· Type 26 Global Combat Ship: no not a British version of the USN’s Littoral Combat Ship nor the RN’s Type 23 frigates, but a Frigate successor to the larger more general purpose Type 22 class frigates, the last 4 of which were recently.
· Area Defence: weapons which exist to defend the task group, usually covering an area with a radius greater than 15nm, examples of such systems would be Aster 30 (as fitted in Type 45 class), SM-2 (as fitted in Arleigh Burke class)
· Point Defence: weapons which exist to primarily defend the ship and vessels it is very close to, usually covering an area with a radius less than 15nm,
A rough outline of Task Group Air Defence parameters
· ASW: Anti-Submarine Warfare
· ASuW: Anti-Surface Warfare
· MCMV: Mine Counter Measures Vessel
· Stanflex, is a modular mission payload system developed by the Royal Danish Navy, it allows for a ship’s out fitting to be quickly changed and supports a range of systems, from Oceanography to Harpoon SSMs, from MCM gear to SAMs or Torpedoes, and a whole range of other systems.
· Organic, when this is used in military terminology it means something that is part of that group, i.e. an aircraft carrier provides a task group with ‘organic’ air defence & strike aircraft, an oceanography vessel provides the task group with an ‘organic’ ocean mapping and analysis of conditions.
· UAV: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
· USV: Unmanned Surface Vehicle
· UUV: Undersea Unmanned Vehicle
· EEZ: Exclusive Economic Zone, they are up 200miles out to sea from shore, or contiguous with an undersea shelf that is UN mandated under the jurisdiction of a country to manage the resources of.
HMS Echo, one of the RN’s oceanographic survey vessels
In Britain the emphasis on high value units has been exacerbated by two beliefs. One of which has been held since the 1970s that should a major conflict arise there will be enough time or warning for the low value units to be mass produced (this is despite the closing of shipyards, and the consequent loss of not only production space but experience). The other view can be seen as a more problematic one. That is there is a growing trend to try and make ships do more by adding in more and more capability into a hull – in part this is because with few vessels, those vessels need to do more, which in turns makes them more expensive and meaning fewer can be built without further money being allocated – something which doesn’t happen often. The trouble is a vessel may be more capable, it may even be three times as capable as its predecessor, but one ship can only be in one place at a time; that might be in refit or more likely it might be the North Atlantic when they are needed in Indian Ocean or the Pacific. The trouble is that any design that attempts to rectify the RN’s lack of numbers will have to at least conform to these ideas in spirit in order to be accepted.
A knud Ramusen the current Danish OPV and the class which replaced the Flyvefisken and took some of their Stanflex modules
A Stanflex system being taken out of a Flyvefisken class vessel – highlighting it’s ease of change
The Flyvefisken Class Highlighting some of the range of options available with stanflex by MConrad
The UK’s Exclusive Economic Zone
· Task Group: Point AAD, ASW, ASuW, MCMV
· Oceanography & Artic Patrol (this would be limited as they would lack the icebreaking capacity of HMS Endurance or HMS Protector)
· Presence - which requires significant surveillance capacity, enhanced self-defence systems and an ASuW capability,
· Oceanography & Artic Patrol - would be fitted with survey modules, boats and some UUV/USV
· one Oceanography,
· one MCMV
· Sensors: Air/Surface Search - SMART-S mk2, ESM - Vigile 400 ES, Sonar - Thales UMS4132 Kingklip
· Engines: Combined Diesel Gas and Electric, whereby the diesel and gas can be used to generate electricity which will power batteries which power pod propulsion units… ensuring maximum modularity & survivability with minimum cost – plus the very real advantages of running on batteries for ASW/MCMV warfare, the economical distance of diesel and the high speed of gas.
· Speed: >25knots (it’s got to be able to operate with the Carrier Battlegroup)
· Aviation Facilities: Hangar for one Lynx + 2 Rotary UAVs
· Boats: stern ramp, that can be fitted with towed sonar array or launch boat (must retain ability to do either at short notice)
· Procurement would be at the rate of initial rate of 6 a year, after the first three years falling to 4 for the next three, then 2 for the next 4 years … spreading the cost of procurement over 10 years
· Furthermore the small size and design simplicity would allow for the construction to be spread out to different yards than just the BAE ones – allowing for an element of competition which has recently not been in British ship procurement to affect the pricing of the vessels
· Finally all systems are to be procured off the shelf, therefore R&D costs are merely about fitting those systems together, again something which has mostly been done (even the hull design proposed is based on the BAE F2000, a design that has
· Simple design: easy to build and maintain
· Adaptable: modular system + size gives it a lot of flexibility to be adapted to emerging situations or technological changes
· Cheap: so enough vessels can be procured
Meko A200 Valour Class
LCS 1 USS Freedom & LCS 2 USS Independence
The overview and dimensions
Son of River Class by username MSR
· http://warships1discussionboards.yuku.com/topic/1155/A-diversion-from-serious-topics-Son-of-River-Stanflex-Hybrid#.UfFBDtxwaM8 – a very interesting discussion.
· http://www.defencemanagement.com/defence_comment.asp?id=62430 – seems a lot of people are in favour of more escorts.