 rivers so they can at least contribute something to fight if they need to

Lee1
Guest
Lee1

The obvious choice has to be the new harpoon surely? The current missiles can be upgraded to the new missile at a reduced cost and there is not much additional work need to the fit them to the ships. It makes no sense to go with anything else for a short term replacement.

David Flandry
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David Flandry

Nice post.
“Perfect is the enemy of good enough.”

Callum
Guest
Callum

According to the article, the latest Harpoon would be more expensive than buying NSM. It doesn’t state if that’s purchasing new Harpoon missiles or just upgrading existing stocks, but in any case I’d assume NSM is the cheapest option.

Lee1
Guest
Lee1

I doubt it. If you upgrade the current harpoons to the new version it costs half the price of buying a new harpoon. I doubt NSW is less than half the price of a new harpoon… Especially as there would need to be a lot of training needed on the new missile and likely integration costs too. If this was a long term replacement then the overall cost of purchasing new missiles could be a significant factor. However we only need these for a few more years. We would likely need very few brand new missiles if we went for… Read more »

Richard
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Richard

Would cancelling Perseus be that bad though? What does it get us over LRASM? We’re short on hulls and people to crew them, each should be as versatile as possible, without sacrificing their core mission. The T45s are already the worlds premier air defence platform, adding mk41 VLS and LRASM also gives us access to surface launched TLAM and SM3 for ballistic missile defence and more. Assuming the cost is in the same ball park as developing, fitting and maintaining Perseus, I don’t know if it is, what am I missing? Mk41 and LRASM gives us a solution now and… Read more »

andy reeves
Guest

harpoon seems to have been around forever

Paul T
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Paul T

I’m not offering any expertise here by any means but here is my guess,the proposed FC/ASW will go to the Type 26’s (via mk41 vls) ,HMS Glasgow should be operational by 2027 by all accounts so pending delays to either (and of course funding) similar timescales.For now id go for NSM,looks to be a cheaper option,Canister Launched so has the ability to be swapped around Ships (T45,T23,T31) plus can be used with the F35 too albeit externally only on the ‘B’,will look at other peoples contenders here with interest.

dadsarmy
Guest
dadsarmy

Yes that would be mine – NSM / JSM.

Steve Taylor
Guest

Across the Pond in naval circles there has been a lot of talk over the last few years about the surface fleet’s lack of lethality. And many are advocating bolting missiles on to all manner of hulls. There is a notable discrepancy between the many ISRT systems (and all that data they generate) and hard / kinetic kill systems. Funnily I have discussed our lack of such weapons with RN bods and they said to me we don’t need them because we are on the USN’s side….go figure. So i wonder if this sudden interest in such systems is being… Read more »

Rob N
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Rob N

I think the USN drive for more antiship missiles is driven by China and the fact that the USN has been fixated on land support for the last few years not Blue Water fleet on fleet opperations.

It is tome that both the US and UK tool up to face China and a Russia which is growing in naval power.

Rob

Steve Taylor
Guest

Yes. For far too long it has been air power is all. And SSN’s too.

We could make do with 20 or so escorts as long as the escorts are armed to the teeth.

Bloke down the pub
Guest

In my view, whichever option is chosen, the missile should be capable of attacking land targets. The least value for money weapons are the ones that sit on the shelf and never get used. The chances of a conflict where we need to engage targets on land are far greater than one where we’re in a near peer battle at sea.

Tom
Guest
Tom

HMS Glamorgan fired her Sea Slug at a land target once , totally obliterated the target , destroyed the sensors recording the test and one of the boosters destroyed the head techie car .
This was before the days of health and safety and being a 500 yards in a bunker was deemed safe but not for your car.

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

At polly we had a sea slug radar which we used as a learning aid. It was easy to work on as it still used valve based amplifiers. You could actually see it working.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Welcome news.

Something is better than nothing.

Nicholas
Guest
Nicholas

Yes

Nicholas
Guest
Nicholas

I’d be interested to hear your opinion on this beyond the fact that this development has to be good news. Looking at it from outside there has to have been some serious mismanagement. Harpoon’s lifecycle is a know quantity, extensions apart, future weapons projects whilst not entirely predictable are known to be long term, even in RN terms. So why, with a fleet not exactly bursting with offensive lethality do we find ourselves scratching around for an interim solution for one of the RN’s primary purposes? Parsimony is a likely factor, so too is a fair amount of poor planning.… Read more »

4thwatch
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4thwatch

‘that the RN has an unrealistic view. Like in 1916 being unprepared to fight in the dark which cost us Jutland!

David
Guest
David

…. so does this mean all 6 Type 45s will finally get anti ship missiles? With so few hulls in the fleet, all need to be equipped as best as possible.

With much chagrin, I fear the government will penny pinch again and the RN will end up not getting half of what’s truly needed…. or worse still, something has to get cut to fund it.

British defence procurement – what a shambles!

T.S
Guest

I have a suspicion that the F35 programme will be halted at 48 for some time to cover the short fall in the equipment plan. The treasury keep stating that the MOD must live within its means, and they are likely to look at the fact that will be able to deploy 24 F35 plus allies on a carrier with what we will have and delay the next order until the next spending plan. This is what may be leading to the rumours of mothballing PoW, as there will be no spare jets to operate of it for the first… Read more »

James M
Guest
James M

I think it’s more likely that the RN push for the full 138 Lightning so they can justify both carriers and the RAF so they can properly replace Tornado and do some publicity stuff.
My money would be on the Army getting shafted when the other two branches have a vested interest in getting the full complement of F-35.

Shame it has to be a competition really, it’d be much better if we had the defence budget to buy what we need in the numbers we need. Parliament could start by actually spending 2% GDP and not artificially inflating the figures.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

“This is what may be leading to the rumours of mothballing PoW, as there will be no spare jets to operate of it for the first 10 years” It may well be fuelling the rumours but what needs to be remembered is the fact operating both QEC with air groups to match at the same time has NEVER been in the plan. The SDSR charts released clearly showed 1 Carrier and 1 LPD in service and 1 Carrier and LPD in reserve, so the capability is always available. POW in reserve but available within a certain time and occasionally in… Read more »

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

T.S., How about we cut foreign aid instead.

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

It’s good to send aid overseas Stephen, it contributes to our soft power ranking.

Steve Taylor
Guest

No it doesn’t. Our soft power comes from other sources such as the City, being one of the P5, membership of most worlds international and intergovernmental organisations, etc Our aid money, which we have to borrow, is mostly squandered.

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

Steve Taylor Yes it does The methodology for the soft power index (which we are number one) uses data from six catagories, one of this is called engagement. “The strength of a country’s diplomatic network and its contribution to global engagement and development” Go have a look, the amount or money a country spends overseas contributes significantly. From our own treasury white paper “It stated that ‘UK leadership in [tackling poverty] will cement our global moral leadership, and make a strong contribution to the UK’s soft power and our ability to project our influence across the globe.’ I’m regards to… Read more »

Lee1
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Lee1

@Steve Taylor Foreign Aid is a big win for the UK if it is used in the right way. It can help reduce the likely hood that states move their allegiance to China (Who are practically buying Africa right now) and can help stop people turning to terrorism. It also sends a very good message to these countries that we are friends and that we want to help. That counts for a lot the next time we are in a big war and need the material help of other countries. Bearing in mind the mess we have created all over… Read more »

Elliott
Guest
Elliott

“Can help stop people from turning to terrorism” – Foreign Aid is not meant to be bribery and protection money to not be a criminal. If the choice is aid or a bombing raid/drone strike one is permanent the other is a mouse asking for a cookie then asking for a glass of milk.
Soft Power is merely a sop for progressives and pacifists to feel good. What it amounts to is a foreign policy based on wishful thinking and theft of tax revenues, followed by handing those taxes to foreign countries.

Rob N
Guest
Rob N

You know what they will do… buy less then we need then put thoses in a dhed and only take a few out at a time for a handfull of ships.

Because as we all know we will have years to prepare for the next conflict.!

So when Spain invades the rock we will have nothing ready,

Rob

Frank62
Guest
Frank62

For goodness sake get on with it-chose one & buy them so our ships have this essential capability. Wars kick off famously before we’re ready, but the last 20 years have been a race to be as ill-prepared & weak as possible.

David Flandry
Guest
David Flandry

Well, they have to run a decision support matrix in order to optimize the value over a life-cycle approach to inventory management and then….

dave12
Guest
dave12

Thank god they are seeing some sort of sense ,now can we have the sea ram system for our carriers please,asking for too much?

Sean
Guest
Sean

My guess would be canister launched system for the T23’s still in service and maybe first T26, with them all going to the T31e’s eventually. It would help with hitting the T31e optimistic budget cap by recycling as much as possible from retiring ships.
It may even end up being deployed like Phalanx, bolted onto whichever ship happens to be going to sea, with it being removed during long lay-ups for use aboard another vessel.

Nick Bowman
Guest
Nick Bowman

Assuming funds are found to support this… If we choose LRASM, it be available for Type 26 and Type 31 but not for Type 45 or Type 23 without significant modifications to the ships because the missile needs a Mk41 VLS. It could be launched from F35 but not carried internally. It’s a sophisticated missile with the ability to differentiate between targets and resist jamming…but its slow. If we choose RBS-15 Mk3, we’ll have to modify all ships because it’s not compatible with any vertical launch system. It has waypoint following abilities and good EW resistance. It also has long… Read more »

Dwayne Campbell
Guest
Dwayne Campbell

Just a slight ammendment. The NSM can only be carried externally on the F35b variant, so it will break the F35b’s low observable radar cross section in some or even all angles. Other than this good post 🙂

farouk
Guest
farouk

Couldn’t make it up if you tried, the MOD and Government have known about this shortfall for a number of years and yet only now do they start looking. What a joke.

dadsarmy
Guest
dadsarmy

Good news, timely, in time, and no joke at all.

farouk
Guest
farouk

Dads rmy wrote: Good news, timely, in time, and no joke at all. From Sept 2017: The Royal Navy Faces a Frightening Future Without Anti-Ship Missiles Right now, the Royal Navy’s main surface-to-surface anti-ship weapon is the over-the-horizon Harpoon missile, which is also the primary equivalent weapon in service with the U.S. Navy since 1977. Back then, the missile soon became a workhorse that provided considerable range compared to other anti-ship weapons at the time. With the advent of new Chinese and Russian anti-ship missiles proliferating around the world, however, that is no longer the case. And unlike the U.S.… Read more »

Martin
Guest
Martin

LRASM would be an amazing uplift in the capability if T23 and T21 is a deck launch option can be installed. LRASM would also be complimentary to a future Pegasus type weapon with one Low slow and stealthy and the other higher and faster and both can provide land Attack which is by far the most likely use. Million dollar missiles that can only sink ships are a waste of money as the chance of them being used are close to zero. LRASM would be worth spending on, if we can’t afford it then simply upgrading harpoon stock which cost… Read more »

T.S
Guest

Agree, the number of missiles a ship can carry looks to become more and more important with swarming drones and the like becoming a reality. We should not be building any warships without a decent number of cells in my opinion, 24-36 for low end, 48-60 for mid range, and 72 plus for a top end ship. I believe our next destroyer must have 100 plus, and replacements for ships such as the Albion’s should have a limited capability too. With so few ships, more need to be able to contribute in order to survive. The other option, which may… Read more »

Martin
Guest
Martin

Problem is the UK always thinks small. Trying getting an arsenal ship with 500 VLS cells designed to shoot half a billion dollars worth of missile in an hour past the treasury in the UK. The treasury is the main reason not a single British surface ship is fitted with Mk41 VLS despite being designed for them with T45. The treaury has to pay for cruise missiles from the contingency fund. They are ok with an SSN firing of 6 on the first night of an operation but no chance they would allow a surface ship to shoot 50 plus… Read more »

Martin
Guest
Martin

http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php/news/naval-exhibitions/2018/sna-2018/5877-lockheed-martin-studying-integration-of-lrasm-anti-ship-missile-on-usv-platforms.html

A proposal to stick LRASM on an 85 tone speed boat

https://www.baesystems.com/en/download-en/20180529232224/1434614211149.pdf

BAE deck launcher offering Mk41 capability.

We should rapidly invest in these for T23 and possibly T45 as well. Then we can significantly increase the utility of our entire surface fleet with weapons like ASROC, LRASM and TLAM.

Gunbuster
Guest
Gunbuster

Well the request for information goes some way to explaining to people why modern weapons systems are not plug and play and it requires a long , long time to procure and to get the associated infrastructure and support in place. Looking at the PIN and the follow on questions I have little doubt that the RN will go with Harpoon 2+. The requirements to get the thing in service quickly and cheaply are all weighted in Harpoons favour. 1. Its currently in service and fitted to or for on most FF/DD. The wiring and control panel fits will be… Read more »

Martin
Guest
Martin

That’s true but LRASM is highly likely to be the replacement for TLAM rather than stormshadow. An Anglo France hypersonic Perseus type weapon is too short range for TLAM replacement and it’s difficult to get a hypersonic missile to fly so far without it being massive. So Perseus will be the storm shadow replacement with inbuilt anti ship capability.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Gunbuster, I thought the whole argument against retaining an older generation heavyweight anti ship missile was that you can’t use them and what’s needed is something that can be used by a western nation in a limited conflict. Harpoon has a bit of a record for hitting any old thing in its way, which would lead to an instant lost war for a western nation if it hit a cruise liner. Some totalitarian states that will remain nameless can get away with being more indiscriminate, the RN can’t. So I agree pragmatically harpoon 2 seems the best option, but politically… Read more »

Gunbuster
Guest
Gunbuster

Harpoon 2+ has a data link so you can pick what its going to hit. It will be man in the loop and not fire and forget

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

It might be worthwhile waiting to see what the final outcome of Brexit is, buy the NSM short term, cancel the joint development of Perseus with France, and undertake future development of Perseus with Norway as a joint venture instead?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_Strike_Missile

Julian
Guest
Julian

How is this Perseus development being done and how much money has been sunk so far? The stuff I’ve seen seems to all mention MBDA. Is it MBDA doing the work with development costs jointly funded by U.K. & France? Given that MBDA did all the other SPEAR stuff is MBDA locked in as the ultimate manufacturer? If that is the case then I can see a shift to a Norwegian partnership being difficult unless it is felt acceptable to write off all dev costs to date and start again. MBDA is joint U.K./French/Italian owned but would the Norwegian government… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

I also forgot to mention that a land base option is available which would free up escorts for other taskings.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGkaVm-mDyw

Mr Bell
Guest

Agree we might as well save as much money now by cancelling Perseus before the French steal all the technology and cancel it anyway. NSM is the only answer with LRASM 2nd best option. NSM gives the UK a weapon that can attack land or sea targets, is stealthy, has a reasonable range and can be launched from cannisters (type 31 and River batch 2s + RFA) or mk41 vl via type 26 and ideally type 45 retrofitted. I agree with Steve up arm all possible vessels, collective defence amongst the fleet with as many platforms as possible armed with… Read more »

Nick C
Guest
Nick C

I think that this should be good news, provided that the bean counters actually allow some money to fund the programme. I am with Gunbuster on this one, Harpoon is a shoo in given the existing infrastructure, for fitting, training and maintenance. Changing the subject completely, I have just received the response to Andy’ petition regarding the FSS programme. A typically weaselly response, which succeeds in contradicting itself. I have already sent it to my MP and told him that it is up to the government to get this right, if they want to support maritime industry they have an… Read more »

Bill
Guest

What blue water Navy takes ten years to fit an anti ship missile worthy of the name? I am so sick and tired of the amateurs at the MOD and the procurement agency continually risking British lives with sub standard kit while spewing garbage about our huge defence budget which buys less than any other nation out there. Warehouses full of decent kit all greased up and nowhere to go. We’re going to need a huge one for the POW! 12 F35s on an aircraft carrier by 2023. Cosmic. Embarrassing, pathetic posturing. Any UK government does not have the nuts… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

“Warehouses full of decent kit all greased up and nowhere to go.” Which warehouses and which kit please? Curious. “12 F35s on an aircraft carrier by 2023. Cosmic. Embarrassing, pathetic posturing.” Compared to WHO? The USA? Name the countries who operate carrier type vessels out of the 195 nations in the world today. Or see this: https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/navy-ships/g2412/a-global-roundup-of-aircraft-carriers/ “huge defence budget which buys less than any other nation out there.” On this I agree. As far as numbers of armoured vehicles, planes, and ships go. The UK also has cutting edge ISTAR platforms, C3 systems across the MoD and intelligence community… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

I’ve had rants like that here over the years.

I agree.

Migrants come here because we are a successful country, with low unemployment, jobs, and good benefits. Why else. My cousins son has moved here from Italy. To work. Because there are no jobs in Italy. Italy! A modern, western European nation.

I feel British people are naturally modest, or put themselves down too much.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I’m not sure it’s the British people, it’s the fact the media culture in this county is quit frankly toxic and controlled by a small clic of individuals who are only out to push their narrow interest so areas of national interest like promoting how lucky we are and influential as a nation are never put forward, we also never really get down to the bits that need changing like health inequalities etc….

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Yep fair comment Jonathan.

Lee1
Guest
Lee1

The tabloid media run stories about doom and gloom because that is what their readership want to read. It is simple really… Don’t blame the media blame the people that buy the papers because if they bought papers based on positivity then that is what they would all contain.

Martin
Guest
Martin

The USA spends $70,000 to equip each soldier in its army. China spends $1500. Who’s going to win? France can even deploy a modest and lightly armed forces across the Mediterranean without Uk and US logistics. High end militaries cost a lot but keeping them in effective order and trained is extremely expensive. This is what makes the USA a super power. It has the best part of 1milliin men ready to go. For all our small size and small Budget the UK can deploy a full division any where in the world, indeed in 1982 is conducted probably the… Read more »

pkcasimir
Guest
pkcasimir

The figure of $70,000 to equip a US soldier is totally fraudulent as is the figure of $1500 to equip a Chinese soldier. Try dealing in facts not figures pulled out of thin air.
There is absolutely no way the UK can deploy a combat division anywhere in the world without US aid. And if you think it can, you’ve been smoking funny cigarettes.

OOA
Guest
OOA

The Russians have a saying which goes something like, “there’s nothing so permanent as temporary things”..

Gavin Gordon
Guest

Cannister launch best bet due to costing, short term requirement and flexibility (ease of transfer between assets and reloading at sea, for instance). With regard to the actual capability; range and speed with this requirement less important than target designation, particularly within the littoral.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

I must say there is a whole lot of moaning going on!

Maybe if the situation had remained as before with Harpoon out of service with no replacement would have been better….

Topboy
Guest
Topboy

Go for the harpoon. Cheapest, easiest to integrate until we get Perseus

Steve
Guest
Steve

We should be thinking a bit more tactically/long term. The odds of Perseus being massively delayed is high and so whatever capability we buy, it needs to be able to cover a fairly long gap. Harpoon2 seems an easy option, but it is odd that the USN has not gone down this route, which indicates to me that it might not be that effective as it might seem. From what little info we know about Harpoon, it seems it is currently completely obsolete and would be of almost zero use against a near peer opponent. We need a replacement that… Read more »

Lee1
Guest
Lee1

As far as I know the US military is looking for a long term solution so Harpoon 2 is not ideal for them. However we are looking for a cost effective short term solution as our long term solution is in the works and looks impressive.

Gavin Gordon
Guest

Tangentally but valid with regard to ASM assets; there is an unsubstaniated rumour that the RN have not adopted the Sea Ceptor’s developed anti-surface capability, even though it is not difficult to see a current requirement. Anyone knowledgeable enough to repudiate or otherwise?
I know that Ceptor’s only classified for ‘annoying’ small vessels, but it seems roughly equivalent to a WWII light cruiser armament. I don’t know how many skippers, no matter how large or nominally capable their command, who would relish half a dozen 6 inch shells winging their way in quick succession.

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

Gavin – If that rumour is correct its could be a cunning tactical ploy to get a genuine ASM rather than make do with an adaptation of another type.

Mr Bell
Guest

A budget of upto £200 million for anti ship missiles will probably only provide 150 missiles. Once integration, training and associated hardware factored in. That is a small arsenal really. I would have preferred a budget allocation of £350-500 million and save the cash by leaving Perseus before the French do. NSM fulfills all the requirements and is flexible enough to fit into cannisters, VLS or air launched by F35Bs. Just need a large budget allocation. Meanwhile the Chinese are mass producing frigates and destroys (see the type 55 design) they are undertaking missile load out maths. Whoever brings the… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Generally speaking going head to head in a who has more guns is not the best way to win a naval conflict even if you are dominant, knifing them in the back while they are still inbed works best.

The RN are the masters of this…..BA22 8JR…..

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

We do actually need to get a missile that a western navy will be allowed to fire in the sort of likely conflicts the RN will be forced to fight, big dumb Heavyweight anti ship missiles like harpoon 2 are effectively useless in anything less a very simplistic bluewater engagement (or WW3), anywhere you are likely to actually going to need to fight will be complex and full of neutral shipping and civilians. The quickest way for a western power to loss a war will be to hit a cruise ship ( 4 thousand dead innocents is an instant lose… Read more »

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

Jonathan, Canberra, QE2 and 1982 spring to mind.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Oh yes it’s a western democracy issue as wars are won through national will as much as anything. Seeing the RN accidental kill 4000-5000 random civilians by accident would remove the national will to fight a specific war very quickly.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Hi. Captain P, they were combatants at the time, I’m talking about a boat load of random civilians. They are all over the place.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Unfortunately, most countries we could end in conflict with will not give 24 hours notice for all the floating hotels to please leave the area, many would use the confused picture to force a bastard of a decision on the RN. If I was the Iran navy planning an operation against the RN and I knew their ASMs were a bit dumb and force a ROE that prevented firing in a busy sea lane I would use those ships packed with 4000 civilians as a way to kill the RN ship. Not buying a weakness ( the missiles that has… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

🙂

JohnHartley
Guest
JohnHartley

The Harpoon 1 we have at the moment may be too risky to fire in a mixed situation, but Harpoon 2+ has the data link, so you can redirect it if you see it locking on to a cruise ship.

Rob Young
Guest
Rob Young

Are we ever going to face Russia or China by ourselves? No? Most of our likely opponents are not our equals. Our two most likely opponents in terms of us being attacked are not very likely. If Spain attacks, a lot of other people will soon be involved – if not, well, Spain is not our equal – do they want Gibraltar more than those two cities in Morocco or all those islands they own? If Argentina attacks, seriously? Meanwhile, if we are doing the attacking it will (hopefully) always in conjunction with others. Let’s face, the only equivalent European… Read more »

GWM
Guest
GWM

I wouldn’t be surprised if they went for the latest version of Exocet, it has target recognition and would keep the French from throwing their toys out on the joint MBDA project.

Gunbuster
Guest
Gunbuster

God no…
As a former exocet maintainer…. just NO!!!!

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

That bad ?

GWM
Guest
GWM

What was the problem,the latest version doesn’t have much in common with the one we used.

Julian
Guest
Julian

I would be sad to see Perseus cancelled. If it can live up to the concept specs, and MBDA do have a good track record of delivering world-class products, it would be in a whole different league to NSM for instance. Warhead-wise it might even be comparable to LRASM. LRASM might have 50% more explosive than the tentative Perseus spec (450kg vs 300kg for Perseus when Perseus’s two effectors are included) but with Perseus intended to be hypersonic at something like Mach 5 it would be bringing a lot more kinetic energy than LRASM to the target in addition to… Read more »

OOA
Guest
OOA

Maybe we can buy a few bargain NSMs that the Norwegians fished out of their frigate. Scrape the barnacles off, few squirts of WD40 and all hail defence cooperation!

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.popularmechanics.com/military/navy-ships/amp26670037/salvagers-raise-sunken-norwegian-frigate-helge-ingstad/

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

Potentially good news on minute!

“MPs debate Carrier Strike strategy amidst rumours HMS Prince of Wales could be mothballed.”
https://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/mps-debate-carrier-strike-strategy-amidst-rumours-hms-prince-of-wales-could-be-mothballed/

Martin
Guest
Martin

Same old made up story, no one will sell Prince of Wales as no one will buy it. As with the Albion LPD’s we might expect to see one CVF at Low readiness status but that’s not the end of the world. Your only likely to need two full armed once in a generation.

Steve Taylor
Guest

The MoD are selling the idea a little too hard that we are buying a USN CBG capability when we are not. We only really operated 2 of 3 Invincibles, it wasn’t really 3 for 1 as we used to operate destroyers and frigates back when we had 30 plus escorts during the Cold War. The USN CBG is deployed as much for deterrence as anything else to do that they have to be at sea. We will trot out a QE more in a supporting role rather like how the old fleets used to go for their summer cruises.… Read more »

Martin
Guest
Martin

In fairness to he French they have been massively supportive of the MBDA collaboration with the UK even selecting sea venom for development when they really did not need it.

MBDA has been a major boon for European and British Defence giving us some of the most effective weapons in the world.

It’s also a bit prejudiced to state that France is nicking our technology (it’s probably true for UCAV’s) but the French have a better track record the us in deploying high end missiles.

Mr Bell
Guest

Really??? Anyone remember the actual facts and history of the Eurofighter typhoon programme??. France involved from the early stages. Then just as it’s going into production France withdraw and build the near identical Rafale. Which they then proceed to undercut and sell internationally. Generating billions of Euros into the French economy and stealing sales from the Eurofighter typhoon consortium, crucially Rafale has much of the technology from Eurofighter onboard. Great partners.

David Flandry
Guest
David Flandry

The RAF had a good ASM , Sea Eagle, comparable to Exocet that could be fitted with a booster to enable a SSM capability. Old design yes, but so is Harpoon and Exocet. So remanufacture everything with new avionics and upgrade engines, warhead etc. If little Norway and Israel can make anti ship missiles then why can’t the UK.
“Perfect is the enemy of good enough”.

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

Indeed David, A single Buccaneer could carry 4 of them bad boys at heights as low as Wave Tips, at stupid Speeds. Launched via Cats.
Harriers could carry one or two, too.
Not sure they sank any ships in anger though.

Tom
Guest
Tom

The sea eagle was superior to the exocet but was never developed properly by the BAe .
Another very good missile that we failed to develop.

Gunbuster
Guest
Gunbuster

The Indians deploy it on Sea kings!

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

Sea Eagle may have had more development if the MOD had chosen it for Ship launch as well as Air Launched,obviously they chose Harpoon instead.

JohnHartley
Guest
JohnHartley

What is that guided land attack rocket the Israelis are fitting to angled deck launch cannisters on their latest surface ships?
I suspect that T45 is big enough to take 8x Harpoon block 2+, and 8x Israeli land attack rockets.

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

JohnHartley – the Israeli’s have also been a Harpoon user,i cant find anything specific on what will be their next choice.

JohnHartley
Guest
JohnHartley

I may be wrong, but I saw one model of their SA’AR 6 (a stretched German K130 corvette, $480m) that had 16x angled missile launchers. It looked like 8 were Harpoon, while the other 8 were these new Israeli land attack rockets.

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

Been looking at pics etc,on one of the Model it looks like 16 x Harpoon to me,although a Gabriel V is supposed to be in development .

JohnHartley
Guest
JohnHartley

Found it.
TRIGON the naval version of EXTRA.
150 km range, 306mm diameter.

Darren
Guest
Darren

Instead of giving India aid, why not purchase off of our Commonwealth ally, their superdoper anti ship missiles?

GWM
Guest
GWM

Because its Russian made in India what could go wrong.

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

“What could go wrong” ? lol, It could be sent to China to be Reverse Engineered.
The Very thought of a Russian Missile being built in India and then Reverse Engineered in China just fills me with Joy.
If It could just be Copied by “Rocket Man’s” bunch of Independently thinking, free to express themselves, Intellectuals, then my life would be complete.

GWM
Guest
GWM

Think China has reverse engineered it all ready and sells it at a quarter of the price.

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

They have ? What do they call It ?

Nick Bowman
Guest
Nick Bowman

@Johnathan…
You can’t not buy a missile because its only use would be “in WW3”. You have to be able to have the credible ability to fight “WW3” to have the slightest chance of avoiding it. It would be a mistake to build a peacetime military unable to face down the Russians and Chinese who are, incidentally, building their forces to prevail in WW3!

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Hi nick I’m not say that, what I’m saying is if you have the opportunity buy the missile you can use in as many situations as possible, buying the cheaper can only be used in WW3 ROE vs a slightly more expensive can use in most complex ROE situations seems to me to be potentially foolish penny pinching.

J
Guest

If it isn’t nsm then it can only be an upgrade to harpoon, anything else is to expensive or permanent. nsm is a step backwards

Glass Half Full
Guest
Glass Half Full

Perhaps worth considering tiers of ASM capability in order to address what the UK needs, both short term and longer term? Low-Med-High-Ultra High might respectively align to capabilities delivered by Sea Venom – SPEAR 3 – NSM/JSM (or similar) – Supersonic/Hypersonic Perseus (or similar). High and Ultra High merge in the absence of a supersonic/hypersonic option IMV, unless there is a differentiation just based on range. Sea Venom is helicopter delivered short range (20km), primarily anti-Fast Inshore Attack Craft (FIAC) weapon. Might take a Tier 2/3 corvette or higher end vessel out of the fight from sensor damage but launch… Read more »

Daniel John Powell
Guest
Daniel John Powell

I think two option is suitable for British. Maybe 3rd option wildcard – no mention at list.. 1) LRASM as it can replacement Tomahawk rather focus on Anti-ship missiles as it is 300 miles with potential to 1000 miles in reduce normal warhead to small warhead to give more fuel to extend range. Expensive for interims periods but in long term it is worth the money to replacement Tomahawk. It is can carry F35 wing hardpoint 2) JSM/NSM is excellent for interims periods with reasonable price and save money in short term … Bonus is F35 is one it is… Read more »

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

If this is a tactical interrim buy then I would consider Harpoon Block II for T45 and T23 plus NSM or Exocet for T31.

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

No plans for Harpoon launch canisters on Type 26. So what is the point of procuring a ASM that is only deployable on part of the fleet?

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Fair point. I’m reading this discussion as ‘interrim:, which I translate as canister launched.

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

Meiron X – The Type 26 will (hopefully) have MK41 fitted so will have more options regards Missile choice,this initiative is more aimed at T45/23 plus T31 once it actually gets ordered.

Gavin Gordon
Guest

Still assuming the littoral is the most challenging environment, there is a lot to commrnend data-linked optical/IR guidance since light is very much at the ‘advanced’ end of the electromagnetic spectrum. Probably why RN loves these missiles e.g. Venom

Steve Taylor
Guest

The RN loves EW……….

Nick Bowman
Guest
Nick Bowman

Yes, Gunbuster, I agree with you – except the part about F35/Spear 3. The Russians would not likely deploy limited surface assets south of the GIUK gap. So, should this missile purchase be made with consideration of the Chinese threat? How might we respond to a shooting war in the Pacific? Perhaps, LRASM would be a good idea? I still think it will be tempting to choose the only one of these missiles that the F35 can carry internally, though.

Glass Half Full
Guest
Glass Half Full

Perhaps you were responding to my comment given the content of your reply? In any event your comment “The Russians would not likely deploy limited surface assets south of the GIUK gap” probably highlights why the US and UK navies haven’t focused resources on updating ship based ASM up to this point. Neither planned on choosing ship-ship engagements to counter Russian threats and probably still don’t. Surface ships can be very vulnerable to saturation ASM attack from aircraft, especially stealth aircraft, launched well outside the range of the target ship’s ASM to respond. The attacker only has to have one… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Guest

Agreed. Assume the ‘worst’ – Chinese, and you’ve probably got the Russians covered.

Steve Taylor
Guest

@ SS

The government know that DfiD is unpopular. Its whitepaper is questionable. Especially on the figures of returns, especially set against the costs of borrowing the budget in the first place.

12,000 jobs for a budget of 14 billion? Value? Really.

The City and the fact that half the world’s wealth sit in the banks of British overseas territories has more leverage.

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

You can’t argue with facts Steve, it’s not about leverage or what you think is more important and has more clout internationally, that is not how they work out the soft power index, if it was the US would be number one every year. Go and have a look at the soft power index and see how they work it out. “The UK’s objective soft power assets are the foundation of its continued success. Once again across the Engagement, Culture, Education and Digital sub-indices, Britain ranks highly. State institutions such as the British Council and BBC World Service, combined with… Read more »

GWM
Guest
GWM

Not sure but they bought the Russian missile Bramhos is based on and have an their own supersonic missiles in production now.

Fedaykin
Guest

BrahMos is based upon the P-800 Oniks, GRAU index 3M55 and NATO code SS-N-26 Strobile. NPO Mashinostroyeniya started development in 1983 yet it didn’t get accepted into service until 2002, being cynical I would say the only reason that happened was the injection of Indian money from 1998 on when they agreed to jointly develop BrahMos.

GWM
Guest
GWM

Yes India h as paid a lot of money to Russia.

Simon
Guest
Simon

Reading the “Future Anti-Ship Missile Systems” doc from HMG it seems they would like two missiles in one (provided by Anglo-French MBDA):

1. A super/hypersonic ASM – French driven requirement
2. A subsonic stealthy LAM – British driven requirement

This seams like the same seeker and warhead (~250kg) with a modular rocket/ramjet or turbojet powerplant.

I guess this should then fit into a Mk41 and hopefully a 21inch torpedo tube.

NOT FOR THE INTERIM THOUGH 🙁

GWM
Guest
GWM

I think its just the British and French have different ideas ,it may end up as 2 different weapons a hypersonic anti ship and subsonic stealthy land attack.The last info I saw from a French source suggested they wanted a 500 miles range and high speed.Personally I hope its a common weapon and Hypersonic.

Glass Half Full
Guest
Glass Half Full

Perhaps the reason for the French focus is that they already have the Missile de Croisière Naval (MdCN) based on Storm Shadow which is A70 Sylver or torpedo tube launch-able. If SPEAR 4 mid-life update enhancements to Storm Shadow also enables more of an ASM role for air/ship launch, then the French might upgrade their existing surface capabilities that are currently land attack focused. In this scenario the French might consider this good enough for a longer term high level ASM/land attack role, complementing the lower level Exocet MM40 Blk 3. Hence the focus on the very high end super/hypersonic… Read more »

GWM
Guest
GWM

The mid life up date has been reigned back it was once a new active passive infrared sensor and 2 way data link,now it’s just replacing obsolete parts so no real improvement.The hypersonic anti ship comes from the French believing its required to defeat ship defences.As you say they have relatively new systems but air launched Scalp runs out of life in 2030 so has to be replaced with something.

Steve Taylor
Guest

@ SS

Ok.

Glass Half Full
Guest
Glass Half Full

A number of people have suggested LRASM but I wonder how that would compare to an ASM role for Storm Shadow after the SPEAR 4 mid-life update? Perhaps Storm Shadow SPEAR 4 might include an interim air-launched ASM capability? At present LRASM is air-launch only, with MK41 VLS launch as part of OASuW)/Increment 2. Canister and torpedo tube launch are just potential solutions at this time and LRASM is not currently designed for the land attack cruise missile role. However, perhaps the larger issue with LRASM for the UK is timing. Quoting from US Director of Operational Test and Evaluation… Read more »

Rob Marsden
Guest
Rob Marsden

Surprised the Marte hasn’t come up by MBDA would seem like a good fit as it’s already getting integrated into Typhoon for Italy and seems like they have land and ship based launch systems too.

Steve Taylor
Guest

The Italians use Marte (Sea Killer) with Merlin.

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

While Marte has its own merits it all boils down to what platforms this ‘Interim’ solution is supposed to equip,my understanding is that its for -: Type 45,Type 23 and Type 31 (obviously design pending) ,add to that mix use on F35b and P8 Posiedon would be a bonus,whatever is chosen (if at all) has to balance costs/integration etc with all of these.If the requirement was to equip Typhoon and Merlin then yes it would be an ideal choice,as it stands that wont be the case.

john melling
Guest
john melling

Well I’m thinking it should be either the latest RB-15 Mk. III+ & RB 15 F-ER or the NSM

Gunbuster
Guest
Gunbuster

Lots of talking about 300+ Km range missiles and their respective launch platforms. However no one has mentioned hoe to find the target to shoot at. At 300+ km a surface search radar is not going to be any good for seeing a target. You can shoot on an EW bearing line but that is +/- 2 degrees of accuracy on a good day which means there is a good chance that the missile seeker head wont see that target when it arrives as the ship will have moved outside of the seeker head basket during the missile flight time.… Read more »