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Future Carrier (Including Costs)

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Future Carrier (Including Costs)

Old 14th Jun 2024, 11:13
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I don’t think that makes things sound better, rather it makes things even worse.

Company is in a bad way, reliant on the government guarantee which they have been advised they can’t give under the rules, and add the unions on top.

I suppose they can hope the next government will bend the rules, but I doubt defence will be high on their list of priorities.
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Old 14th Jun 2024, 12:48
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Originally Posted by ORAC
I don’t think that makes things sound better, rather it makes things even worse.

Company is in a bad way, reliant on the government guarantee which they have been advised they can’t give under the rules, and add the unions on top.

I suppose they can hope the next government will bend the rules, but I doubt defence will be high on their list of priorities.
Agreed. But I think a lot of people point at unions = bad (which they undoubtedly have been in many cases), without also recognising that by and large UK management has been (and largely still is) dismal.
H&W is probably a case in point. I don't think the union negotiations are the worst of their problems.
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Old 15th Jun 2024, 14:30
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If I may be forgiven for quoting myself and snipping my previous post, so as to concentrate on ASW:

Originally Posted by WE Branch Fanatic
Here is a far more recent story: Aircraft Carriers Underpin Royal Navy Plans To Use UAS To Help Build Maritime Mass - Naval News
  • a fixed-wing UAS to replace the carrier-borne, Merlin helicopter-based Crowsnest airborne early warning (AEW) system, which is due to retire at the end of the decade
Removing Crowsnest from Merlin will have the effect of increasing the number of ASW Merlins, as those aircraft will be able to return to their original role, which is desperately needed - remember ASW is a carrier role. Some of you may have noted that the main conclusions over on the 1977 US Congress Report: The US Sea Control Mission (carriers needed in the Atlantic for Air Defence and ASW - due to Maths/Physics/Geography) discussion have been refined to better explain things:

Constant ASW helicopter operations are best supported by a large deck with multiple helicopters, as collocating them simplifies coordination, communications, and maintenance and support. Physics also shows that modern long range sonars fitted to ASW warships need to be used in conjunction with dipping sonar to achieve their potential - andvice versa. As with all such detection systems (radar/sonar/optical) there is trade off between range and resolution. The long range sonar provides long range detection, and the dipping sonar provides pinpoint accuracy.

According to the UK Defence Journal - the RN is looking into a long range shipborne ASW weapon.

Royal Navy seeks Long Range Anti-sub Weapon for Type 26

The Ministry of Defence has issued a pre-procurement notice seeking information from industry regarding a future Long Range Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Weapon (LRAW).

Specifically, the Royal Navy is seeking solutions for a Long Range Anti-Submarine Warfare weapon that can deploy Lightweight Torpedoes from Mk41 Vertical Launch System-fitted Type 26 Frigates...


Some may think that this weapon would remove the need for helicopters - but it does not. The frigate can detect submarines as long range with low frequency towed array sonar, but without sufficient accuracy do direct a torpedo attack, which is why the ASW frigate is team with dipping sonar equipped helicopters who can pinpoint the target. I remember an old (and mostly out of date when I got it from the careers office) booklet about RN Engineer Officers that featured stories from several ME Officers, a pair of WE Officers, and a couple of AE Officers - all back in the late 1970s I think. One of the WE Officers was telling a tale of a test firing of Ikara- and the diagram showed the target submarine being located by a Sea King in the dip. The diagram was meant to be of a typical Ikara engagement. This was before the days of the long range sonar with the usual trade off between range and resolution.

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Old 15th Jun 2024, 17:02
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Reference the above.

Since it's everyone's favorite question: the RFI specifically calls for the vertical launch booster part, excluding the torpedo. Putting a "UK LightWeight torpedo" onto the booster is the whole idea. Given timeframes, the evolved, next Mod of StingRay is presumably the main idea.
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Old 18th Jun 2024, 11:15
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Unless I am being completely thick (always possible), they seem to be looking for something capable of hitting a submerged target beyond the range of its current or future heavyweight torpedoes. Assuming an entry point fairly close to the target, they are therefore looking at a c.35Nmi + range, so something exceeding three times the range of the Mk41 VLS launched RUM-139 VL-ASROC (or for those of us of a certain age, that of Ikara) or more than one and a half times that of the Japanese Type 07 Vertical Launch Anti-Submarine Rocket (also Mk41 VLS launchable).

The LRAW concept provides an extended range delivery means for a Lightweight Torpedo (LWT) or Very Light Weight (VLWT) Torpedo effector against submarine contacts, cued by organic or third-party sensor detection. Engagement ranges are to comfortably overmatch those of current and forecast threat Heavy Weight Torpedoes.

The solution requires an interchangeable, stand-off, quick-reaction, all-weather ASW weapon delivery capability that enables a UK LWT to reach a water-entry point for a targeted submarine from any Mk41 VLS-fitted platform. LRAW will need to integrate with RN Combat or Sonar Systems and must be ‘Secure by Design’.
(My emphasis)
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Old 22nd Jun 2024, 11:10
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Originally Posted by SLXOwft
Unless I am being completely thick (always possible), they seem to be looking for something capable of hitting a submerged target beyond the range of its current or future heavyweight torpedoes. Assuming an entry point fairly close to the target, they are therefore looking at a c.35Nmi + range, so something exceeding three times the range of the Mk41 VLS launched RUM-139 VL-ASROC (or for those of us of a certain age, that of Ikara) or more than one and a half times that of the Japanese Type 07 Vertical Launch Anti-Submarine Rocket (also Mk41 VLS launchable).

(My emphasis)

Indeed - but you do have to wonder why bother? The aforementioned RN careers publication featured a draw on an Ikara firing with a Sea King dipping. A bit of research suggests that Ikara could be fed updates in flight - presumably after the firing ship received updates for the Pinger? This shows that the torpedo had to be released very near the target - just as if a helicopter had delivered it. Which begs the question of why not drop the torpedo from the helicopter - either the Pinger or something like a Wildcat acting as a Pony? The Royal Navy pioneered the use of helicopters for ASW, the first operational ASW sorties by a shipborne helicopter taking place towards the end of the Second World War, and the torpedo carrying Wasp was the response to the increasing range of submarine launched torpedoes. These were always meant to be teamed up with carrier based ASW helicopters with dipping sonar - a major part of the RN carrier role since 1960.

Not so many years ago I saw an Ikara on display at HMS Collingwood, and when I mentioned this to two old and bold ASW types they both agreed that better and faster helicopters, such as the Lynx which replaced the Wasp, was a better solution.

Today the Type 23s updated with 2087 can detect the submarine at long range (the Type 26 will inherit 2087) but because of the range you need something else (typically a Merlin HM2 with dipping sonar) to pinpoint the submarine and attack, so I see little value in a weapon that will still need the Merlin (or MPA) to pinpoint the submarine, and tie up the finite number of VLS cells in the process.

On an ASW theme - the Russians have been making a show of exercises in the Barents Sea that involve firing submarine launched cruise missiles against targets representing NATO amphibious forces.Not only is the submarine launched cruise missile a weapon of sea denial (not sea control), but the firings have taken place in waters close to Russia, with Russian fighters aircraft nearby. The submarine firing anti ship cruise missiles in the Norwegian Sea, GIUK gap, or beyond would face huge problems:

1. NATO tracks all Russian submarines.

2. NATO has strong ASW forces - including shipborne (including carrierborne) ASW helicopters that act on conjunction with surface warships with long range sonar and coordinated with NATO submarines and MPA.

3. Any attempt to use aircraft against helicopters or MPA will result in a quick response from the carrier's jets.

4. As submarines have limited means to detect targets at long range, the cruise missiles will depend on targeting platforms - possibly aircraft. In the Cold War dealing with Bears performing this role was a job for carrier based aircraft, and the primary role for the Royal Navy's Sea Harrier. It was the need for ASW helicopters operations around the the clock, and to deal with the Bears doing reconnaissance and targeting, that kept the Royal Navy in the carrier game and led to the Invincible class CVS/Sea King/Sea Harrier combination.

5. Back in the 1970s it was expected that the fighters (certainly the USN F-14 Tomcat, less so the Sea Harrier FRS1 with only Sidewinder) would be able to splashed missiles. Not so long ago a USN F/A-18E/F Super Hornet proved this in the Red Sea, and an Israeli F-35I did so not too long before that. The increased missile load and sensor capabilities of today's aircraft means they can counter a salvo of missiles.

6. A submarine cannot control the airspace, and therefore a group of submarines cannot perform a sea control role in the same way as a carrier group.

7. It is interesting that the quoted Russian news article referred to a target simulating a detachment of landing ships of a mock enemy. This actually reminds us of the need for sea control, and the need for carriers to protect amphibious forces.
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Old 22nd Jun 2024, 16:59
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"A submarine cannot control the airspace, and therefore a group of submarines cannot perform a sea control role in the same way as a carrier group."

they're likely to last a lot longer tho'
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Old 23rd Jun 2024, 06:32
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https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/brit...s-says-report/

Britain needs Arsenal Ships says report

A report advocates for the Royal Navy to embrace the concept of the ‘arsenal ship’, a vessel capable of firing huge volumes of missiles.According to ‘A More Lethal Royal Navy: Sharpening Britain’s Naval Power‘ by William Freer and Dr. Emma Salisbury, it is time for the UK to accelerate its exploration of this concept.

“The arsenal ship, the idea of a platform which carries a large number of missiles and little else, has been around for some time but is now starting to make real progress,” the report states.

The US Navy’s exploration of Large Unmanned Surface Vessels (LUSVs) and Large Optionally Crewed Surface Vessels (LOSVs) is proof of this progress.

After years of experimentation, the US plans to order up to nine LUSVs/LOSVs between 2025 and 2028, each expected to cost approximately $250 million (£195 million). These vessels will displace around 1,800-2,000 tonnes and carry 16-32 Vertical Launch System (VLS) cells.

The Australian Navy, following its 2024 Surface Fleet Review, also plans to procure up to six LOSVs based on US designs.

The theory behind these vessels is to “provide a greater number of missiles and distribute these missiles across more platforms, minimising the consequences of losing one to enemy action. They will be semi-autonomous, with instructions and sensor capabilities coming either from motherships or ashore,” the report elaborates.

The primary advantage of arsenal ships lies in their ability to disperse a large number of missiles across multiple platforms, reducing the risk associated with the loss of a single vessel to enemy action and enhancing fleet survivability. These semi-autonomous vessels, controlled by motherships or shore-based facilities, add flexibility.

However, “arsenal ships are not without limitation,” the report cautions. “First and foremost, they would lose the flexibility which naval platforms bring. A Type 31 frigate may be more expensive, but it can undertake a much wider range of missions due to the larger crew.”

Additionally, these vessels depend on external communications for autonomous operations, making them vulnerable to electronic warfare (EW) threats, as “these signals can be interfered with.”

Another significant concern is the potential for mission creep during procurement.

“There could be an urge to push for the vessel to have its own point defences, then its own radar to detect threats and act more autonomously – all of which would require it to be larger. This process could go on until the design has simply become an optionally-crewed frigate,” the report warns.

To address these challenges, the report recommends that the UK accelerate its exploration of the arsenal ship concept by procuring a single LOSV as soon as feasible.

“This could be based on the proven River class OPV hull (stripped of everything apart from minimal crew quarters and packed with VLS), to act as a testbed platform. This will allow for the Royal Navy to evaluate the utility of arsenal ships. If the extra VLS capacity is evaluated to be more beneficial than the loss of flexibility, the Royal Navy can acquire more – potentially multiplying the effort by following the Australian approach and replicating the US design.”

The strategic context driving this recommendation is clear. The report underscores that the UK, as a maritime nation, faces growing threats at sea, including Russia’s naval modernisation and China’s substantial naval expansion.

To counter these threats and achieve its strategic objectives in the Euro-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific regions, the Royal Navy must enhance its lethality, survivability, and operational mass.

Investing in arsenal ships is presented as a cost-effective means to increase missile capacity and distribute firepower across more platforms. This approach, combined with other strategic investments such as additional F35B Lightning II combat aircraft, improved carrier defences, and accelerated destroyer and submarine programmes, could significantly boost the Royal Navy’s combat flexibility.

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Old 23rd Jun 2024, 07:37
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Originally Posted by ORAC
https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/brit...s-says-report/

Britain needs Arsenal Ships says report
So dumb while I am not convinced of the plan that AU and US are doing LUSV/MUSV its still an infinately better plan and concept than arsenal ships

Same reports coming out today more submarines (SSGN) and more type 26's. Lots or more but no actual where is the money and crew coming from



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Old 23rd Jun 2024, 08:29
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rattman,

With regard to where crews will come from, I believe the plan is to build ships with a crew of 50, rather than 150 (exact numbers may be incorrect, but the principle is the point). So there is a requirement for less personnel, or the same number can crew more ships.

No doubt someone with more knowledge will be along soon to give a more detailed/accurate answer.

As for where the money comes from...
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Old 24th Jun 2024, 07:43
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Dig out that barge they used to test the T45 missile design? Longbow??
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Old 24th Jun 2024, 08:21
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Originally Posted by Asturias56
Dig out that barge they used to test the T45 missile design? Longbow??
What, this one?

https://www.gov.uk/government/public...gbow-recycling

There's also a difference between an unpowered barge and a mobile missile carrier....
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Old 24th Jun 2024, 11:58
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In the same vein…..

Ukraine to create squadrons of up to 20 naval drones with separate functions, which in combination repeat the capabilities of one full-fledged warship, — WSJ

https://archive.ph/2024.06.24-083519...ussia-ce35adfa
​​​​​​​
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Old 24th Jun 2024, 14:27
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"There's also a difference between an unpowered barge and a mobile missile carrier...."

I agree - but then they haven't thought of that -they want it to be minimally manned and CHEAP! - So forget about beds, a/c, radios/ radar, a kitchen and other softening luxuries . and maybe powered by outboard engines.... Outsource the crew and flag them in the Marshall Islands....... Read any history of UK warship design since 1945 and it's often about how the original design grows when such things are suddenly remembered...................

The River Class cost the RN approx three times the price of similar vessels sold to Brazil - not all of that was extra kit, and yes it was probably a better ship but it shows how hard it is to get anything "cheap" in UK procurement. Possibly they'll finish up as T31's without a helicopter or anti-sub capability.

I wait in anticipation.

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Old 24th Jun 2024, 16:03
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Originally Posted by Asturias56
"A submarine cannot control the airspace, and therefore a group of submarines cannot perform a sea control role in the same way as a carrier group."

they're likely to last a lot longer tho'

Not sure what you are saying. Are you saying that you think that the enemy submarines would present a threat that cannot be countered? Are you saying that there will never be a need to protect things moving by sea on the surface? Are you claiming that a surface group has more ASW capability without a carrier? From my perspective the enemy submarine has never had it so bad, with technologies like low frequency sonar allowing long range detection. Without a carrier - where will all the ASW helicopters go? This 1977 film from the IWM collections comments on these things:

THE ROYAL NAVY AND THE SOVIET THREAT

At 22.35 we get told about 'the most important surface ship of the future' - the 'anti submarine cruiser'. The point is made that a carrier provides easily the most cost effective means of deploying large anti submarine helicopters to sea in worthwhile numbers as well as command facilities for a task group. From 24.15 the presenter mentions that these ships will carry the Sea Harrier to supplement land based air cover for the fleet outside the range of shore bases and mentions dealing with shadowing aircraft used by the Soviets for targeting long range missiles.

You might also enjoy this talk by the late Professor Eric Grove:



Professor Grove mentions carriers a lot, in terms of protecting shipping and amphibious forces. At 50:15 he suggests that the thing hostile submarine captains dread most of all is the dipping sonar - and that an airborne radar flooding an area will keep the hostile submarines down. He then describes witnessing an ASW exercise in which a number of NATO submarines transmitted Soviet levels of noise, and every one was covered by either an ASW helicopter or an MPA. Then they turned off the extra noise...

However - it is safer to assume that some SSGNs may get to fire some missiles. What then? When this film (also from the IWM Collections) was made in 1977, it was assumed that the air to air missile could engage enemy missiles as well as aircraft.

PRINCIPLES OF ANTI AIR WARFARE

The last few months have proved that this is indeed the case:


Super Hornets Now Flying With Nine Air-To-Air Missiles To Counter Houthi Drones - The War Zone

The extra Sidewinder capacity was added to the Super Hornet and Growler to provide more ‘magazine depth’ to shoot down Houthi drones. For the Navy's EA-18Gs, the AIM-9X was an entirely new option added to their armory.

The need for this expanded air-to-air capacity became clear during IKE’s months on station in the Gulf of Aden, where it’s part of a task force that is defending shipping in the region while degrading the ability of the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen to continue to threaten that shipping.


I believe that the Super Hornets have splashed a few anti ship missiles - definitely something to do at the greatest possible range. How many more merchant vessels would have been sunk, and how many more merchant seamen would have been killed or injured had it not been for the USS Dwight D Eisenhower and her Super Hornets?

A US aircraft carrier and its crew have fought Houthi attacks for months. How long can it last? - AP News

ABOARD THE USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER IN THE RED SEA (AP) — The combat markings emblazoned on the F/A-18 fighter jet tell the story: 15 missiles and six drones, painted in black just below the cockpit windshield...


How many of these missiles were shot down in flight?

Originally Posted by ORAC
https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/brit...s-says-report/

Britain needs Arsenal Ships says report

A report advocates for the Royal Navy to embrace the concept of the ‘arsenal ship’, a vessel capable of firing huge volumes of missiles.According to ‘A More Lethal Royal Navy: Sharpening Britain’s Naval Power‘ by William Freer and Dr. Emma Salisbury, it is time for the UK to accelerate its exploration of this concept.

Arsenal ships represent an opportunity to increase the number of high value units that will need to be defended, soak up more personnel, and cause other problems. I am sure that the US Navy look at and rejected the arsenal ship concept decades ago, with the exception of converting the four surplus SSBNs to carry one hundred and fifty or so Tomahawks.

Originally Posted by rattman
So dumb while I am not convinced of the plan that AU and US are doing LUSV/MUSV its still an infinately better plan and concept than arsenal ships

Same reports coming out today more submarines (SSGN) and more type 26's. Lots or more but no actual where is the money and crew coming from.

Why do these people never notice that we need more ASW helicopters?

Originally Posted by Biggus
rattman,

With regard to where crews will come from, I believe the plan is to build ships with a crew of 50, rather than 150 (exact numbers may be incorrect, but the principle is the point). So there is a requirement for less personnel, or the same number can crew more ships.

No doubt someone with more knowledge will be along soon to give a more detailed/accurate answer.

As for where the money comes from...

As far as I know all these ideas have been forward by companies with no experience of operating warships, and not by the RN or warship designers. How does a tiny crew sustain defence watches for weeks? Or perform ship's husbandry to stop corrosion? Or deal with possible floods or fires?

Originally Posted by ORAC
In the same vein…..

Ukraine to create squadrons of up to 20 naval drones with separate functions, which in combination repeat the capabilities of one full-fledged warship, — WSJ

https://archive.ph/2024.06.24-083519...ussia-ce35adfa

We should be wary of learning lessons that apply to somebody else's unique geography and not our own. For example, some people think that we should have small and fast corvettes like the Norway and Sweden have in their fjords, designed to hide in nooks and crannies. Pity we do not have fjords...

Originally Posted by Asturias56
"There's also a difference between an unpowered barge and a mobile missile carrier...."

I agree - but then they haven't thought of that -they want it to be minimally manned and CHEAP! - So forget about beds, a/c, radios/ radar, a kitchen and other softening luxuries . and maybe powered by outboard engines.... Outsource the crew and flag them in the Marshall Islands....... Read any history of UK warship design since 1945 and it's often about how the original design grows when such things are suddenly remembered...................

The River Class cost the RN approx three times the price of similar vessels sold to Brazil - not all of that was extra kit, and yes it was probably a better ship but it shows how hard it is to get anything "cheap" in UK procurement. Possibly they'll finish up as T31's without a helicopter or anti-sub capability.

I wait in anticipation.

One of the lessons from the past is not to build small ships - the greater the internal volume within the hull the easier it will be to insert new capabilities and the better the sea handling. Other lessons include not building frontline ships without up to date sensors at weapons (cf the loss of HM Ships Ardent and Antelope in the Falklands), not fitting old radar to new ships (the excessive beamwidth of the 965 radar was a factor in the loss of Sheffield and Coventry), and not ignoring the limited ranges of ship based weapons and sensors.

Last edited by WE Branch Fanatic; 26th Jun 2024 at 14:36.
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Old 24th Jun 2024, 16:15
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Originally Posted by Asturias56
"There's also a difference between an unpowered barge and a mobile missile carrier...."

I agree - but then they haven't thought of that -they want it to be minimally manned and CHEAP! - So forget about beds, a/c, radios/ radar, a kitchen and other softening luxuries . and maybe powered by outboard engines.... Outsource the crew and flag them in the Marshall Islands....... Read any history of UK warship design since 1945 and it's often about how the original design grows when such things are suddenly remembered...................

The River Class cost the RN approx three times the price of similar vessels sold to Brazil - not all of that was extra kit, and yes it was probably a better ship but it shows how hard it is to get anything "cheap" in UK procurement. Possibly they'll finish up as T31's without a helicopter or anti-sub capability.

I wait in anticipation.
Not sure what any of that had to do with Longbow, but hey-ho.....
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Old 24th Jun 2024, 16:56
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Originally Posted by Not_a_boffin
Not sure what any of that had to do with Longbow, but hey-ho.....
It's because he has been reading his Ladybird book of naval warfare again.
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Old 24th Jun 2024, 22:42
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https://www.navylookout.com/royal-na...g-motherships/

The Royal Navy wants three new-build mine hunting motherships

It has emerged that the RN plans to acquire up to three ‘survivable, non-complex warships’ designed from the outset to be motherships for autonomous mine-hunting boats.


Main difference between Royal Navy MHC and France/Belgium/Netherlands is a craving for above all, SPACE. Room to carry more/larger USVs, prospectively (2 now, hopefully 3 in near future), ROVs, UUVs/AUVs, etc. The less space constraints, the better. It's the best future-proofing.

​​​​​​​Ships being built for Belgium/Netherlands/France are brilliant little ships perfectly designed against the MCM system as is now. But space lets you adapt to how it will be tomorrow. Also, more room for NAVYPODs to bring aboard anything from better defence weapons to more drones.
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Old 25th Jun 2024, 07:44
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"Not sure what any of that had to do with Longbow, but hey-ho....."

well yo u kindly pointed out that Longbow was an unpowered barge for those who didn't know.

My point was that whenever the RN tries to go "low cost" it never turns out that way.
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Old 25th Jun 2024, 07:56
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"One of the lessons from the past is not to build small ships -"

I'd add building ships that don't breakdown regularly is also a good idea. But if we keep building larger and larger ships we have, given the budgets available, less and less of them.

Patrick Boniface of Warship World recently pointed out that:-

"Modern warships are more capable and their weapons more lethal, but they can only be in one place at a time and fewer and fewer available hulls they are in less places more often that before"
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