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  • nocutstoRAF
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • May 2010
    • 954

    Originally posted by Jonesy View Post
    Fixed wing for ASW has been overtaken by rotary with the shift to the littoral. FLASH dipping sonar has given even top drawer SSN's nightmares under NATO testing at AUTEC. Multistatic LFA sonobuoy capability is out there now, but, it is no substitute for the tactical flexibility of a hunting pair of pinger choppers.
    I am puzzled, mostly my own fault for shifting the topic to ASW and being unable to disconnect the ASW role from fixed wing SAR C&C and surveillance aircraft, which I am fairly confident we could agree are still very useful (that is a SAR/surveillance aircraft). While I agree that the future threat for the UK are SSK's operating in littoral waters, what I am puzzled by is why everyone else is spending money on MPA's, is simply a case they want the SAR/surveillance aircraft and that if does not cost to much extra to add ASW capabilities to your SAR/surveillance aircraft?
    If having a little knowledge is dangerous then I must be bloody deadly

    Comment

    • Jonesy
      Neo-conversative
      • Jan 2000
      • 5097

      Not much interest in new build ASW heavy patrollers these days Nocuts. The US P8 is more multirole than ASW and the Russian A40 has been in the pipeline for a decade or more. Mostly operators are going for the ATR42 class surveillance optimised platforms for new build capability.
      Last edited by Jonesy; 30th October 2010, 11:54.

      Comment

      • Liger30
        Armed Forces supporter
        • Jul 2010
        • 901

        Stop looking at the inventory and look at the big-picture capability. The capability reflects the force doctrine. With half a dozen boats deployable at any one time the strategic aim of the fleet is not Atlantic surge/sea lane interdiction. Simply put they aren't interested in that any more. The Atlantic is too big an ocean for a handful of boats to actually achieve anything meaningful....and a planner would figure in attrition from the starting number. Why should we spend precious resources defending something no one is planning to attack?.
        That's your vision. Last thing i say about this, is that submarines have changed, and tactics and effects too.
        Moreover, merchant fleets are now far smaller than once were, and each ship is an higher loss and an higher value in money. In late 2008 the british merchant fleet numbered 646 registered vessels for a rough 13.000.000 tons (to give an idea, the U-boots in the second world war sunk 11.7 million tons, the 54% of pre-war merchant ships of the UK, while still in 1954 the Uk owned 2042 merchant ships), with 165 container ships (a modern container transport today has an average rough value as high as 50 million dollars with a payload of over 300 millions on average for travel), 134 tankers, 38 passenger ships and the rest Ro-Ro transports and other vessels.
        It is quite likely that in these two years the number has grown smaller, but i don't have more recent data at the moment.

        At a neat loss of over 350 million dollars in average for each ship lost, destroy the economy of a nation now is far easier than it was in the past.
        And while they have a lot less subs than in the past, there are also a lot less hunters, escorts and means to detect and track the enemies.
        I remind how much the old SSK Santa Fe in the Falklands war worried the RN, and how it was chased down, and i keep thinking my way.
        Have to hunt a "small" fleet of SSNs and SSGNs would be a nightmare to say the very least.

        As to Russia not considering this kind of operations in its wide military planning, i don't think so.
        Differently from NATO, Russia still carries on most big exercises in a very "Cold War" style, with NATO still as the enemy (and usually does so when Poland or whoever warms too much up with the West, so to show its force at the borders in a very clear and arrogant message - Ask the Baltic Republics for info about it).
        Not in a single speech, even in the best moments in the NATO-Russia relationships, the russian officers have missed underlining that, in their strategic vision, NATO is still their most likely adversary.
        And the same very fact that Akulas still come shadowing the Vanguards is both a show of force and a demonstration that their plan hasn't changed that much.

        After all, no military "expert" had thought they'd be able to use 30.000 soldiers in a 3 days time, and use them to so good effect in 2008 against Georgia.
        It might come the day the Navy shows that it is not at all as rusty as we like to believe. The deployment in mass to Venezuela last year was quite impressive in itself, after all.
        Last edited by Liger30; 30th October 2010, 13:29.
        "It is upon the navy under the providence of God that the safety, honour and welfare of this realm do chiefly attend." - King Charles II

        Comment

        • swerve
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Jun 2005
          • 13612

          Originally posted by Jonesy View Post
          Not much interest in new build ASW heavy patrollers these days Nocuts. The US P8 is more multirole than ASW and the Russian A40 has been in the pipeline for a decade or more. Mostly operators are going for the ATR42 class surveillance optimised platforms for new build capability.
          I thought MRA4 was supposed to be multi-role, not dedicated ASW.
          Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
          Justinian

          Comment

          • Liger30
            Armed Forces supporter
            • Jul 2010
            • 901

            And it definitely was.
            "It is upon the navy under the providence of God that the safety, honour and welfare of this realm do chiefly attend." - King Charles II

            Comment

            • Jonesy
              Neo-conversative
              • Jan 2000
              • 5097

              Originally posted by swerve View Post
              I thought MRA4 was supposed to be multi-role, not dedicated ASW.
              Absolutely. Still a heavy ASW component though and one incorporated at significant expense to go with an airframe designed for routine operation at a couple of hundred feet over-water on the hunt - something that P-8, for example, does not appear to have been especially optimised for.

              Comment

              • Liger30
                Armed Forces supporter
                • Jul 2010
                • 901

                The fact the Nimrod MRA4 can cruise at high altitude with four engines and then station, even very low on the water, with two engines only is a major plus on operations, though.
                The P-8 misses that, but it is certainly not an advantage, but a weak point in a plane that still is effectively a submarine hunter first of all. Having to stay high up in altitude is going to make it quite less effective at hunting subs, and make its MAD a lot less sensible.
                "It is upon the navy under the providence of God that the safety, honour and welfare of this realm do chiefly attend." - King Charles II

                Comment

                • nocutstoRAF
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • May 2010
                  • 954

                  Just read this story http://news.aol.co.uk/main-news/stor...return/1366028 which has a bit about Gordon Brown to appeal for the 50 year maintenance contracts for the carriers to go to a Scottish yard rather than a French dry dock. I presume the issue is yet to be decided but it is likely to go to the French dry dock, does anyone have any more information on this?
                  If having a little knowledge is dangerous then I must be bloody deadly

                  Comment

                  • Fedaykin
                    Fueled by Tea
                    • Dec 2005
                    • 5295

                    Gordon Brown is being stupid! He has made it less likely that the Rosyth yard would get the support contract.

                    The fact is Rosyth being the building yard has a good chance at continuing as the continued support yard.

                    The only other place in the UK that has the capability to dry dock and service the QE class is Harland and Wolff. Actually they have had an upturn in recent years overhauling and refitting ships so they could certainly do it. If I was the coalition I would offer the contract to H&W to spite Brown with the added advantage it would take the heat off recently announced cuts for Northern Ireland.
                    Last edited by Fedaykin; 31st October 2010, 22:31.
                    Because sometimes in life we need a bit of fun

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXNAp3mKepc

                    Comment

                    • nocutstoRAF
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • May 2010
                      • 954

                      Is it usual to let maintenance contracts a decade before you expect the carriers to come into service? When I read the article, I assumed that a) the contracts are likely to be let soon, b) that the MoD was favouring a French yard and that c) the reasons for points a and b where political. However the only reason I can imagine that they would agree to French yards handling the maintenance is if it is part of the price we are paying for closer defence ties with France, and it would also explain the timing.
                      If having a little knowledge is dangerous then I must be bloody deadly

                      Comment

                      • Liger30
                        Armed Forces supporter
                        • Jul 2010
                        • 901

                        So far, the french are the ones who get the most advantages out of the Defence Collaboration, in the order:
                        -Usage of RAF tanker planes (much as they are bitching about too-high hour price and trying to obtain an even more advatageous price)
                        -Permission to deploy Rafales on Queen Elizabeth
                        -Sovereignty rights on the Mantis as it becomes a common programme

                        I think they are getting a true bargain out of it even without blessing their shipyards with mainteinance contracts for the CVFs. They might be able to offer better prices, but political it will be suicidal to announce to the nation "look, our 5 billions carriers will have planes tomorrow. In the meanwhile, on top of letting french use them, we are also paying french shipyards to maintain them. As a result, a few hundred redundancies in UK shipyards are likely."

                        Gordon Brown or not, Rosyth or not, such an announcement would be political suicide. Just like the bid of french yards to build the CVF, it is likely, and overall desirable, that the french-proposal will die in time.
                        Better to make good use of the experience, dock and machinery paid and installed in Rosyth, and keep up british jobs as much as possible, apart from retaining the capability to refit the UK ships in UK shipyards.
                        "It is upon the navy under the providence of God that the safety, honour and welfare of this realm do chiefly attend." - King Charles II

                        Comment

                        • benroethig
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • Aug 2010
                          • 487

                          Originally posted by nocutstoRAF View Post
                          Is it usual to let maintenance contracts a decade before you expect the carriers to come into service? When I read the article, I assumed that a) the contracts are likely to be let soon, b) that the MoD was favouring a French yard and that c) the reasons for points a and b where political. However the only reason I can imagine that they would agree to French yards handling the maintenance is if it is part of the price we are paying for closer defence ties with France, and it would also explain the timing.
                          That and British shipbuilding has been let slide to a point where the yards that can do it are the upgraded Rosyth and H&W. Rosyth is needed to assemble PoW.

                          Comment

                          • swerve
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Jun 2005
                            • 13612

                            Think again, Ben. You don't need to dock QE or PoW for maintenance until after PoW is assembled.
                            Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
                            Justinian

                            Comment

                            • benroethig
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • Aug 2010
                              • 487

                              You greatly discount how often a ship will go into the yard.

                              Comment

                              • swerve
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Jun 2005
                                • 13612

                                Not at all. How many times do you expect QE to go into a dock in the two years after she's floated out? That's the period under discussion.

                                After that, one dock is more than enough for maintaining two ships.
                                Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
                                Justinian

                                Comment

                                • Liger30
                                  Armed Forces supporter
                                  • Jul 2010
                                  • 901

                                  After that, one dock is more than enough for maintaining two ships.
                                  Indeed, the whole point of having two hulls is the need to ensure that one is always available, even when one of the carriers is in dock undergoing refit. So one dock is what's needed, necessary and sufficient.
                                  "It is upon the navy under the providence of God that the safety, honour and welfare of this realm do chiefly attend." - King Charles II

                                  Comment

                                  • Geoff_B
                                    Rank 5 Registered User
                                    • Jul 2010
                                    • 507

                                    Originally posted by swerve View Post
                                    Not at all. How many times do you expect QE to go into a dock in the two years after she's floated out? That's the period under discussion.

                                    After that, one dock is more than enough for maintaining two ships.
                                    Generally you would say none, but the given the current RN trend for bumping their first of class this year........

                                    Comment

                                    • Stryker73
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • Jun 2010
                                      • 274

                                      Liam Fox toured the yards a few days back, there is a video in this report showing a brief glimpse of the whole of one of the QE's super blocks (at around 10 secs)
                                      http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/e...ards-1.1064453

                                      There was also a debate in parliament last night on the Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers build timeframe/support contracts etc, you can watch here (at about 22:18)
                                      http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Pl...meetingId=6761

                                      Transcript available here
                                      http://www.publications.parliament.u.../20.htm#1025pm

                                      Seems that not many final decision on procurement of cats have been taken yet but a few snippets from the debate in the house

                                      Each vessel will require a period of major maintenance every six years, including a period in dry dock for hull cleaning, survey and preservations, which we expect will take about 36 weeks. In addition, the operational vessel will require up to 12 weeks of maintenance per year, depending on operational tasking.
                                      Dr Julian Lewis (New Forest East) (Con): Can my hon. Friend at least go as far as dispelling any rumour or suggestion that the second carrier will be sold rather than remaining a part of the Royal Navy?
                                      Peter Luff: That option is indeed spelt out in the SDSR document, but I think that it is unlikely to be adopted. Extended readiness is a much more likely option.
                                      And finally:

                                      Turning to future shipbuild work, we now expect up to three years of additional design and modification work on the Queen Elizabeth class carriers to address the changes needed to install catapults and arrester gear.
                                      3 Years seems a lot to me for CATOBAR conversion but suggest a launch of HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2017, is that right?
                                      Last edited by Stryker73; 2nd November 2010, 02:15.

                                      Comment

                                      • Geoff_B
                                        Rank 5 Registered User
                                        • Jul 2010
                                        • 507

                                        I rather suspect there will be a slight delay due to the modifications to the deck of probably 6-12 mths depending on how long the structual mods take to be designed and if existing blocks already in assembly require modification.

                                        The rest of the delay is probably going to be during the fitting out process whilst they await and then fit and test the catobar gear. I should think we'll see QE launch in the 2014-16 period and probably set sail on builders sea trials well before the 2018.

                                        Comment

                                        • nocutstoRAF
                                          Rank 5 Registered User
                                          • May 2010
                                          • 954

                                          Originally posted by Stryker73 View Post
                                          3 Years seems a lot to me for CATOBAR conversion but suggest a launch of HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2017, is that right?
                                          Did they not already push QE launch date to the right, to 2016? So if you presume that is an established fact, then 3 years delay gives a 2019 launch date, with F-35C's coming on-line in 2020.
                                          If having a little knowledge is dangerous then I must be bloody deadly

                                          Comment

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