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back to article £1.1bn Royal Navy warship finally armed, sort of

HMS Daring, first of the £1.1bn+ Type 45 destroyers now coming into service with the Royal Navy, has finally fired her primary (and only significant) armament, the Sea Viper missile system. The glad news comes five years after the ship was launched, three years after she was accepted into the Royal Navy and well into the tenure …

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cricket ball travelling at Mach 3

so at least we have a defense against serious fast bowlers!!

Useful, that.

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Too bad

it's apparently so pants against aircraft and cruise missiles.

Didn't you lot used to have the world's most powerful navy? What happened?

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Flame

Lucky we are not at war with Austalia, India or Pakistan

We might have a defense against fast bowlers but not their spin bowlers!

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Unhappy

Yep, too bad

We let the MBAs take over defence procurement ...

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Pirate

What happened?

Socialist politicians happened.

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Stop

Socialist: The perfect scapegoat.

Oh Jeez!

The Torys are as much to blame. The decline has been long-term and presided over by governments of both stripes.

We have politicians who have no long-term vision because that won't happen during their time in government so they can't take the credit. They just dick about and micromanage.

And don't forget about the inter-service rivalry for funds: Namely the constant bickering between the RN and the RAF.

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Jobs Horns

What happened?

MOD That's what. Under their brass hats there are no brains.

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WTF?

Profitable for whom?

So you do you work for, BAE? Qiniteq? Inquiring minds needs to know

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Flame

Incorrect thinking on many levels

First, defense industry is like the insurance industry. The money flow through it makes the GNP look bigger, but in terms of benefiting the People, it is useless. The most useful thing it can hope for is that a contingency happens, and it helps reduce the losses or pain.

So the question is not whether it is PROFITABLE (any profits are illusory once you count in the opportunity cost), but how to cut your losses while getting the capability your national policy and circumstances say it needs.

So sure, if the cost-effectiveness is same or similar b/w domestic and foreign produce, then sure, build local. In that case, the recovered amount by taxes tilts the table towards domestic products. However, where the foreign product is MASSIVELY cheaper, the amount the taxes recuperate no longer cover for the difference.

As for exports, when your product is massively more expensive, not as commonplace, and not as versatile as its competition for dubious gains in certain performances (Type 45 vs Aegis), I won't be looking forward to any recuperative sales there.

Finally, do remember that the Defence budget is the defence budget. The vitality of industry is the responsibility of another department. When the most defense-efficient solution is a foreign product, and the nation insists they buy homebuilt, they DO NOT allocate extra money (from the supposed recuperation via taxes and exports) to cover the shortfall. Defence just gets less capable. to the potential cost of its foreign policy and the lives of the front-line trooper.

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FAIL

We had Spitfires you know...

2nd most powerful? Huh? Spain and Italy each have twice as many aircraft carriers as we do, and as carriers are the core of a fleet its a pretty useful metric. The french have a very modern one and they are also pretty good at missile tech (we buy theirs).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_carrier#Aircraft_carriers_in_service

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LPF
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Nelson is spinning in his rum :(

This is what happens when you let a bunch of lawayers run the country, and bunch of bankers ruin the economy and BAE steal the money from the cold dead hands of under equipped british soldiers !

or the love of god, how they hell a destroyer in the missle age does not have ship to ship missle systems escapes me, ffs they could even slap a quad box of exocets on the sucker like we did with the old county class!

Our country is turning into a bad joke :'(

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Grenade

... a cricket ball travelling at Mach 3

Charlie Griffith, eat your heart out.

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Yeah

Blah blah US weapon system blah blah helicopter platform blah could have been cheaper blah.

Keep the opinions down please. The facts speak for themselves, and (I admit) are not pretty.

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US Weapons?

Our antiship missile is the Harpoon - compare this to the brahmos or yakhont. A supersonic missile is still stuck in R&D. What happened with the idea of using a jet engine for excellent range in antiaircraft missiles, like the British used to use?

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Anonymous Coward

@Peter Gathercole

Did you miss the "Analysis" bit in the title, or "Lewis" and "Page" in the byline?

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Thinking of Sea Dart?

Longer range than Aster 30 but a sight slower.

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Yes I did miss it,

but you've got to admit that Lewis is getting to sound like a scratched record on UK defence matters.

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The Harpoon

... to be fair, Harpoon is small enough to be "tacked on" to warships without too much pain. It is weapons like Exocet and Harpoon that allowed small warships to be multi-purpose.

If the Soviets had something like Harpoon, they won't have to create both Sovremenny and Udaloy. They eventually realized this and built Uran (SS-N-25 Switchblade), but by then they had broken up.

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Scratched record

True, but that's what you would expect; if the defence industry doesn't change, why would the analysis?

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Anonymous Coward

Taxi!

"In most situations the most useful capabilities of a Type 45 would reside in her embarked helicopter and possible party of Royal Marines."

£1.1B is an awful lot to spend on a minicab. They could have got Noel Edmonds or Mike 'Smithy' Smith to drop them off for a lot less, with Smithy even offering to film the whole thing from the air for a reasonable additional fee.

It's like building a nuclear power station but then not buying any rods for it, in order to save money.

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A possible party?

So... it's chief weapon is surprise?

/where's the spanish inquisition icon?!

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Could be worse

... skimping on just control rods.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Taxi

The problem with this being designed as an air defence ship is that whilst it's all well and good to theoretically have a different ship for every occasion, the Royal Navy is being pruned like a diseased shrub, and every ship has to be good at everything as a result. Whether it shouldn't be like that is irrelevant, if a conflict occurred, don't think the MoD wouldn't have its Type-45s sinking the Belgrano rather than shooting down Skyhawks.

And a lot of what you said revolved around 'coulds' and 'mays' and mountings for guns that don't exist (making them analogous to the abandoned Heathrow Terminal 5 tunnel they squandered money on digging in the 1970s), not to mention nothing more than theory about whether it can single-handedly shoot down an entire squadron. In practice, the first plane to fly over it may well deliver a Hood-style shot that reveals a fatal flaw. At least sticking some great big guns and missiles on the thing provides some tried and tested 'fact' to its capability.

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If you can have said

I'm sorry to disappoint you, but that "squadron of aircraft" stuff was achieved with Ticonderoga or with Kirov.

The "for but not with" Harpoons is again stupid, cheap economy considering that the ships already cost over a billion each. They are sacrificing a lot of ability for, what is in relative terms, pennies.

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broken re-re-record

Jesus Lewis, you're always moaning and saying all our kit is shit, we should have bought this or that thing that the Americans use, and all our vehicles are completely vulnerable. Give it a bloody rest mate, it's well boring - stereotypical self-depricating Englishness *yawn* We have an excellent Navy, be in no doubt about that. How about you get behind the forces, at least some of the time?

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@envmod

This would be the navy that got humliated by the Iranians? What he is pointing out is that the navy is being strung along and having billions extracted out of it for poorly performing equipment, but instead of critqueing that you would rather attack the messenger! :S

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@envmod

"We have an excellent Navy"

Oh boy, someone *really* hasn't been checking the news.

For the benefit of the truly thick, let's be clear that the serving individuals in the Navy are a fine and brave bunch of people. But they're administered by some of the stupidest desk-warmers in the world, as aptly demonstrated by all the recent cock-ups on what to buy and what to scrap. And the lives of services personnel are being directly put at risk as a result.

A long, long series of these life-endangering clusterfucks should be a cue for people to get righteously angry, not for fucktards to say "it's well boring". Tell you what, why don't you ask someone to kick you in the nuts on the hour, every hour. Tell us how many repetitions it takes before it gets boring.

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Anonymous Coward

Get behind the forces?

It's hard to get behind a navy that consists primarily of rear admirals.

We *had* an excellent navy. It's all gone, has been for years, either sold off or scrapped, and never replaced. We *had* the capability to project power around the world. Now we can barely project power past cornwall.

You can try and ignore the plain truth if you want but it won't change the reality that Type 42 is a complete waste of money and completely inadequate for its alleged role. Supporting our armed forces doesn't mean pretending that everything is hunky dory when it bloody well isn't. Supporting them means demanding the best kit they can get, not overpriced, second-rate shit that won't serve them at all in combat.

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Pint

@ envmod

I find that comment difficult to understand. In what way is it not "get(ting) behind our troops" to point out that the political side of the military has provided the useful side with inadequate equipment?

I'm glad you think Britain has an excellent navy. Indeed, I've seen it, and it does a splendid Fleet Review. Very smart. Just the thing we need. Ah, I see the sun's over the yard arm....

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Anonymous Coward

Envmod is right.

We have to get behind the troops: what a wonderful navy, it's a sin AND a stupid error to notice anything wonky.

Oh look the shiny new clothes on that there emperor.

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@envmod

How is a destroyer that has a single missile type as its primary weapon "excellent"? If you don't want to buy US, don't. But clearly the US Arleigh Burke class destroyer is superior across the the board than a UK type 45. At least the UK could have copied it.

An Arleigh Burke destroyer carries a 96 call vertical launch unit, that can carry a mix of ground, air (both Standard and Sea Sparrow), and underwater (missile dropped torpedo) missiles. So it can everything. On top of that, it carries two helicopters, a Phalanx close-in anti air and anti surface autocannon, and two torpedo tubes. And it has a 5 inch deck gun too. That is a crap ton of weaponry.

Most of the Arleigh Burke is built by BAE Systems too, so the the Royal Navy just paid more for less, for no reason at all.

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Unhappy

The Royal Navy -RIP

About 50 years ago I read Professor Parkinson's book "Parkinson's Law".

In in there was information about the post WW2 manning of RN .

There was a large decline in active seaworthy warships and personal to man them, but an marked increase in the number of Admirals,Vice Admirals etc to administer the declining capability of RN.

Things have only become much more so now that vast amount of money is spent on bureaucracy and bugger all on operational capability .

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Nobody denigrates the Royal Navy for its quality or experience...

,,, what the entire article is about, and what you are trying to avoid, is why these wonderful men don't deserve a ship that can not only shoot down a dozen (as I understand it, it is "over ten", not 40) aircraft at once, but also has Tomahawks, plus costs less?

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Coat

Don't touch that dial...

Well that's done it, will the Navy get their next Sea Viper once they've paid for the one they've just launched?

This vessel could be defeated by a small speedboat stuffed full of C4.

Mines is the one with the rolled up newspaper in the pocket, a significantly better arnament than what's on this piece of junk.

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FAIL

Failed Again Lewis

What a surprise, opnion dressed up as fact from Mr Page. Why does he never back up anything he says? Is it becasue its all dribble?

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Phalanx

Obviously they could have fitted the Phalanx units being taken of the Type 42s as they de-commission but they're mostly being sent to Afghanistan as an anti-mortar defence for the troops out there.

If you had to make the decision where would you send them?

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Joke

Windows for Warships

Does it have enough licenses to run the systems?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/12/16/windows_for_submarines_rollout/

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Anonymous Coward

The only thing that counts...

... is whether a system is battle-tested.

This thing isn't even fully tested under ideal circumstances. In battle? It'd sink at the mere sight of the Bismarck. And I fully expect the inquiry would find the sea had the wrong salt in it or something.

I don't think I'd care to serve on such a rating tin, no. Maybe we should give the captains radio controlled toy ships to tenure with instead. It'd be so much more cost effective.

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Threats

It would have to be sunk to even see the Bismarck.

Big guns are still a useful weapon for warships, but I recon missiles are the threat to worry about.

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Fired at what?

Was there a target? If so, did the radar spot it? Did the missile get close? Did it actually do any damage?

PS: I assume the marines for the helicopter have guns but no ammunition. They would be able to use bad language against the pirates if they had enough helicopter fuel to get close and one of them brought his own Somali phase book.

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Joke

I don't know what it fired at....

But tragically, a cricket test match about 60 miles inland was interrupted by an exploding cricket ball! After much investigation, the Royal Navy blamed Al Qaeda...

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Surely better without it?

Our enemies de-jour don't have aeroplanes. The most advanced technolgy they have is a Toyota pickup truck and they live in countries more than 75miles from the sea.

Any aeroplane flying over one of these ship sis either civilian, on our side, on the other side but belonging to a country with a big army and lots of nukes who you really REALLY don't want to annoy.

So learning from our allies' preponderance for shooting down their own and our aircraft in error - wouldn't it be safer to just take the batteries out of this thing and hide the remote control?

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Yet Another Anonymous coward

Which makes the £1.1Bn paid for this even more obscene.

That's one hell of a lot of money for *very* little.

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Boffin

"cruise missiles of the sort lately used so effectively against Libya"

Err... what?

Think that one is still ongoing, so no real proof that they had _any_ effect.

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