If this is the case then another interesting twist on the lower level capability debate is, if one accepts that any vessel primarily designed for an SP&SST role is not going to be asked to go into harms way in a peer conflict and so doesn’t really need any up-arming capability, just how small a vessel could provide the SP&SST role? Those cutters are mostly used to go after drug cartels and interecpt illegal immigrants and human smugglers. Here she sits at Scotstoun on the River Clyde. It looks similar to the US Coast Guard’s Reliance class cutters that were built between 1964 and 1969. The ship has achieved the Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 3 status, an updated set of fuel and vehicle standards aimed at cutting pollution. With her upcoming deployment to the Falklands, this was the first time I found myself available to see HMS Forth before she set sail to the Southern hemisphere to replace HMS Clyde, but as the evening sun started to set she makes her way towards Devonport on a beautiful calm still evening 02.08.19 Right now, there simply is no call for that sort of expenditure and while people say “our budget is XYZ”, remember that it’s all spoken for, unless you have a *surplus* of 12 billion pounds (over a period of years is possible too), all that money is already being used for something else. A 76 mm gun is useful for intimidating modern large, ocean-going fishing vessels that may be bent on poaching, and so is a valid option for, example, the Irish Naval Service (which has no corvettes, let alone frigates) but it carries the risk that politicians will see the OPV as more powerful than it really is and order deployments in areas where it should not go. Roll Random Map! Not gapping Crowsnest As we know, however, most of the nations all around the globe do not have more than 3 SSKs nor 4 squadrons of atackers. We’re making work for a Korean shipyard with massive tankers, then tossing our own yard a few patrol vessels with otherwise dubious necessity – do we want the domestic industry or not? The secular dictators were not nice guys, but they kept things stable. Can you get to and stay where you need to be? Simply too much kit to maintain and too many systems to operate in multi environment warfare nor forgetting the flight. As NAB pointed out their are OSA issue’s (I struggled, although born in England but to a Catholic Northern Irish mother and an ex-RN English father ) and there is always the issue of tax claw back from both the manufacturer, supplier’s and UK staff. Literally the burnt hand (boat) teaches best. I mean this from the perspective of T26 being the foundation for T31 and the ultimate replacement for T45. Medway will be a couple of months behind Forth in going to sea for a second time. NaB, don’t know about you guys but the checks here probably just involve a reference check, a school graduation check and a check on Interpol and travel to “proscribed” countries and that is about it. The one thing that the National Security cutter excels at is being able to have the Sea legs to stay on station longer than any other ship. You base your opinion on their displacement so that means the LCS's sre frigates. Magazine Mods are a must even for full on warships. A hull mounted sonar with max draught of 4M will be interesting as well, as will a 10 tonne helo capability with a TAS on this 95M platform. Also very suggestive in this regard is the unprecedented top speed of the R2s, in comparison to the RN’s previous OPVs — 24 knots. Once commissioned, she will enter a period of ship’s staff workup and her first maintenance period under the Contractor Logistics Support programme (CLS) which will be delivered by BAE Systems’ Maritime Services business, which delivers upkeep and maintenance for the entire Royal Navy surface fleet based at Portsmouth. This allows regular unsupervised access to TS material. SharpEye for next Batch 2 River class OPVs. “Engineers at BAE Systems have modified the design to meet the requirements of the Royal Navy,” said BAES in a press release dated 8 June 2015. Sustainability increases as well…you can Vertrep stores from an RFA or from ashore. Suffice to say that the R2s will be able to act as floating, moving, forward operating bases for helicopters detached from larger units (frigates, destroyers, aircraft carriers) or from shore bases, for one, two or a few days, depending on the mission, type of helicopter and weather conditions. But why these changes? We are now down to 19 & if the faffing continues, perhaps 14. That is the problem. According to Terma, the Scanter 4100 can provide 2D air surveillance to a range of 90 nm and 35 000 ft in altitude. What the Royal navy is doing to the River class OPV is putting a WEAK gun on a ship. you got to figure out how you want to play the game first. However, if we only have 6 destroyers & 8 frigates, then the OPVs will need to be more “fighty”. You didn’t even go over the basics and you want to talk allocation and needed numbers? It shall also have, improved splint speed (because of additional length), longer range/endurance (larger hull) and better sea keeping. Do not forget that the RN has decades of experience in operating ships with flight decks but no hangars. The absolutely last thing we should do in my view is give them another class to design until the first T26 hits the water. They can handle smugglers, pirates and small-scale terrorist groups, but nothing greater than that (including major terrorist movements). I am with MSR absolutely on this BAE are seriously struggling in comparison to their peers in terms of warship offers. TenCate Advanced Armor recently completed the installation of a protective armour solution developed for BAE Systems for the River Class Batch 2 Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), demonstrating TenCate Advanced Armor’s capability to integrate, manufacture, and install the … – Insist on T26 accepting reduced number: Normal services to be resumed with the fall of Odessa later this year :-( The issue is they are unsupported as all the money went into MCM modules for LCS. I’m sure they would like to Harpoon every suspected smuggler in the UK EEZ! So, my point again. (My father was one of the Fleet Air Arm maintainers embarked during these exercises, which served to test the Wessex in the ASW role.) In addition, the minimum manning adopted was not for efficiency but for short endurance – the T23s were supposed to head out, complete a 4 week patrol then head back for maintenance. It’s the amount needed to keep the Govan yards fully staffed between the QEC and T26 builds. This is similar to what is happening between your Type- series and the Rivers series, one is a patrol ship, the other is a ship designed for high intensity situations. The 30mm is weak for that OPV. So perhaps aircraft, ships and ground units should be in the force structure that are more tailored to these threats rather than just high end units. If one looks at Venator 110 for instance there are a lot of people dismissing that as “wouldn’t last a second in a fight” but that is if anything slightly more fighty than the C Sword 90 (if torpedo tubes were added and maybe AESA non-AESA radar issues not withstanding). Here’s the specs on the US Coast Guard’s Reliance class cutters They were also originally conceived (but not designed) without a self-defence missile system, though that idea was short lived and the only evidence of it is the empty Sea Wolf silo on the Fort Victoria class, behind which the T23s would hide during a raid. Do you know the difference between the *POLICE* and the *NAVY*? I also hear the talk about an up-armed OPV, however good, not really being fighty enough to have much (if any) role in any peer or near-peer conflict. As for rough weather, if you are in an Atlantic storm, a ship will get tossed around if it is 2000, 4000 or 6000 tons. In this digital age, you can’t even buy a screwdriver without someone blogging it. It may be possible to fit the new sewage treatment system in straight swap for the existing system, provided it has the same dimensions and weight. But, since RN loses 2 frigate, a standing task will disapear (guess APT-S). A fifth was built for the Royal Thai Navy. ), then reduce T26 to 10, and increase “extended-R2” to 3. Again, yes, it is not pleasant to carry out maintenance work on a helicopter on an open deck, unless the ship is operating in a balmy climate. Royal Navy’s Final Batch 2 River Class OPV HMS Spey Arrives in Portsmouth. (Of course, I might be wrong, but I do not think I am.) With her upcoming deployment to the Falklands, this was the first time I found myself available to see HMS Forth before she set sail to the Southern hemisphere to replace HMS Clyde, but as the evening sun started to set she makes her way towards Devonport on a beautiful calm still evening 02.08.19 I hope all the issue addressed in this post is correct. Moreover, it is a pretty safe bet that the RN has not only exercised swarm attacks, but that Ministry of Defence scientists, in what used to be (and maybe still is) called Operational Research (OR), have simulated and modeled them. Long story short, how you fit your ship is a reflection on how you operate. BAe had a go but had nothing to offer that met the requirements. Warships need not comply but if you don’t, you tend to find that the number of Ports that will allow you alongside diminishes very quickly and that greatly affects sustainability and endurance. So, vision of your role in the world, then concept of how to get there. Finally, originally it was proposed that the exhaust system be modified, but reportedly that has been determined to be no longer required. These are rugged ships with long endurance, designed to spend a lot of time away from home, at sea, in all weathers. The Rivers are not frigates regardless of what you would like us to believe or think you heard. Think of it this way if it makes you happier JH, every OPV is taking up a task that you would have assigned a Type-45/26 to do, which means that you now got a “spare” destroyer or frigate that can be elsewhere fighting bush fires. That is exactly the problem with your comparisons. @wf A 76 MM gun or the 57 MM Bofors would be far better for the River class OPV. At present the RN has 4 MCMV’s permanently in the Gulf. I want to see you call for the abolition of the police department since against an army, they are useless. If you make it “more T26-like”, it is much better to continue T26 build, becase ship-design cost consumes at least 1-2 unit cost. How do you improve watertight integrity? Sadly, with 19, perhaps reducing to 14, the risk is that we send a lightly armed OPV to do a frigate/destroyer job & it ends up getting sunk. Have we lost of the art of digging in and building field defences? This idea that small ships cannot get beyond the Isle of Wight is a nonsense. As for the UK’s design teams, in these days of multinational companies and freedom of movement, are the UK’s ship design teams genuinely any more British than Arsenal’s first team? It is to do with a capability assessment. They and any potential Gulf based OPV(should that happen) would not go out to play in a warfighting situation unless the enemy forces had been completly neutralised as a viable threat be that in the air, on the surface or sub surface. Batch 2: Forth, Medway, Trent: On 6 November 2013 it was announced that the British Government had signed an Agreement in Principle to build three new offshore patrol vessels, based on the River-class design, at a fixed price of £348 million including spares and support for the Royal Navy. I had hoped I would stimulate debate. What kind of logic is that? That is why they are there and why nobody at 5th Fleet would dream of swapping 2 of them for another 2 Patrol Boats. There are many who won’t be upset by such a change. 12 billion pounds for just the Type-45 build cost alone IIRC. IM weapons are coming into service but the legacy munitions in use have a number of serious problems if damaged by shrapnel, bullet penetration or just being in a good old blazing inferno. Those Brunei ships? Astute class was late being ordered and got later and later in build. What won’t is the up-armouring, and an attempt by the MoD and BAE to turn these into something other than what they are: simple hulls to do simple things, fisheries, counter-piracy, smuggling etc. So what if a cable is to big (for now – what happens when the customer whats a bigger whatever?) ‘No sh1t – a catalogue of designs that they’ll supply for free? My professor always said I should plan my essays more thoroughly before embarking on a multi-page rant, so here’s my outline: let me know if I managed to stick to it! Even BAE couldn’t miss that one. 1) You are using a ship that is not designed for that job even though you have more appropriate equipment available and 2) You redirected a ship used for fisheries protection in local areas to an overseas risky posting when there are already more capable ships on station in that area. Our OPVs are strictly short ranged, though they have ranged as far as Australia but that was for practice and training. “Naval News” is an online defense media company, focused on Warships, Submarines, Naval Air, Marines, Coast Guard and Naval Missiles. That’s the context of our naval requirements. But this strengthens my argument: you cannot retain warship building skills by building standard OPVs, but only by building warships (even if they are small & lightly armed). Sep 1, 2016 - It's a process the Clyde shipbuilders of the past could never have dreamed of - the chance to take a detailed, virtual tour of a ship before it is… – ‘Not the mission we signed up for!’. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UKBF_42m_Customs_Cutter. They’ve made a very handy small warship- as long as everyone remembers it is only a small warship, not the death star, Really well thought out and researched article. R2 OPV’s would be an ideal replacement for at least 2 of them and would offer far more options than the current MCMV forces can provide with regards to Maritime Security Patrols. The fact that the RN has attempted to make the most out of a bad situation by upgrading these ships as much as possible is not surprising. Given the necessity of a short-range attack, the shorter range of the Mk 44 Gatling guns (in comparison to the 25 mm cannons carried in the BAES OPVs now operated by the Brazilian Navy) is, in this scenario, quite irrelevant but their higher rate of fire is very relevant. What happens when we do not have a frigate/destroyer available? Second, these changes convert the ships from standard OPVs to real, if lightly armed, warships, with significant flexibility designed into them. T26 has 7000 nm long rage. People who work at airports etc have this. Wacking Russians is a hobby. They are certainly not going to have any wartime role however, maritime security is the limit. If escort number is in risk to decline, RN shall either build “very cheap” Patrol Frigate” = “British-Floreal-Frigate” to fill the gap, or jut leave that tasks to be gapped. “…an opportunity to design a mid-sized vessel that may sell overseas…”. Following is my “personal” view. tools/tracking. -The Falklands. Nicky: can you explain a bit more about what that USCG 76mm is for…? This runs the risk of perception becoming belief, concept becoming doctrine, in using these patrol ships in an environment where they are nothing more than targets and utterly unable to protect themselves against the immense violence that kinetic impacts today have. Are you going to send the police department to GWII? That is fine in theory, but wars tend to come out of nowhere fast & you end up fighting with what you have got. In other words the Brits are contemplating building another under-armed warship much like the River Class frigates. Correction, Echo is closer to 3,700 tons, built to have plenty of space for the crew and to withstand harsh weather, I agree that the RN are right to insist on all the upgrades but in view of modern ASM these are VC’s in the making if put in harms way against any peer force . Look at the US Coast Guard for example, countries that want to emulate the US Coast Guard because we are seen as a Law Enforcement/Humanitarian/Military role. :) Those kind of megalomaniacs tend to love big ships with lots of guns and missiles. http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/files/2011/08/10976.jpg. Ballast Water and sewage system Mods are to be expected with the new, more stringent regulations coming into force for commercial ships. So its neither one thing or the other. Having recently completed a programme of successful sea trials to fully test the vessel, HMS Spey will now join her four sister ships in the Royal Navy fleet. Thanks to a urea filter which reduces nitrogen oxide emissions from the diesel generators by about 90%, HMS Spey will be one of the most environmentally friendly ships to join the fleet. Not forgetting these deployments are part of the training of the higher end fighty ships. Three were built for the Royal Navy, replacing the seven ships of the Island class, along with a fourth, a modified vessel based on the River class which replaced the Castle class, for duties in the Falklands. Having said all that about the C Sword it may well sell especially in the ME. They may and indeed have decided to prioritise one mission and gap another but they have not and would not tell us to send a totally unsuitable platform in harm’s way. JH I’m not sure where the containers go on the Rivers but from images of the B2s it looks as if there might be space for single containers port and starboard of the crane, aft of the ribs, which wouldn’t encroach on the flight deck. Observer, they did all that, but seem to be trying to ignore 1,2 and 3. HMS Spey is the fifth of and final River-class Batch 2 OPV on order from BAE Systems for the Royal Navy. :). NYPD vs Republican Guards or Revolutionary Guards?  She has a crew of 93, with space for up to 106. Wars may suddenly flare up, but equipment does not come from nowhere, if the area isn’t suitable for the Rivers, another asset type is going to be assigned there. Maybe a medium calibre gun and / or a VLS cell ? The RN had a cold war strength until the early 90s of 50 frigates & destroyers. A USB on a ship isn’t that hard to do, I’m sure the crewmen/women/it have lots of them whenever they bring consumer electronics aboard. This has a reported maximum range (in a naval role such as this) of 5 100 m. This is greater that the range to the visual horizon at sea level, which is about 4.7 km. The only enhancements that might be considered are some sort of decoy suite and some sort of UAV capability to enhance the surveillance and patrol aspect- eg camcopter in a dog kennel. HMS Tamar is a Batch 2 River-class offshore patrol vessel of the Royal Navy.Named after the River Tamar in England, this is the seventh Royal Navy ship to be named Tamar.. She is the fourth Batch 2 River-class vessel to be built. As for sensors, it has 4x fixed array panels for 360 degree coverage, + an electro-optic tracking system, fire control radar, RESM, IBCS, also has a hull mounted sonar + decoys for anti-ship missiles & torps. The flight deck strengthening is more problematic but is not just for taking a bigger helo. JH, there are limits to blaming other people for problems. However numbers are falling fast. Might there be some merit in looking at a design based upon those unsung heroes, the survey ships of the Echo class? For your dream fleet, something has to give. http://media.defense.gov/2011/Jun/24/2000243306/-1/-1/0/110617-G-RS249-001.JPG. The larger Castle-class could reach 19.5 kts. The long expected contract for ships four and five of the River-class Batch 2 programme for the Royal Navy (RN) was announced on 8 November. Marketplace. JH, you’re just working yourself into an unnecessary (and unrealistic) frenzy. In the US Coast Guard’s view, you want a Main deck gun that can stop a Boat or disable it’s engines. Regarding magazine protection, Kevlar is not cheap and we do not know how much is needed. You just can’t drop a heavier flight deck on the existing structure, I would argue. Which I think the 30MM is to weak for an OPV, A 30MM is more for ships like Sentinel-class cutter that the USCG is building right now. TenCate Advanced Armor completes installation task on River Class Batch 2 Offshore Patrol Vessels. Kept things stable also probably has consequences for the extra speed will help a lot RN! Shephard News team to avoid this issue as part of the indepth maintenance of equipment is by. Revolutionary Guards ships for roles, you ’ re limited in how big can. Or light frigate ”, I have already explained to you what when! To allocate your forces is not gona cut it range further, we have people claiming need! 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