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Surface Forces: The Shrinking Royal Navy
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October 3, 2007: News of plans to cut the Royal Navy to as few as fifty ships caused a lot of controversy. This is only natural, as the United Kingdom, being an island nation, is heavily dependent on the sea and has faced submarine blockade twice - and has also had the need to project power to a distant locale on its own. In essence, the British are gambling that quantity is less important than quality.

While the Royal Navy's facing budget cuts, it is still going to get some very capable platforms. The two Queen Elizabeth-class carriers, which will carry three dozen F-35s and support helicopters, will arguably be the second-most powerful carriers in the world. The Daring-class destroyers are arguably as good as the American Arleigh Burke-class destroyers in the air-defense role. The Astute-class submarines will be among the best in the world - and British submariners are very good at using them. Messing with the Royal Navy will cost you - just ask Argentina- whose 1982 invasion of the Falklands was reversed.

That said, these new ships are expensive, and this means that there's not going to be as many of them purchased in the first place. The eight Daring-class destroyers will be replacing twelve Type 42 destroyers. The Royal Navy will have only two Queen Elizabeth-class carriers to replace the three Invincible-class carriers. The six submarines of the Swiftsure-class and the seven Trafalgar-class submarines may be replaced by a total of eight Astute-class submarines.

Mind you, the British ships will be very capable - and with precision-guided weapons like the Tomahawk, one doesn't need as many sorties to shut down an airfield, or to take out a bridge. The ships are carrying more weapons than their predecessors (the Type 45 carries 48 surface-to-air missiles - compared to 22 Sea Darts in a Type 42). That said, as capable as the ships are, they cannot be in two places at once. If someone can get the Royal Navy out of position, they have a chance to put some serious hurt on the United Kingdom. - Harold C. Hutchison (haroldc.hutchison@gmail.com)

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EssexBoy       10/3/2007 1:02:43 PM
The RN's future may be worse than the sysops article suggests. For a truly depressing experience (if you're British that is) have a read of Richard Beedall's latest piece on Navy-Matters.
 
In summary his concerns are: not enough f35Bs will be bought to allow the RN to field three full squadrons: no funding for a decent AEW system: lack of funding for the supply and support ships to go with the carriers.
 
Also, the sysops article is being optimistic about the T45s and the Astutes. All MoD statements refer to "up to eight" T45s and only six have so far been ordered (apparently three of these orders are for "hull-only"). Furthermore, the T45s can't fire tomahawks as they weren't fitted with the Mark 41 that the RN wanted (they got the DCN Sylver instead). With regards to the Astutes; only three have been ordered, although some long-lead items have been ordered for the fourth. Nothing has been agreed for boats five to eight.
 
BTW today's Grauniad reported speculation that the PM will make an announcement to the House next week concerning Iraq and the results of the CSR to 2011. So we may hear something more definite soon.
 
Essex
 
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stephen    very worrying for RN   10/3/2007 2:30:37 PM
I think as another has said, the worrying aspects are the lack of support ships (MARS seems to have been scaled back or cancelled), the lack of fighters to operate from the carriers and the very small escort force.
 
From what I have read the astute sub is nearly on a par with the US equivalent, perhaps even equal, but the Type 45 is not much of a revolution. Apart from the limited commitment to numbers, the Type 45 is not anywhere near the Arleigh Burke class, lacking everything from torpedo tubes to cruise missiles. It is not that I expect the UK to be fighting the US, but rather the build cost of each unit is fairly similar leaving me puzzled as to why the UK keeps laying out vast RD costs for ships rather than purchasing off the shelf US equivalents. It is not as if there have been orders for new build British designed warships recently...and is it worth the effort in case saudi might buy a couple.
 
The RN has sacrificed a lot to get these carriers, I really hope we wont find them being used a LPHs and helicopter carriers like so many of their predecessors..after all we can buy that capability for about a 1/10th of the price!!
 
Stephen
 
 
 
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Duubz       10/3/2007 3:27:34 PM

I think as another has said, the worrying aspects are the lack of support ships (MARS seems to have been scaled back or cancelled), the lack of fighters to operate from the carriers and the very small escort force.

 

From what I have read the astute sub is nearly on a par with the US equivalent, perhaps even equal, but the Type 45 is not much of a revolution. Apart from the limited commitment to numbers, the Type 45 is not anywhere near the Arleigh Burke class, lacking everything from torpedo tubes to cruise missiles. It is not that I expect the UK to be fighting the US, but rather the build cost of each unit is fairly similar leaving me puzzled as to why the UK keeps laying out vast RD costs for ships rather than purchasing off the shelf US equivalents. It is not as if there have been orders for new build British designed warships recently...and is it worth the effort in case saudi might buy a couple.

 

The RN has sacrificed a lot to get these carriers, I really hope we wont find them being used a LPHs and helicopter carriers like so many of their predecessors..after all we can buy that capability for about a 1/10th of the price!!

 

Stephen

 

 


We're building them ourselves for the sake of a lot of jobs and our entire ever declining ship building industry.
You can not possibly say it is a poor ship because it cant fire cruise missiles or torpedos. It's an AAW Destroyer equipped with what is needed to fulill the AAW role. We have the subs for the cruise missile and anti-ship role and the helicopters and air force for the anti-sub role. The type 45 has a brilliant hull and top notch radar, not the mention the ability to upgrade it in the future to include the ability to launch cruise missiles and torpedos if for some reason we would need them to be able to do so, which I doubt we ever will.
 
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Herald1234    The Type 45   10/3/2007 4:37:15 PM
may be the BEST AAW ship afloat; until the USN gets the SPY-3 AAW cruisers and even then the DARING will give that cruiser a run for its money.
 
As I keep learning more about this incredible ship, its radars, ESM and EW systems I continue to be amazed that the RN saddled itself with the crappy ASTER missile. If you had a SAM missile worthy of the ship you produced we'd be beating down your doors to license copy it. You will note that British countermeasure and decoy systems [as well as many Australian systems] are showing up in USN ships? 
 
Herald 
 
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Duubz       10/3/2007 4:44:12 PM

may be the BEST AAW ship afloat; until the USN gets the SPY-3 AAW cruisers and even then the DARING will give that cruiser a run for its money.

 

As I keep learning more about this incredible ship, its radars, ESM and EW systems I continue to be amazed that the RN saddled itself with the crappy ASTER missile. If you had a SAM missile worthy of the ship you produced we'd be beating down your doors to license copy it. You will note that British countermeasure and decoy systems [as well as many Australian systems] are showing up in USN ships? 

 

Herald 


You keep on syaing that the ASTER is crap, now this is something I know nothing about other than what I have read on here and a few things on wiki e.t.c.
 
On these sties it says that the ASTER has performed brilliantly in all the tests it has done. In light of this, what exactly is it that make it so rubbish if this is the case, or are the French and British simply lying so the French can get more orders and so the British people don't realise we've wasted valuable cash on something not worth it?
 
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Herald1234    Plenty of data here.   10/3/2007 5:20:32 PM
 
Read it and weep for your sailors. That crap missile is designed around MICA the worst A2A missile in production. How bad is ASTER and the EMPAR radar to which it is matched?
 
More than 4 inbounda at MACH 1 and the system fails.
 
Inbound moves faster than 350 mps and the system [missule] fails.
 
SMARTL cannot capture and update it at all as of as recently as two years ago..
 
SAMPSON can barely support ASTER as the timeclocking between updating between SAMPSON and ASTER is so screwed up that the ASTER drops 80%> of the telemetry updates. Screwed up ASTER antenna design MBDA refuses to fix in the missile. Couple that with the pathetically myopic MICA derived seeker in the the ASTER killbody and any miss into the drop basket by as,little as 1.5 seconds early or late, and the missile goes DUMBO. You might as well as throw rocks.
 
Horrible rocket-simply horrible, telemetry designed by totally incompetent engineers.  I would have FIRED the fools involved.
 
Herald
 
 
 
 
 
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stephen       10/4/2007 4:31:49 AM
Well off course there is a political aspect to all naval procurement, everywhere.
 
However the US had to be called in to sort out the Astute anyway and I dont think they would insist the UK buy Arleigh Burkes from US shipyards.
 
I think it is fair to the the Type 45 is a poor ship (or poor value for money) given that apart from PAAMS the systems are all roughly equivalent to the Type 42. There is a dogmatic belief in splitting the roles of AAW and ASW etc in the RN, and this leads to ships being paired up even though for a little extra cost a few harpoon cells or CIWS could be fitted making much more independently capable ships.
 
I have read that the PAAMS system performed exceptionally well in trials though...
 
 
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Herald1234    Yiu have your conclusions exactly backwards.   10/4/2007 8:29:07 AM
The ASTER tests like many early US BMD tests were "cooked", and never were REAL WORLD.
 
You also sadly and badly underestimate the electronics aboard the DARINGs.
 
Herald
 
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Bluewings12       10/4/2007 12:24:50 PM
Here we go again , Herald is spraying his venom and spreading his bulls*it . Yawn ......

Keep your nonsense bla-bla Herald (or Poseur3 I should say) . You are no-one and in no position to even dare to discuss MICA and ASTER . You best move would be to phone directly MBDA or Thales and explain them how crap their stuff is and teach them how to make a missile . But of course , they would surely roll on the floor pissing themselves when earing your idees !!!

""The ASTER tests like many early US BMD tests were "cooked", and never were REAL WORLD.""
ROFLMAO ! How wrong you are ...

Cheers .



 
Quote    Reply

Herald1234    As I told you, bozo.   10/4/2007 1:29:57 PM

Here we go again , Herald is spraying his venom and spreading his bulls*it . Yawn ......



Keep your nonsense bla-bla Herald (or Poseur3
I should say) . You are no-one and in no position to even dare to
discuss MICA and ASTER . You best move would be to phone directly MBDA
or Thales and explain them how crap their stuff is and teach them how
to make a missile . But of course , they would surely roll on the floor
pissing themselves when earing your idees !!!



""The ASTER tests like many early US BMD tests were "cooked", and never were REAL WORLD.""

ROFLMAO ! How wrong you are ...



Cheers .








You are not my technical equal nor do you know how or why I know what I KNOW.
 
The data is there in the posts. Refuted by ANYBODY? Nope.
 
Not even you poseurs 1 and 2 have mustered the science.
 
When the science is on my side, your desperate cries of NON! IMPOSSIBLE! are the cries of the ignorant fantasists into the hurricane of truth.,
 
And me trust Dassault's or Thales' lying flacks? That'll be the day. I TALK to the engineers, buffoon.
 
NOT the poseurs.
 
Herald  
 
 
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