The interim anti-ship missile would have filled the gap between Harpoon retiring and the ‘Future Cruise/AntiShip Weapon’ entering service.

In 2019, the Ministry of Defence 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 issued a Prior Information Notice (PIN) for a “Next Generation Surface Ship Guided Weapon (SSGW)” to equip Royal Navy vessels. The notice is as follows:

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

When Harpoon exits service in 2023 there will be a serious capability gap until the entry into service of FC/ASW programme in 2030 if the interim missile project does not happen, warned the Defence Committee.

I reported back in September that progress on the interim missile appeared to be slowing down, now we know why.

First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin said at a recent session of the Defence Select Committee.

“Harpoon is going out of service in 2023. We have a capability conversation: do we bring in a relatively modest surface-to-surface weapon—it does not have a very long range and it is not hypersonic—and, if so, how much does it cost? It might be as much as £250 million, just to allow us to have five sets for three ships. When would that be able to come in? It looks like the earliest would be 2026 or 2027.

We have paused what we call the interim surface-to-surface guided weapon programme to force us to say: we accept that there will be a gap as Harpoon comes to the end of its life, but we should reach out to hypersonic weapons and weapons that have plus-1,000 km range. Do we do that with our international partners? That is when you start to look at the future”

The Royal Navy appear to want to gap this capability in the shorter term in order to afford a better solution in the longer term.

Admiral Tony Radakin later added:

“I think the problem that we have is focused around Harpoon, which goes out of date in 2023. We are having a debate about whether we take the sticking-plaster approach of an interim surface-to-surface weapon, which might have what I would call a relatively modest range and might stretch to being land attack, or do we accept that we might have to have more of a gap and go for a more substantial offensive weapon. We do that in partnership with other nations.”

What is the Future Cruise/AntiShip Weapon?

The FC/ASW aims to replace Storm Shadow/SCALP air launched cruise missile in operational service in the UK and France as well as Exocet anti-ship missile in France and Harpoon anti-ship missile in the UK.

However, in September 2021 the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to progress the project was postponed by France in response to the AUKUS pact which saw Australia cancel the acquisition of French-designed conventional submarines in favour of nuclear submarines based on United States and UK technology.

In November the First Sea Lord, Admiral Tony Radakin, told the House of Commons Select Defence Committee that options for FC/ASW were still “being looked at” including potential hypersonic weapons.

“The path that we as a Navy want to go down is absolutely that—longer-range missiles from ships with land attack. To Mr Francois’s point earlier about whether that is in the programme, it is in the programme with money that has been allocated for the future cruise anti-ship weapon, but we are only on the cusp of an assessment phase with the French. We have not delineated that it is going to be weapon X, but we have the budget line that supports that approach.

The exciting thing for the Navy is that the more substantial money is in the longer-term line, with the ambition around the future cruise anti-ship weapon and the French partnership. That has got the money in the line, but I agree with you that if we are operating at the hypersonic level, there is a debate as to whether that is at the back end of this decade or the early 2030s.”

It was also stated recently by Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin that the total spend to date on Future Cruise/Anti-Ship Weapon and associated activities by the Ministry of Defence is £95 million.

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Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
20 days ago

Right bunfight on Navy Lookout, for good reason. Usual thing, 95 million already spend, no missiles. FSGAWM (or whatever) will be cancelled or late.
A smaller versatile missile almost in our inventory could have been fitted in 5 ships for some of that spend…..?
Waiting usual replies…what do I know etc. But its nice to get an early post!!

eclipse
eclipse
20 days ago

While I like the idea of a multi-purpose FC/ASW and arming Type 31 and 32 with Mk.41, I see a few problems with this. The first is that our navy will have no AShM for 7 years, and this is very much a problem. If war breaks out, the only assets that we have that will be of use will be the Astutes, our surface ships will only be capable of self-defence until they inevitably run out of missiles. That is simply unacceptable. Secondly, this means that the Type 45s will have no chance of getting any AShMs as they… Read more »

Paul T
Paul T
20 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

Mmm a couple of points – firstly Sea Ceptor has an Anti-Ship Capabilty,not as big hitting as a dedicated ASM certainly but a Capability nonetheless,secondly the Type 45 doesn’t need the MK41 VLS for ASM,they carry Harpoon just in front of the Bridge.

eclipse
eclipse
20 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

Yes but what about when Harpoon goes out of service, it’s going out of service on the T45s too, isn’t it?

Paul T
Paul T
20 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

Yes it will go out of service,fingers crossed that there will be no major conflict before FC-ASW completes development,but as i said Sea Ceptor covers some of the gap ( better than nothing at all ) for Type 23, 26 and 31,and in a real emergency a UOR can be issued for Type 45 for an off the shelf Cannister Launched System ( the room is there ).Obviously Mk41 for Type 45 is not going to happen but i can’t understand why they went for A50 instead of A70 Sylver when the 45’s were built,this would have opened up other… Read more »

Sean
Sean
20 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

For T26 and possibly T31 (FFBNW) with Mark 41VLS there’s Tomahawk V, an anti-ship missile with a 1,000 mile range. I suspect the RN are viewing this as an alternative if the French no-longer want to joint develop a new missile.

Hermes
Hermes
19 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

You have a point, and its one of the biggest issue for European navies (At least UK/France).

Since the next gen of ASM comes from VLS, with the lack of place in our ships, it will come to be painful…

I pray for a great range on this missile to least give a decent land attack capability.

eclipse
eclipse
18 days ago
Reply to  Hermes

I have listened to Radakin talk (the entire Parliamentary session is on Navy Lookout btw), and he says that the aim is to develop a weapon with 1000km+ range and a land attack capability. I’m going to bring up a controversial idea: the U.K. already doesn’t have an SSM. Can we really call the outdated obsolete Harpoon that we mount on our Type 45s and Type 23s a proper anti ship weapon? And, to be fair, would getting something like NSM actually stand in a war against China’s Type 55s? As a read more into this topic, I think there… Read more »

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
20 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

I dont know if it is a problem. We wont know unless there is a conflict where anti ship missiles launched from another ship demonstrate their effective use. I think the RN is looking ahead and preparing for the 2030s when a conflict with China becomes a distinct possibility. Their current build up of naval forces will yield quantitative and qualitative parity with USN in the 2030s, at least for surface warships. We will need long range hypersonic weapons by then. If saving 150 million now (100 million already spent? ?) increases the chances of getting such advanced weapons in… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
20 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

This might be a silly suggestion but CPU s the Aster 30+ be given an AShM capability? It’s almost hypersonic itself?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
20 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

CPUs… no idea where they came from..
was meant to be… has the…

AlexS
AlexS
20 days ago

The enemy knows RN have no SSM’s so can maximizes their VLS for their own SSM’s
Instead of say 60 SSM and 60 SAM can put instead 90 SSM and 30 SAM

David Steeper
20 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Unless there are Astutes in the area.

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
20 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Not enough of these either…

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Or if the conflict involves allies beyond the RN. You can hardly nip back to port to change things when you spot a US or other ship across the horizon. Hardly ideal mind to put it lightly.

Last edited 20 days ago by Spyinthesky
David Steeper
20 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Yeah good point. When you consider possible conflicts we might be involved in it’s hard to think of one where we’d be alone. I know some might say Falklands but Argentina is no threat for at least the next 10 or even more years.

Last edited 20 days ago by David Steeper
Paul.P
Paul.P
19 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

 “do we accept that we might have to have more of a gap and go for a more substantial offensive weapon. We do that in partnership with other nations.”

James Fennell
James Fennell
18 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Highly unlikely to fight a peer nation with those resources on our own – and if we fit VLS to Type 31 as a result of cancelling I-SSGW we can load them up with missiles bought as UORs if FCASW not ready.

Also as I already said, getting a surface ship into the range where I-SSGW would be useful is probably suicidal. Its only real utility is for last ditch defence.

Last edited 18 days ago by James Fennell
Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
20 days ago

The RN have shepherded their financial resources whilst providing pretty good value for money to date – at least in terms of other UK military parameters we have for comparison. Now, unless FCASW is further advanced than we’re advised, which appears not to be the case with the latest French response, this I-ASM call starts to look a little too much of a gamble. The Chinese are currently increasing all naval combatant production at a very high rate; to the extent that, by around the end of this decade, they will have numbers approaching comparison with those fielded by the… Read more »

Tommo
Tommo
20 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

“If you seek peace, prepare for War” But I don’t think PRC are out there looking For Peace at this present time ask Taiwan regular air incursions it’s just a matter of time

Knight7572
Knight7572
20 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

and yet can they sustain it long-term

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
19 days ago
Reply to  Knight7572

Dunno, Knight. But looks a credible possibility to date!
During the Select Committee proceedings, the axiom that 1SL could always find a use for more funding was raised, only partly in jest. To my impression, the ‘conversation’ that seemed most orientated around funding was the I-SSGW. Just recently it was ‘essential’; so, trying to balance a shoestring budget? Even assuming that development of FCASW or similar goes well, it’s cost must be significant.
So, with reference to your question, ‘How long can we?’

Max
Max
20 days ago

Just a question
What is the next largest navy without a surface missile? While the logic is understandable it’s embarrassing and dangerous and another blunder in acquisition of military equipment

AlexS
AlexS
20 days ago
Reply to  Max

I don’t think there is any “largest”. or even medium navy without an SSM except Royal Navy.

eclipse
eclipse
20 days ago
Reply to  Max

The RN will be the worlds only ocean going, let alone blue water, navy without it. Even countries like Bangladesh have stuck SSMs on to their corvettes and frigates.

Frank62
Frank62
19 days ago
Reply to  Max

There’s always spin BS but there is no defence in reality to leaving our escorts to be blown away before any other weapons can be bought within range of another warship. Japan, S Korea, Taiwan, India & others all produce their own AShMs, even supersonic ones or more, yet we can’t be bothered to even but one off the shelf. The nation is being apallingly failed by our leaders.

Hermes
Hermes
19 days ago
Reply to  Max

Will the Harpoon really need to be out ?
They really cant be updated for small cost ? Or at least just extend service life ?

Phil Chadwick
Phil Chadwick
20 days ago

The correct decision. What is the point in spending needless hundreds of millions on what is in effect, sticking plaster when the Royal Navy is unlikely to be going into action against an adversary in the next 10 or so years? Better to focus on what can be developed for the future, spend wisely and stop throwing money down the drain.

Andrew D
Andrew D
20 days ago
Reply to  Phil Chadwick

See were your coming from Phil in the long run ,but let’s face it having a sticking plaster could keep you in the fight 🚀

Frank62
Frank62
19 days ago
Reply to  Phil Chadwick

Sticking plaster or leave an open bleeding wound? All our escorts are half defeated with no AShM fitted. May as well have a house but no doors fitted.

David Steeper
20 days ago

Well this is what we pay our Admirals for. Big call by him. As to whether to go French or US well I think we should keep our options open. Yes Macron is a …. but he’ll be gone next year. As to US well F35 tells you the upside and the downside. Quality kit but there’s no collaboration. You take what your given or you walk away. On US there’s a new law going through congress that’ll make it virtually impossible to sell the US military anything. Stick my neck out go with France and FC/ASW.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
20 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Big call: correct call.

Remain laser focused on weapons that are truly useful.

Keeping carp on board wastes resources and prevents focus on getting the right Weinstein for the job.

David Steeper
20 days ago

Agreed the Army and Ajax show what happens when the people in charge don’t have the balls to make a big call.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago

Geez why stop at Weinstein when we can get an Epstein.with a little help from Andy.

Tommo
Tommo
19 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Like I said too Andy a long time ago Oi watch the Deck it’s wet paint sir

Tommo
Tommo
20 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

The yanks got a good run out of the Harrier after West Germany got the 103 widow maker sorry starfighter

Tommo
Tommo
20 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

What I meant really was the yanks are keen too get great innovations like the Harrier and build on them whilst at the same time selling some really dodgy stuff

David Steeper
20 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Yeah but they’ve changed the laws on overseas procurement since the Harrier. It’s why Bae,RR etc have all had to build factories over there. Go on a US politics site and they’re even going to make it harder for the US military to buy from overseas. The US military wanted to buy Brimstone there was no US equivalent so no threat to US defence companies and still Congress blocked even considering it. US politics is pure corruption sorry ‘campaign contributions’ and building factories in congressional districts.

Tommo
Tommo
20 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Yep we’re working for the Yankee dollar

Andy P
Andy P
19 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

You could write a song about that…. 🤔

Tommo
Tommo
19 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

Showing your age there Andy you’ll end up on the Skids

Andy P
Andy P
19 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

😂 I’m a big fan of Big Country/Skids. Dunfermline FC still play Into the Valley at the start of their games, choon.

You’re right about getting into bed with the Yanks(in my humble opinion) though, you’re never going to be the ‘big spoon’.

Tommo
Tommo
19 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

Tony blairs still got the Collar that GW Bush lead him round with from 50/50 to 90/10 and not in our favour

Andy P
Andy P
19 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

😱 😂

David Steeper
19 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Jesus that’s an image i’m not going to get out of my head anytime soon. LOL

Tommo
Tommo
19 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

But what a home movie in the Bush archive’s

David Steeper
19 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

😂

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
20 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Is like to see a muscled up Sea Brimstone for the Interim AShMs with some LAM ability? Be creative, back British industry, build it and get it on all our surface ships. If we don’t use it, it can be repurposed for Coastal or Land use. Alternatively we can but NSM which (I think) does all these too. 😄

David Steeper
20 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Developing it would cost money I don’t think exists in the budget. There are no shortage of things that need cash I don’t think that would be a runner.

Knight7572
Knight7572
20 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

You hope Macron loses but right now, the polls project he will win

David Steeper
20 days ago
Reply to  Knight7572

I do. He’ll probably make it to the run off but can’t see him getting 51%. His only hope is that Marine Le Pen is the other candidate. The majority of the French are not happy with him.

Hermes
Hermes
19 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

As a french let me tell you a sad story about the french. We are stupid about politics… Well I know, its not a french trait :sick:. But, even if Macron is not really well loved, the fact is, the rest of the politicians are not much loved. So, if you give us the choice between Macron and another shitty politicians, Macron will win. And since for the moment we dont see any real opponent, french are so much divided when comes to politics… Very hard to give a real estimation but it will not surprise me if Macron back… Read more »

David Steeper
19 days ago
Reply to  Hermes

Well there’s 6 months I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Hermes
Hermes
19 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

I’ve a headache just to think about it.

If I had been British, I would have made popcorn for the French elections.

Jonathan
Jonathan
19 days ago
Reply to  Hermes

There you go Anglo french relationship in a nutshell, we are both led by donkeys and our democracy gives us choices between a donkey and mule, meaning both nations get lead by asses.

Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts
20 days ago

Ok, the decision is understandable if not disappointing. But I see the logic to go for the step changes of hypersonic and long-range. Let’s hope that between now and the first FC/ASW delivery our ships don’t get caught up in any major conflicts.

Last edited 20 days ago by Bringer of Facts
Tommo
Tommo
20 days ago

We’re still in the Gates whilst other countries are galloping ahead with Hyposonic weapons knowing us Brits we’ll be looking at developing a Railgun

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Still think Railguns may have a future just one where they have been re-evaluated and in a different form. They just presently form a this or that equation with hypersonics and the latter is the better bet as things stand. But more importantly only the Chinese and Russians have operational hypersonics as it stands, the US hope to start fielding them in ‘finished’ form over spin versions by about 2024 but how effective they will be is difficult to judge even if they meet that as tests are hardly giving great confidence in so doing. Not sure what the options… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
20 days ago

Agree BOF, but potentially very risky decision short-term. It’ll just take one little silly incident to happen in the Baltic’s, Med, Indo-Pacific and it’s all on and we mayn’t have adequate firepower to counter China-Russia’s ships and subs missile armoury. Why the fuss over £250m when way more has been wasted and mismanaged else where?

Ron
Ron
20 days ago

Two silly questions for many but honest ones. Is it possible to upgrade the current RN Harpoon stock to a more modern version? I have noticed that several nations are buying Harpoon for their new ships. If upgrades are not possible does NATO have a weapons reserve/pool that the RN could use? Otherwise what is the RN meant to use, we do not have enough Astute’s to be everywhere, we cannot depend on the F35Bs as, well we don’t have enough. Even now if I understand correctly the 10 of F35Bs that were on Big Lizzie have returned to the… Read more »

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
20 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Ordinance has a shelf life, the electrical and mechanical components, solid fuel and explosives will deteriorate over time so eventually you have to recondition (very dangerous and costly) or replace your munitions with freshly manufactured ones (about every 15-20 years give or take). Boeing have stopped upgrading the Harpoon, a couple of upgrade programmes got cancelled in the middle of the last decade and its capability remains a turn of the millennium capability level. The US now sees it not as something to purchase for itself (its transitioning to Norways Naval Strike Missiles NSM) but as something to sell to… Read more »

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
20 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Hi Ron, I’m with you on this. Surely they can afford to upgrade or buy one for one replacements with the latest Harpoon? Easy fit and familiarity already on all T32/45s. Waiting for 7+ years for something that may get even further delayed I think is putting our few navsl assets and people at risk. We’re showing weakness not “balls” here. Surely they’ll be a need for a “littorial engagement” AShm (that can be non-VLS) that fits between the Marlet/Venom and LSRAM/ FC/ASW? The Canadians are putting NSMs on their T26s, that’s something we can do too if we choose,… Read more »

Jason M Holmes
Jason M Holmes
20 days ago

I am not surprised, as we sure do love our capability gaps in the UK forces.

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
20 days ago
Reply to  Jason M Holmes

I’d call it “fighting with fresh air”…

Tommo
Tommo
18 days ago
Reply to  Quentin Drury

And “Harsh Words” Quentin

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
18 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Lol…yes, i do rant on a bit on this. Hey, I’m not alone. There’s a good spread of views on this site.

Tommo
Tommo
18 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I hope that someone at Whitehall has access too UKDJ threads such as this one and takes note of our dissolution of how the MOD seems that “Fingerscrossed” is the way forward not “Making Hay while the Sunshines” ie preparing for the future ,not the past Quentin

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
20 days ago

Would this be a potential option for wildcat in the future? Not that we intend to purchase anything now clearly, just a simple question.

I’ve always thought that Kongsberg might be the interim option as it covers a wide range of options including Land Sea and air and can be fitted to Typhoon.

Kongsberg Pitching NSM-HL Missile For Maritime Helicopter
https://www.navalnews.com/event-news/sas-2019/2019/05/sas-19-kongsberg-eyes-helicopter-launched-nsm-missile/

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
20 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Just acknowledging I read your piece on this before my reply above. Seems like a very sensible fill in solution doesn’t it?

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
19 days ago
Reply to  Quentin Drury

With the potential threat of China invading Taiwan before Perseus arrives, it would be prudent to have something at the very least which might just deter this from happening. Showing a weak hand never plays out well and how long will it take to get the missiles we would need to be installed, tested and working not including the time to move a task force into the SCS? The latest Tomahawk Block V and LRASM are other options worth considering, but sadly this is all we seem to do! The Joint Strike Missile has already been assessed and can fit… Read more »

Last edited 19 days ago by Nigel Collins
Quentin D63
Quentin D63
19 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

You do have to wonder why the people in MOD procurement are so seemingly blinkered to all these good options. Is it really coming down to money? £250M is not really that much? They’re looking ahead, which is great and necessary, but as a lot of us think here (and others here do have a different view) this interim AShM is kind of needed now, I’d say within the next three years latest. Time to stop all the faffing around and make a decision for something not nothing. As a side note I heard the RAN is putting TLAM on… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
19 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Agreed Quentin D63, Especially when you consider the cost against one Type 31 which would take three-plus years to replace and the lives lost that cannot.

James Fennell
James Fennell
19 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

No but it would be an option for Merlin, especially if they are to be upgraded to continue in service to the 2030s.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
19 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Many thanks, After a little bit of research I found out that the JSM also uses a dual-mode passive IIR/RF seeker, the same as the LRASM.

criss whicker
criss whicker
20 days ago

Are we relying on the french to much perhaps,
why cant we learn to do thing ourselves anymore.
just a thought.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
19 days ago
Reply to  criss whicker

Well our major missile business is now the uk arm of a French Company so it depends how you define doing it ourselves and relying on the French. Much of the rest in sensors etc is the uk arm of an Italian company. Not sure quite how integrated it all is or what cross fertilisation there is.

Jonny
Jonny
19 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

It’s the U.K arm of a multinational European business. Not really a French company, just that there is a French arm along with a German and Italian arm. B.A.E systems and airbus have equal stakes with Leonardo having slightly less.

Hermes
Hermes
19 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

MBDA is not french.
Every “cells” of MBDA can do its own stuff.

The reason why MBDA exist is to facilitate sharing between european nations and also take benefits from a greater market for multinational MBDA programs (such as the ASTER).

But ofc, if you make it alone, you “break” the benefits from MBDA.

Tommo
Tommo
18 days ago
Reply to  criss whicker

Criss, in psychological terms Co-dependency that leads too Regression not Progression it seems that we are unable too think and do for ourselves without fear of rejection .Or in economic terms ” we’re not good with balancing the budget “

Paul42
Paul42
20 days ago

Firstly, this is a shambles, no long term planning or adequate provision for Harpoon replacement which should have been in place a good while ago. Secondly, there is no guarantee the FCASW project will go the distance and turn out the missile everybody wants, least of all a hypersonic weapon. The US is way ahead in that area anyway……. although it needs to be remembered that nobody has actually successfully tested a hypersonic ASM against a maritime target manouvering at speed……hypersonic are best used against stationary targets….so, at the end of the day, whilst a manoeuvrable hypersonic will have its… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
19 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

Spot on, its still very untested in this environment especially though still no excuse for complacency that’s for sure.

DP
DP
19 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

“no guarantee the FCASW project will go the distance and turn out the missile everybody wants”, good point Paul42. All the more reason to by an interim solution. Roll-out of FCASW could well be delayed or maybe technically short of the mark. I also like the rhetoric used on this site of shifting the interim solution off the targetted assets onto, say, T31s, once FCASW is rolled out, assuming support for the interim could be maintained. This would give us a variety of anti-ship/land attack missile options for different combat scenarios.

ERNEST HARRISON
ERNEST HARRISON
20 days ago

Anti ship missiles are needed. There should be no gap. Why can’t Harpoon be kept in service longer? So new fantastic missile in 2030, when ever did a project happen on time. Late Late was in part why Australia were able to cancel the subs from France, Over cost and Over Time. UK Military gets worse.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
19 days ago

Really don’t see a new truly state of the art missile being ready for 2030, it’s not even been properly defined or specs agreed. Going hypersonic would I fear push it well into the thirties and the costs more than substantial which is why I wonder if acquiring one from the US if hypersonic is increasingly on the cards.

ERNEST HARRISON
ERNEST HARRISON
19 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Exactly but which-ever way the hapless MOD decide to upgrade anti ship missile defence, we need a stopgap and what better than the existing Harpoon, there simply is nothing else for the foreseeable  future..

Andrew
Andrew
20 days ago

Ffs. Is there actually anyone competent at the top of the military?

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
20 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

It’s funny, but not really funny. I wonder if the MOD and leadership ever look at the UKDJ and Save the Royal Navy type websites for all our comments. They might get a shock of all our grass roots views and common sense and not to just talk amongst themselves.

David
David
20 days ago

I always thought it would be better to arm the F-35s rather than surface vessels, for the purposes of land attack and anti-shipping. Since 1939, most major ships have been sunk by planes or submarines.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
20 days ago
Reply to  David

Block 4 software is required 2026 is the current timeframe, IOC 2027/28

JSM has been tested on the A and will fit the C internally as well.
Spear Cap 3 will require a software update also.

JSM Anti-Ship And Land-Attack Missile Successfully Tested From F-35A
“The JSM, JSOW-ER and AARGM-ER are set to become the internal bay compliant Stand-Off weapon options on Blk 4 F-35A and C variants.”

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2021/03/jsm-anti-ship-and-land-attack-missile-successfully-tested-from-f-35a/

David
David
19 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

It wouldn’t fit internally on an F-35B but maybe it could be fitted to one of the external pylons. Better than nothing I suppose, if need arises. I’m all for arming land planes like Typhoon with an AShM. Tornadoes were until the early 2000s. It cost money that won’t be made available though.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
19 days ago
Reply to  David

It would appear so David, but not until the arrival of Block 4 sometime in 2026/27.

“Earlier checks confirmed that two JSMs can fit in the internal weapons bay of the F-35A, although the short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing F-35B can only carry the missile on its external weapons stations.”

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/03/13/japan-inks-deal-with-kongsberg-for-f-35-standoff-missile/

Last edited 19 days ago by Nigel Collins
David
David
19 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Indeed waiting for Block 4 would result in a capability gap of a few years. I know it won’t happen, but my gut tells me the navy should commit to JSM on the F-35Bs now. It would be a huge improvement over ship-based harpoons. By letting the AShM mission lapse for longer, part of me thinks it will never be regenerated when the time comes. Using an interim weapon will give the navy a better chance of convincing the beancounters to renew it when the time comes. If there is no interim weapon, the beancounters may think the navy can… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
18 days ago
Reply to  David

“Using an interim weapon will give the navy a better chance of convincing the beancounters to renew it when the time comes.”

Very good point! JSM and NSM both have Land and sea capabilities and being that much closer to home we could do a lot worse than partnering with them on future projects?

Pete
Pete
20 days ago

MOD needs to wake up to what Is happening. China is expanding trade route control now and has already established logistical bases cw combat battalions, artillery and armour v close to the Red Sea entrance at Djibouti which could allow effective control (or at least disruption) of the Suez Canal traffic and east west maritime movement. RN needs some reasonable capability now while it awaits arrival of next next gen capabilities.

https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theeastafrican.co.ke%2Ftea%2Fnews%2Feast-africa%2Fus-issues-warnings-over-china-plan-military-bases-kenya-3608702&data=04%7C01%7C%7C6a482bdbbff84682782b08d9a03b51ab%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637716998898210269%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=%2FED35XaBjjWCapn0Hga7ius98mLPehCLZhIDz4y8aSA%3D&reserved=

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
20 days ago
Reply to  Pete

That would mean taking a common-sense approach Pete, PLAN for the worst if you get my meaning and hope for the best, Perseus in our case!

Perseus Missle.jpg
Knight7572
Knight7572
19 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Assuming France doesn’t decide because we ‘betrayed them’ with AUKUS to pull out of the Perseus meaning we never get it

Hermes
Hermes
19 days ago
Reply to  Knight7572

As a french (When I say that here, I’ve the little image of painting a target on me, pretty fun): It’s unlikely to happen, since the Lancaster House treaty, only the UK have abandonned common projects, not France. If we have a lot of problems in our relations (not a secret for anyone the last 1000y), on the military subject we are closer than the common politicians. Also, on the missile, we are both (FR/UK) pretty well associated with MBDA, so it’s a win-win for both to continue to work together. Ofc, the AUKUS is problem but, not really a… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
19 days ago
Reply to  Hermes

Agreed, our two militaries work so much closer, better, more professionals and for longer than any fly by night Macron/BJ! The French forces know when to fight and who best to fight and train with! All the crap we see in the media is purely political bluster. I enjoy working with the French lads every time, professional with the right attitude and able to ruck with the best of them.

David Barry
David Barry
19 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Is that because they foxtrot oscar to the RearComZ?

Asking for a friend as I was always posted to the RCZ before anything kicked off… 🙂

Better safe than sorry… unless tasked tasked to enter the Ratpit, then it was the FEBA… engage.

Airborne
Airborne
18 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

Ah the rat pit! Great days….🤪!

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
18 days ago
Reply to  Knight7572

Kongsberg would make a useful partner if they did.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
20 days ago

Helicopters to sink small vessels, SSN’s to sink large warships. AshM as back-up. The RN’s experience, and has learnt that from decades of experience. A sensible decision in the long term. No capability gap is welcome, but the powers that be known the chances of us having to engaging foreign warships with conventional weapons In the next 10 years is slim. And Anti ship warfare is very difficult to pull off. The successful tracking and kill chain to find track and engage a modern warship at extended range that will be using every tactic, every countermeasure, every nasty EW and… Read more »

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

Hi Robert, I absolutely respect your view but disagree to some degree. We can’t argue with past, but the present is now and our potential adversaries have large quantities of everything. We simply don’t have and shouldn’t kid ourselves of our superiors which maybe we think we are! You’d expect everyone to obey the rules of engagement but the very first incident of any war is breaking these rules in the first place. Don’t expect adversaries to be nice and behave and announce their intentions. They’ll seek their advantage upfront, hard and fast. Our helo’s AShM’s are short on range… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
19 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Hi Quentin. I’m not arguing that we shouldn’t have AshM, I’d love us to have every bit of kit available. But the RN doesn’t see AshM as a major priority because of some of the reasons I have mentioned above. And major wars don’t just break out over night, certainly not the kind that involves attacking Western major warships with AshM. Major political fallout would have to take place before nations start having a pop at each other, certainly with the likes of China/Russia ect. And we would be part of a coalition, and very likely have a UN resolution… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
19 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Good reply, it’s okay to differ, may we both be right, just a little! We all want the best for the RN, Army and RAF and the whole of GB and it’s people!

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
19 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

We sure do, but global politics has a big role to play before we start shooting at anyone. And once a international crisis has the governments full attention, it’s amazing what resources are suddenly available. The COVID-19 vaccine role out being a perfect example of that. 👍

Andy P
Andy P
19 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

I follow your logic Quentin but money doesn’t solve everything, it certainly helps of course but if you have a platform ‘there’ at the time when things do get a bit heated then especially with our reduced numbers, you’re going to have to wait until the relief unit gets a dusting with the magic money tree then gets its grey ass out there. As weapon systems get more complicated there needs to be more integration, this is where that much maligned ‘fitted for but not with’ shows its worth but units need to be at that stage first (and at… Read more »

Knight7572
Knight7572
20 days ago

Frankly, the French Navy’s negligence on Flexible Mission Bay frankly shows they are behind the times

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
20 days ago

My questions. One: Just WHAT has been done to this point to spend 95 million? What? The Admiralry and MoD taking? Where does it go? Two: if it costs around 250 million for 5 sets to equip 3 ships, just how does every other navy afford to equip theirs? The costs seem astronomical. Why not just buy LRASM for 3 million a go ( as someone here suggested rhey cost ) from that 250 million budget. It gives us a slightly larger inventory than the existing TLAMs on the SSNs. It would be something. Rather than nothing. It seems to… Read more »

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
19 days ago

I nipped in quick with the first post but my comment is way down for some reason. I did say what has 95mill achieved, and as you say..nothing has been purchased with that amount of money. Perhaps an official explanation of how that money was spent would be nice and I bet we could easily see a way trim some of that off. I don’t suppose they discussed at the meeting how 95M was spent on nothing? We could have blown £5mill on meetings (a ridiculous amount) and actually purchased something with the rest. It’s a lot of spear3 or… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
19 days ago

Pretty much how I see it AA, this was intended as an interim system at a relatively low budget to procure a known and proven system (that I’m assuming could be sold on when the new shiny one comes along) so no real surprises. To spunk a large whack of that budget for nothing seems plain wrong. I can only assume the more we ‘gap’ the easier it gets, the training etc required surely was costed so it can’t be down to the additional costs etc you would hope, from the outside it just looks ‘wrong’, at least to me.

Ron5
Ron5
19 days ago

Try reading the article again.

Sean
Sean
20 days ago

Hmm…. we’re developing FC/ASW with the French, but the French aren’t exactly happy with the U.K. at the moment on defences issues… Meanwhile the RN’s new Type 26 will have Mark 41VLS and the RN has just decided to equip FBTW the T31s with the Mark 41 VLS. Incidentally, Block V Tomahawks started being delivered to the USN this year. This is the new version that can target ships over 1,000 miles away. Could it be the RN isn’t going for the interim solution because it’s simply going to buy some Tomahawk V’s or have its existing stocks upgraded to… Read more »

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
19 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Having a few more Tomahawk to supplement what we already have would be great if they can target ships as well…but..actually how useful are they as ship killers?
Are they stealthy/jam/jink/swarm..or do they just lumber on towards a target with capacitors crossed, and hope.

Sean
Sean
19 days ago

Well the USN is buying the new Block Va for its maritime attack capabilities:- >1,000m range, dynamic targeting, radar targeting, sea-skimming. Generally I’d regard the top brass at the USN as knowing their stuff, and having the budget to buy the best.

Pretty sure the 450kg warhead is going to kill most ships – that’s double the weight of the warhead on Harpoon and triple that of the Exocet.

Knight7572
Knight7572
19 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Yeah France seems to think we betrayed them with AUKUS although had the French not screwed up the contract with Australia, they wouldn’t be in the mess they were and they have an election coming next year

Sean
Sean
19 days ago
Reply to  Knight7572

Yes I know from Australian friends that the wheels had been coming off the French project for a while, and that the French had been given several warnings by the Australian government. But admitting they screwed things up doesn’t suit the French political class when there’s an election coming up: when in trouble blame the Roast Beefs 🤷‍♂️

Neil holdforth
Neil holdforth
20 days ago

Why are they saying an interim missile system will take from December 2022 to 2026/27 to be ready and why will 5 systems only go on 3 ships?

Ron Stateside
Ron Stateside
19 days ago
Reply to  Neil holdforth

Yes I don’t think they’re being honest about the timeline there. And if Kongsberg simply developed a new launch canister for the Naval Strike Missile, with 4 instead of 8 missiles, I would venture to guess that might top off their order book nicely, and maybe get the UK to put pen to paper.

Stc
Stc
20 days ago

As for our French “friends”weak Boris should withdraw the helicopters from Mali. Let the French get their own long range,
Helicopters. Buy US hypersonic ? Hopefully by 23 they will be fully deployed with US forces.

Hermes
Hermes
19 days ago
Reply to  Stc

Politics and ground ops are always in 2 differents categories.

For the moment we were always “successfully” able to make a difference between the 2.

This has saved our relations more than once.

So, before saying this kind of thing, just imagine how bad can the things goes if you play this game.

Neither France or UK will win this game…

Airborne
Airborne
19 days ago
Reply to  Hermes

Correct! Let the politicians gob off and bluster but leave the military professionals to carry on doing what we all do best! Military head sheds from both sides of the channel see our elected leaders argue, but know the real relationship is the military one!

Deep32
Deep32
18 days ago
Reply to  Hermes

Too true mate, keep it separate.

Farouk
Farouk
19 days ago

Interesting thread, with lots of infighting and a load of posters excusing the lack of an Anti ship Missile by finger pointing at the French or that we have coming on line short range anti ship missiles that can be fitted to Wildcat.

OldSchool
OldSchool
19 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Yes tho an interim SSM would have been nice but longer term the fact that it will be possible for the T26s & T31s to fitted with mk41vls is more important so likely the correct choice.

Paul42
Paul42
19 days ago
Reply to  OldSchool

The RN should have had Mk41 vls many years ago, we’re just playing catch up with that. Plus of course having the system is one thing, having something to put in it is something else…..there is a profound lack of planning and Indecision within the MOD/RN which is readily apparent to potential adversaries……..

OldSchool
OldSchool
19 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

UK is in a difficult situation. Aus has gone for the Mk41 cos they use US stuff not having a major naval weapons industry of their own. But UK is tied to Europe via MDBA but likes some of the flexibility of the Mk41 I suspect. Certainly if France cant gets its act together re heavy SSM’s etc then the Uk should look elsewhere and if you have Mk41 fitted that means US likely.I’d certainly look at a 21st cent version of ASROC too. RN needs more than just helo based ASW weapon delivery as helo numbers finite and aren’t… Read more »

Paul42
Paul42
19 days ago
Reply to  OldSchool

Fully agree. But we should abandon FCASW now, and look to purchase US systems including Hypersonic if required. The very latest ASROC is indeed worthy of consideration, our lack of Helocopters is a problem….

David
David
19 days ago

I personally believe that a ship launched version of Spear 3 or Sea Venom as a universal fit to all escorts would be very useful. Then one would fit the heavyweight hypersonic, 100km range to a limited number of platforms.

Last edited 19 days ago by David
David
David
19 days ago
Reply to  David

1000km not 100km!

DP
DP
19 days ago

So, is the Anti Ship capability gap another example of lack of adequate forward planning by the MOD or just another example of “limited resources” when trying to cover so many areas of capability? Still, holding back in the short term for ‘the promise’ of something far better in the future sounds like the better of two options.

Andy P
Andy P
19 days ago

The boy has the jargon, we’re going to “reach out” to hypersonic blah blah blah and its going to be exciting. Well that’s me reassured.

Its the usual guff, he’s not wrong that if they’re not going to come in to service until ’26 or ’27 then what’s the point if the new all singing, all dancing one is coming into service in ’30 (yeah, yeah, I know, I know 🙄) but why the feck haven’t they squared away the intermediate one for ’23.

I really don’t know why we’re shocked about this stuff any more. 😞

Last edited 19 days ago by Andy P
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
19 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

Nicely sums it up. I just do not understand how procurement of an OTS can take so long.

Should we be suspecting just another form of corruption? That 95 million can vanish by thinking and talking? What else is there? Surveys?

Isn’t thinking, talking, and perusing the international sales catalogue free?

DC was spot on on this.

Andy P
Andy P
19 days ago

Being generous mate, they may have just been crap about it rather than corrupt but I share your cynicism. 95 million is a quite a waste for nothing to show for it, I don’t care what the ‘big’ budget is. From the outside it looks pretty simple, weapon system A is finished by date X ( a few years in the future too), we want weapon system C and for it to be in place by Z. In the meantime we KNOW that we’re going to compromise and get an intermediate weapon system and its going to be in use… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
19 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

Re-95 million, read the article again!

Andy P
Andy P
19 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

Fair one, I’m not the only one to make that mistake though. On the other hand, is that what you took from my post, there was a budget for an INTERMEDIATE system and now they’ve pulled it. I’m really not one for having our warships bristling with weapons but having the ability to knock a missile into an enemy vessel from beyond the horizon is now considered pretty ‘normal’ so for us to gap it is quite a big thing on forward deployed vessels.

Nicholas
Nicholas
19 days ago

Next time I sell my motorcycle I’m going to charge everybody who comes to see it.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
19 days ago
Reply to  Nicholas

I’m missing a trick there too.

Marked
Marked
19 days ago

If this leads to a proper long term solution, hypersonic, dual anti ship and land attack capability, then I would say its proven to be the right decision. If… I’m not full of confidence based on the MODs past record. If like so many on here claim anti ship missiles aren’t that important, why does every other significant navy (and many much smaller) continue to invest in such a system? Which is the biggest sin? To have a capability that we ultimately never need to use? Or send our sailors into conflict ready to be slaughtered when it turns out… Read more »

Gareth
Gareth
19 days ago

Someone needs to be fired over this, preferably with a Harpoon attached. This decision means the RAF also lack an anti-ship weapon too. Ideally LRASM or JSM for compatibility with the F-35. But as usual dreadful decision making leaves our armed services personnel without the equipment they need.

Andrew D
Andrew D
19 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

Got to say when I got home yesterday could not believe this post ,and to think the Admiral is going along with it .Really lost for words on this one bet it’s not the last 😕.

Geoffi
Geoffi
19 days ago

What an utter mess yet again. We’ll get no intermediate solution, and the long-term solution will leave a 5 year gap and be some half-obsolete system as well. Classic UK Armed Forces delusion mixed with MoD management not even fit for a company making beer

Steve
Steve
19 days ago
Reply to  Geoffi

I suspect 5 years is a highly optimistic time frame, what are the bets it gets delayed by a decade or so for various reasons, but ultimately lack of funds to get it into service.

Richard Miller
Richard Miller
19 days ago

This might be a stupid question but can’t they just keep the old system going longer so there’s no gap?

Coopz
Coopz
19 days ago
Reply to  Richard Miller

This is what I thought, or at least shorten the capability gap. I’m sure there are technical reasons for not extending the life of Harpoon, I just don’t know what they are lol.
Hopefully someone more knowledgeable can inform us.

Ron Stateside
Ron Stateside
19 days ago

“It might be as much as £250 million, just to allow us to have five sets for three ships. When would that be able to come in? It looks like the earliest would be 2026 or 2027.” I hate to criticize Mr. Radakin but this seems disingenuous. Naval Strike Missile would take until 2026 or 2027 to be integrated on RN warships? Please. They could be integrated onto RN warships already. Having said that how useful is Harpoon anyway? In what scenarios would that or NSM be used? Given how threats evolve is this the best use of the deck… Read more »

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
19 days ago

Well HMS Prince of Wales has been launching Banshee’s just lately, may be we could strap some TNT to them and fly them into ships as it is unlikely we will be able to feild any ASM for the foreseeable future.
The Iranians seem to get away with flying drones into ships

Jonny
Jonny
19 days ago

That’s it I’m moving to North Korea

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
19 days ago
Reply to  Jonny

Extra Lol… for this. Love the humour on a Monday morning.. 😆

Jonny
Jonny
19 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

At least they have anti ship missiles 😤

John Hartley
John Hartley
19 days ago

Would the budget approach be to refurbish & upgrade our existing stock of Harpoon to perhaps block II+ standard?

John Hartley
John Hartley
18 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Looking at the Azebaijan-Nagorno spat, perhaps a few slow, long range loitering munitions might be better? Israel sells Harop in deck mounted boxes.

Frank62
Frank62
19 days ago

Just as you think the MOD can’t get any worse! Why indeed go for a “sticking plaster” when you can leave a gaping bleeding wound!
Just how incompetant are we? Everybody else has AShms & many similar countries make their own AShMs, but we’re happy to leave a main surface weapon absent for years. It’s like having (WW1 or 2)battleships without any heavy guns or combat jets with no AAMs.
Utter shambilic disgrace. We don’t pay taxes so Tory mates can plunder the public purse but our military gets its teeth drawn & servicemen let down.

Frank62
Frank62
19 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

This really raised my blood pressure today!

Roy
Roy
19 days ago

In terms of the French vs. Royal Navy, capability levels vary dependent on what one is looking at: In terms of air defence, RN has 288 Sylver 50 VL tubes (carrying either Aster 15 or 30) spread over six ships (Type 45); French Navy currently has half that number spread over five ships. In terms of anti-ship capabilities, reportedly every major French warship carries Exocet Block 2 or 3; for the RN, Harpoon is going out of service and apparently only two frigates are currently even carrying a full complement of Harpoons. In terms of ASW, eight RN frigates carry… Read more »

Hermes
Hermes
19 days ago
Reply to  Roy

AD (Modern only) FREMM: 6*16 (In fact more, but we give 16 VLS to Mdcn for each) FREMM DA: 2*32 Horizon: 2*48 Current: 256 Coming FDI: 5*16 Next: 336 “The French building program envisages adding more air defence capable ships (eg. 5 FDIs with Sylver 50)” No, it’s about adding 1/2 Sylver A70 since we talk about gives the MdCN capabilities to FDI. The 2×8 A50 is already staged. ASW “many more ships with hull mounted sonar” 5 FLF are currently updated with hull mounted sonar. The Horizon have also some ASW capabilities: 8 FREMM + 2 Horizon + 1/5… Read more »

Last edited 19 days ago by Hermes
Roy
Roy
19 days ago
Reply to  Hermes

Only 4 FREMM have SYLVER 50 (2 AAW with 32 tubes; 2 FREMM ASW with 16 tubes; the other 4 ASW have SYLVER 43, so unable to fire Aster 30). Only 2 La Fayette have hull mounted sonar currently, since Surcouf mounts BlueWatcher; was sonar not removed from A-69s? Perhaps not. By my count by 2029: 13 French ships with towed array (8 FREMM; 5 FDI); 28 ships potentially with hull sonar (2 Horizon, 8 FREMM, 5 FDI, 3 upgraded La Fayette, 10 PO – assuming all delivered on time). UK by contrast: 8 ships with towed array (T26 and… Read more »

Hermes
Hermes
19 days ago
Reply to  Roy

Yeah well, for the future delivery except for the FDI, I prefer not give anything.

For the A43, that’s true, but the ASTER 15 is better than anything else (same size) in air defense currently.

Dont even ask me why they chose to equip the FREMM with the A43, its a shame.

For the FLF, that’s why I count only 1 “up to”.

But well, this comparison is not really good. To much limited and anything can change because of another great idea from politics:..

And well:. since when France ever had a “good” navy ? :sick:

Last edited 19 days ago by Hermes
Andrew D
Andrew D
19 days ago

Admiral Radakin I heard had an hand in the Australian sub deal word has it that’s why Boris pick him as top man ,yet not done so good for is own navy 😒

David Steeper
19 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

There are ex and serving soldiers on this site. Wonder whether they’d swap him for what they’ve got.

Andrew D
Andrew D
19 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Tell me about it

Martin Cutler
Martin Cutler
19 days ago

Really do not understand why all these chats are harking on about the French navy. Point is once again the RN are having ships that fall short of capability and all down to government neglect. Would you want to serve in a military ship that could not defend it self in all areas!

Andrew D
Andrew D
19 days ago
Reply to  Martin Cutler

RN will fall short in war gameing with other nations let alone a real fight.

Daveyb
Daveyb
19 days ago

I think this is a bonkers decision. It’s basically someone having done a risk register and thought when was the last time we needed to fire one in anger, coming up with answer, that we haven’t and decided on that basis we can probably last a bit longer without the capability and save some cash into the bargain. The problem though is if something does kick off in a week or two’s time, what will the Navy do, as you won’t be able to integrate a system on a ship within a that timescale. I think it is better to… Read more »

OldSchool
OldSchool
18 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

I think if something kicked off in a few weeks time all bets would be off. We’d just keep Harpoon and maybe upgrade to Harpoon II. Seriously I’m much more concerned sbout the state of ASW in RN. Esp shiborne – T45 and t31 have no real sonar capability! T45 might not even be supported at moment snd was basic anyway. And T31 won’t even have a sonar. Helo’s only ( due to reliability etc) just isnt enough and ships need sonar for anti- torpedo and mine detection as well etc.

Deep32
Deep32
18 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Someone is doing a big bit of risk management! Given the increasing rhetoric coming out of the PRC towards Taiwan, think that waiting 7-8 years for something might just be gap too many.

Richard B
Richard B
19 days ago

The Boeing Harpoon Block II is the obvious Interim ASM, available for a headline price of about $2M a missile via the US FMS programme. But add on essential test and maintenance equipment, spares and repair parts, and 5+ years of logistics and engineering support and the actual price is closer to $4-5M each. So 40 missiles could cost the MOD c.£140M. Then there is the need to upgrade T23’s or T45’s to physically and safely carry and fire the missiles, and update their combat systems to utilise it effectively. Six ships would need to be so fitted in order… Read more »

Last edited 19 days ago by Richard B
Bob Mileham
Bob Mileham
19 days ago

Looks like we’re returning to the thinking of the 1930’s; “No war within ten years” rolling forward. With that being our cunning plan we can gap any capabilities we like as long as there’s another cunning plan to get it sorted in ten years time. Of course this cunning plan requires all potential adversaries playing fair!

Last edited 19 days ago by Bob Mileham
RobW
RobW
18 days ago

Not brilliant but then Harpoon is a big dumb missile with perhaps limited utility. My biggest issue with this is that the RAF has no ASM either.

I can’t see there being sufficient pressure from politicians or the public for this to change, so we now have a 10 year capability gap. Who fancies sailing the SCS and even the Taiwan Straight in a ship with limited offensive capability?

I guess Harpoon Block II would be better than nothing, particularly if the P8s have it too.

Paul.P
Paul.P
18 days ago
Reply to  RobW

By taking this decision Radakin is putting the squeeze on the RAF to fit Harpoons to P8.

Nick
Nick
18 days ago

I wonder how much money has been spent and have nothing to show for it.

Navaleye
Navaleye
18 days ago

Surely if you want to put an SSM on a Type 31 why not fit one that is already integrated in to TACTICOS of which there are many. That should shave a few years work