back to article £1bn+ Royal Navy destroyer finally fires 'disgraceful' weapon

The Royal Navy's new £1bn+ Type 45 destroyers, which have been in service for several years (the first is already on her second captain), have finally achieved a successful firing of their primary armament. Aster missile launching from Type 45 destroyer. Credit: MBDA It worked this time, honest. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) …

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Pirate

To be fair

I think that the fact it worked on the first attempt on the 45 platform IS something to be proud of at least, since that is a rarity indeed.

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Oh Lewis

I was just thinking, "I wonder when Mr Page is going to have another good old go at the navy, it's been a while."

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Ship-to-ship

Indeed, aren't ship to ship encounters normally taken care of by some form of aircraft providing extended radar range? I'd have thought that once you're in ship to ship detection range you're fucked hence they don't need the surface level stuff. Plus they're normally operating in a battle group.

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FAIL

Well, it'll be fun...

...to see what happens to the RN's shiny new toys when they're 'swarmed' by small fast Iranian boats/hovercraft, then...

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Air Defence

"Our Type 45s will have no serious ability to strike targets ashore"

Being AIR defence destroyers this is hardly a problem. If it was specified at the start of the contract that they could attack land targets the design would have taken that into account.

My car can't drive underwater but that is because it was primarily designed as a road-going-air-breathing vehicle.

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point missed

You are correct however, that wasn't the point.

The point was you have for example, two options:

a; Car for 1bn

b; Car that can go underwater for 500mil

Which would you chose?

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FAIL

Franco-British-Italian equipment

Oh good God, you know it's going to rust don't you?

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Rusting's the least of its problems

The electrics won't work and the motor will be on strike most of the time.

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Too expensive to lose, too expensive to use

Should have commissioned some cheap gin palaces, classified their armament as SUPER TOP SEKRIT to achieve exactly same deterrent effect as PAAMS, and sent them off to show the flag and "escort" some AHCs around the Gulf.

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What else is new?

"It seems more like industry taking the MoD for a long and lucrative ride."

Sounds to me more like the industry, the MoD, and the politicians are taking the taxpayer for a long and lucrative ride. So what else is new?

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You know..

I reckon even a bunch of regtards could do a better job making this kit than the current defense industry.

Put it like this - SpaceX build a rocket capable of putting something in orbit, from scratch, for around $100million. Of course, air->air requires a bit more knowledge, but £1billion more?

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Anonymous Coward

Feel like doing that?

Open-source home-built vertically firing attack-anything missiles?

It's not going to be exactly easy, but starting out as, say, home defence, or high-tech pyrotechnic fishing gear, it might be an interesting project.

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Boffin

@James Hughes 1

"Put it like this - SpaceX build a rocket capable of putting something in orbit, from scratch, for around $100million."

Actually they built 5 (4 of 1 design, the 5th the bigger version) for c$250m. The first 3 failed. They learned. The last did not.

Joking aside this is *not* as simple as it sounds. Big jokers are the likely *very* complex radar (to detect and track the presumably large number of multiple objects around the ship) then interface it to the fire control computer to keep track of them all, predict which way they''re going next, if they're hostile etc. Then stitch those together with the missile data link and the missile itself.

Launch vehicles are in some ways quite "placid" vehicles. Big but changing direction fairly slowly, meaning they need controls that can respond fairly slowly. This is why the OTRAG group planned to use windscreen wiper motors for throttle and direction control. Missiles (especially these kinds) maneuver at high speeds in dense new 1 atmosphere air. This implies high forces on aerodynamic controls or to move outlet nozzles and *very* substantial heat loads on the body.

This sort of kit is either a pure solid fuel rocket (*very* poor choice for modern low cost launch vehicle designs. Their *apparent* simplicity is an illusion as they need *very* careful design, mfg and test to be reliable, which might have been the root cause of the missile delays) or solid fuel booster that turns into a solid fuel ramjet. This is even further than most commercial rocketry (The OSC Pegasus is 3 stage solid because that was what was available at the price on the time scale and Hercules is a partner of OSC).

Trying to duplicate this in the hobby field (certainly in the US and probably in Yoo-roop) gets you into the restrictions and hassle of High Power Rocketry.

Your problems start to *really* build if you want to build a warhead for this. Up to now some of your materials are potentially explosive. The warhead is designed to be explosive. Probably best tested inside a bunker somewhere in Montana.

Lots of fun to be had for this but not quite as simple as it seems.

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Happy

Re: Feel Like Doing That?

Yes. Indeed I do. I'm sure you don't mind that I started without the funding, do you?

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Regtards...

Good one

I am found of neologisms, and given I believe this is the first time I have encountered this term, I shall be upvoting you.

If however this term is not originally of your divising, you should still get an upvote for using it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Feel Like Doing That?

I don't mind, no. Like any self-respecting open-as-in-beer gn00 project the first ten years needs to be spent on creating the emulators to run the tools to emulate the tools to build the tools to build the emulators to run the simulators to develop the steering software against. And then some upstart funny talking continental comes along... anyway. No, by all means, do go ahead.

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Troll

wait for it...

Cue dozens of trolls, none of whom comment on any other articles, complaining that Lewis has recommended US-made kit once again.

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Troll

Not quite..

Objection! I also make lots of fundamentally worthless comments on other articles too!

Plus, I no live under a bridge, capiche?

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Troll

I stand corrected

Half a dozen

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Windows for Warships

Glad I live pretty much as inland as you can get in the UK

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Gates Horns

windows for warships

I'm sure that will be a comfort to you while some gormless squaddie is grappling with endless virus scan-reboot cycles in the hope they can regain control of the missile that's accidentally heading straight up your arse .

Windows for warships: I'm a PC and armageddon was my idea.

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Agree with you this time

Its criminal that they should be able to get away with this, the private sector would never accept a project so late without money off at the very very least.

I can only hope that Type45 and the submarine project is the end of the road for such projects. I am not saying we don't need the kit, I mean the delivery dates slippages, cost overruns and then to end with cheerful statements.

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Joke

"the command system runs Windows"

Cue the jokes.

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You got that before I could, darn.

What would be neat as a follow-up would be a BOFH tie-in with PFY and Simon playing with their new toy remotely.

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Anonymous Coward

Windows! Can't miss that opportunity

BSOD anyone?

I'm looking forward to the coments from the Apple Mac brigade

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Stop

Reality Check

"will have no serious ability to strike targets ashore"

Air defence destroyer?

"no weapon other than its guns with which to fight enemy ships"

Air defence destroyer? T45's job is to protect the carriers. It was assumed that the carriers would carry aircraft to deal with ship threats.

"such lamentable amounts of capability"

All capability specified by your good friends in the MoD. Most of the over spend due to them changing the spec every 5 minutes.

"It seems more like industry taking the MoD for a long and lucrative ride."

Really? Not at all because the specification kept changing or the designer had to incorporate dodgy foreign technology that was late/broken?

"as the delays and cost overruns on the Type 45s' largely foreign equipment"

Nice to see you identify the problem with foreign equipment. Obviously US stuff is perfect and we should simply hire the US Navy.

"are a big part of the reason why the navy may not in fact get its aircraft carriers"

No. The reason why the Navy may not get the carriers is that the last Government bankrupted the UK.

"and will almost certainly not get proper air groups for them."

and that will be largely to do with hugely expensive unreliable and unproven US planes.

"But it won't work nearly as well in support of land and air fighting as a carrier would, so to buy the one at the expense of the other"

You need other ships to defend the carriers. A carrier on its own is a sitting duck. You won't get a carrier without a T45 to defend it as part of a group.

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Troll

Unreliable and unproven US planes?

Lets buy the eurofighter then.

Oh wait...

/argument

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Joke

Re: Reality Check

"Air defence destroyer? T45's job is to protect the carriers."

If you can still afford them.

Reality cheque, please!

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Anonymous Coward

hmmm

""will have no serious ability to strike targets ashore"

Air defence destroyer?"

Indeed, however it's not a proven air defence destroyer (nobody knows if it can shoot down supersonic missiles) Also in the modern era where you can't be sure what the next battle you're going to fight is it would make sense to go with a weapon system that can be useful in multiple theaters.

""no weapon other than its guns with which to fight enemy ships"

Air defence destroyer? T45's job is to protect the carriers. It was assumed that the carriers would carry aircraft to deal with ship threats."

Indeed, but again you've developed a one trick pony (that isn't very good at that one trick and has no use other then that one role.) It was all very well having such limited vessels when you were facing only one realistic kind of role, but nowdays versitility is the name of the game.

""such lamentable ... hire the US Navy.""

I don't think anyone is saying that the MOD is doing a good job at specify and aquiring hardware. Also nobody is suggesting that you "hire" the US Navy, they're saying you get the best kit for the job given an uncertain future.

""are a big part of the reason why the navy may not in fact get its aircraft carriers"

No. The reason why the Navy may not get the carriers is that the last Government bankrupted the UK."

The carriers were in doubt long before the recent troubles due to money being wasted on rubbish like the T45's and the new Lynx helecopter.

""and will almost certainly not get proper air groups for them."

and that will be largely to do with hugely expensive unreliable and unproven US planes."

We only need the expensive unproven US planes becouse the carriers were speced to use jump jets instead of coming with catapults for normal planes.

""But it won't work nearly as well in support of land and air fighting as a carrier would, so to buy the one at the expense of the other"

You need other ships to defend the carriers. A carrier on its own is a sitting duck. You won't get a carrier without a T45 to defend it as part of a group."

An air defence ship armed with aegis could have done this perfectly well. Though nowdays the only thing that's likely to get close to a carrier are aircraft, subs and, supersonic missiles. Does the T45 have any capability against subs?

T45 is a one trick pony and an expensive one. It could have been a versatile support ship capable of filling multiple roles, but it isn't. It will likely never see active service as it bobs pointlessly in our own waters waiting for none existant carriers to escort.

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FAIL

Come again?

And how did the previous government bankrupt the country?

Hint: by grossly mismanaging expenditure (on things like single purpose, unproven missile systems and badly run financial institutions).

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WTF?

reality check

FFS don't believe everything you read in the Daily Express. The last government did not "bankrupt the country". Though they did fuck up the economy. The situation in England is nowhere near as bad as it is in Ireland or Greece. And although they're in the shit they're not "bankrupt" either. There's a long way for our economy to go before it gets to the level of Zimbabwe or North Korea.

The reasons the navy might not get their carriers are many and complex. Public spending cuts is just one of them. Collossal waste and incompetence at the MoD are two factors. So is BAe's greed. Bad specifications and design for the wrong aircraft also figure. As does the money that may be pissed away on a Trident replacement. And let's not forget an MoD shopping list which is grossly out of control and crammed with the wrong toys and spending priorities. It's been that way for decades.

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Unhappy

Pass da title pon de left han' side

MISSING: Lewis Page

DESCRIPTION: Journo

LAST SEEN: Hanging out of the back of the American Military-Industrial Complex

All these Euro-knocking defence pieces are getting a little boring. As with many things there is inevitably some truth behind this stance, but the relentless awestruck Yankee Doodling erodes the goodwill engendered by Page's bubbly boffinry articles.

Sort it ahhht!

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Silver badge

How very odd .... where have you bin, old bean?

Talking Shop and BetaTesting Turing Protocols for Virtual Leverage?

You think it has not already been sorted ahhht, amigo? Oh please, you cannot be serious.

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Pint

what about giant jumbo lasers

They didn't seem to work, and they were from the USA.

Considering they have such a giant GDP spend on defence, are we really surprised they make the best kit?

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But...

...the jumbo toaster was at least NEW technology.

This is a copy of existing technology and seems to have come in with a price tag somewhere north of f-ing ridiculous made worse by - how shall we put it - 'not being good for anything'.

I'd like to think the Russian and Chinese defence industries were as hopeless as our own, but I suspect their charming attitude of shooting people for failure rather concentrates the minds of their weapons designers.

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Mirror Image

Do you think that there is a US-based journalist out there lamenting the vast amounts of cash the US spends on military hardware and saying "if it weren't for the keeping it in-house factors we could buy <x> much cheaper elsewhere"?

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Fired in anger?

Leaving aside training, publicity, exercises and mistakes I wonder just how many of these weapons will actually be fired at a target during hostilities. Following on from that, given the cost of the programme what will be the "Pounds per shepherds hut destroyed[1]" effectiveness be?

[1] considering the quality of the intel used to target the device.

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Anonymous Coward

So in summary...

blah, blah, blah, buy American, blah, blah, blah, put catapults on carriers, blah, blah, blah, buy American planes for carriers

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Euro fudge

This is a culmination of the lick arse of europe and like it policies of pro EU types. Not that you can't make a pan EU project work. Jaguar, Tornado, Concorde - there are projects. But the problem is that its been a balls up from the beginning.

I may be wrong, but previous UK ships had mixtures of Sea Dart, Sea Wolf, Excocet. The Sea Dart was air to air, with a limited ship to ship ability. The sea wolf seems to have done what PAAMS is claimed to do. The exocet reputation is understood. And Sea Skuas on choppers back up a wider Anti Ship capacity.

To make a new ship design this 'fail' deserves special mention. And to seemingly have binned the UK missile defense industry to go with French and Italian garbage, and then not test it?

Someone should write this on the entry to the MOD. When we build and replace, we do so in a way that is better, faster, more powerful, more modern, provides value, and we will not fail. And I don't care what Lewis thinks, we should do this mainly in Britain, using British talents, and British people. And British money.

The fact is the MOD is a wreck, and can't plan or make anything to save its life, and this is worsened by penny pinching and meddling with specs. Labour need utterly battering for what they have done.

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Fudge

"French and Italian garbage,"

Yes, not like the good old Exocet that you're so fond of.

"we should do this mainly in Britain, using British talents, and British people. And British money."

Ah, there's your problem. "British money". There isn't any. Since Britain makes nothing that anyone else in the world wants where do you think it would come from?

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Stop

FudgeII

Well, lets put aside the pathetically low level GDP spend, and the fact that Britain had a missle basis, there are no excuses, none - for a modern system costing billions that not only fails to work, but will not be tested against one of its target specifications.

There will be billions spent on Defense. We need billions more, but none the less, the billions should end in working viable systems, not floating junk that cannot provide core function.

Or to put this another way, Lets be clear, a Carrier fleet that has to escort and protect the vessels that are supposed to do that is a significant handicap on the statregic basis of a carrier group. Why don't you add in hopeless anti-submarine warfare vessels and demand the carrier fulfill the ASW role as well.

And when a carrier goes down to the sheer and clear stupidity of what exists, who will take the blame.

If we cannot build a proper carrier group, we would seriously be better off having 3 through deck carriers of smaller size.

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@DS 1

Incorrect I'm afraid, if anything Sea Dart is closer to PAAMS - Sea Wolf is a pure point defence system, and in general limited as to how many targets it can track by the number of directors fitted to the ship. PAAMS would be better compared in functionality to Standard, and when coupled with SAMSON provides an (better) equivalent to AEGIS.

Or if you prefer, it's an improved version of the Sea Dart ;)

Don't forget as well, there are ASM/LAM missiles available for the PAAMS system too...

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Coat

Sterling? As in...

Pound Sterling?

Maybe the Captain's words were a thinly veiled dig at the cost of the project after all? They certainly did a job that involved a lot of Sterling...

Mine's the one with a missile I made with parts from Maplin's and some old watches.

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Pint

What has he been smoking?!

Has yet another Royal Navy press release tipped Lewis Page over the edge? Or has he been indulging in some recreational substances of high strength?! Journo standards for accuracy are pretty low, but even by this low bar Lewis has gone off on one!

Only one ship of the Type 45 programme has gone in-service (HMS Daring July this year), they have not been in service for several years. Lewis should be able to remember this as he took the piss out of it at the time. HMS Dauntless is not yet in-service so her missile not being declared in-service until 2011 would seem about right. Lewis does not know whether PAAMs has been tested against supersonic targets because the MOD wont tell him! I don't think anyone in the world has SM3 other than the Yanks as funny enough they don't seem to be available to buy. And on and on, but I don't want to bore myself!

Come on Lewis, stop winding yourself up with an endless stream of Navy press releases and give us some proper analysis! And stop the smoking/drinking, it is bad for you! You need to get that blood pressure down.

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Happy

Fountain of knowledge...?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Dauntless_%28D33%29

Wiki seems to think she's in service? But admittedly since only this year - maybe he meant launched? Or maybe this is an error on the Wiki's part? Who knows...

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Another URL, a photo ...

http://maritimegallery.fotopic.net/p65749721.html

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It's a shame...

that the £1bn+ couldn't have been used for something actually useful, e.g. cancer treatment/research etc.

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LPF

I sewee the Euro Lovers are out in force

How many Major projects must be overrun and money stolen from the British TaxPayer before we do something, why is it we always pay more for lass ? A destroyer , should minimum have anti air and surface to surface capabiitty, how the hell can we build a ship so big and yet not be able to launch surface to surface misslies , Compared to the Arleigh Burke, they are a joke and cost more!

By the way how comes the cost of the carriers doubled in what a year? Ithought they were going to cost 2.5 billion ?

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Pirate

I should think...

I should think/hope the point he is trying to make is that in this world having a destroyer specific for the task of air support is quite short sighted.

Who still has an Air Force that isn't on our side?

As for missile defense, if that is all it is going to be doing you'd want the most proven trusted system regardless of country of origin - buying American might have spared us enough cash to develop something else? Posssibly even something that we could export to the US and make some cash back...

On the other hand; Windows?

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Who indeed?

>Who still has an Air Force that isn't on our side?

NORKS

PRC

Come to think of it, Vladimir Putin hasn't been too friendly lately.

And France of course.

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