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back to article Unarmed Royal Navy T45 destroyer breaks down mid-Atlantic

The Royal Navy's new Type 45 destroyers continue to suffer from technical mishaps, with first ship of the class HMS Daring arriving a week late in Portsmouth on Saturday following emergency propulsion repairs in Canada. The £1.1bn+ ship had previously broken down in mid-Atlantic. The News of Portsmouth reported on the breakdown …

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Flame

In fact it might surprise you

to hear that the French do not give a flying fuck about getting "our own back" over the Brits. Over what, Waterloo? Get over it, we did.

Note that the French taxpayers are getting rimmed just the same as UK ones over the Aster debacle, so if they were doing this just to piss off the UK that would really be cutting off our noses to spite our face. In fact we have the same problem either side of the channel: politicians who are venal, incompetent, small minded and generally a bunch of gobshites.

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Fit for purpose

"There are many people of course worried that perhaps the type 45 will not be fit for purpose, well if i could just allay there fears. Its purpose is to provide protection for our aircraft carriers."

No no no no!! It's purpose is to funnel obscenely large piles of taxpayer money to the military-industrial complex, thus protecting the interests of politicians whose constituencies happen to contain people who work in said complex.

On that basis, it is eminently fit for purpose.

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"the French........have been waiting a long time to get their own back"

Get their own back for what exactly?

Mounting a successful invasion of England back in 1066?

Winning the 100-years war?

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More simply...

... no need to call for conspiracy lunatics.

We do exactly the same blunders to our own navy than those we sell to others. Just read the logs of our carrier "Charles de Gaulle". Since launch, this ship has seen much more the insides of navy yards than high seas. For example, one of its propellers broke off after a couple of month.

Face it : all the past is forgiven, and now, we love you brits as much as we love ourselves. Which can be a curse at times.

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Happy

AC @ 16:33

"generally a bunch of gobshites."

Ah French culture continues to benefit from its long association with the Emerald Isle.

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Stop

No problem: Re-assign them to picket duty!

Picket ships just sit around bobbing up and down not doing much.

They would not need their engines except to sail home for leave.

Just to think that the British Navy was the biggest afloat in WW2. And now ...

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FAIL

New technology?

Electric motors, driven by electricity generated by some sort of turbine? In what fantasy universe is that "new technology"?

Of all the things that could possibly have teething troubles, that should have been the second last one to be a concern, just ahead of "big metal boat shaped bit which floats on water". Fuck. me.

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Grenade

Think sideways

For a bit of lateral thinking, how about this.....

Buy a 2nd hand container ship (there smaller than the new ones), reinforce the deck, install lift , hangars and marine accomodation.

Put AEW sea king onboard, put a really decent amount of point defence on the hull, drone launch and recovery system, and then install US vertical launch system for SAM. (i.e. off the shelf kit)

Ah, but then we would not have really fast racing yachts (sorry warships) for young officers to drive, and no pop-gun for plinking beach huts in serria leone when the "enemy" gets really stupid and stands on the water front ship spotting.

Oh, and 1 modded container ship with 4 active helo's (6 in hangar) can find more pirates than a single 30mph hull, with a single working helo.

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Already Prototyped

Didn't they have a early version of your container ship in Waterworld?

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Happy

Warranty Claim

Given you can get a 3 year unlimited milage warranty on a £20k car, can we make a claim for our £1.1bn floating lemon?

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This Ship Replaces A/C Carriers

Scenario: Argies have built an airbase in the south and have destroyed the airbase on the Falklands.

Northwoo take the Falklands back with

1.) A330 MRTT air tankers operating from Ascension Island

2.) Tornado ADV fighters operating from Ascension Island, refuelled by A330MRTT

3.) ELINT a/c operating from Ascension Island : RC135, EuroHawk, Nimrod, refuelled by A330MRTT

4.) AEW a/c operating from Ascension Island : EriEye or 707-AWACS refuelled by A330MRTT

5.) Type 45 destroyers with their air defence missiles launched on warning from ELINT and/or AEW craft sail down with a armada of landing ships. They shell the shore with their artillery and/or cruise missiles launched from commercial ships drafted into service.

6.) Intelligence support from European RADAR/Optical/ELINT sats.

7.) Submarines blocking argie shipping.

No a/c carriers required.

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A330MRTT

I think you'll find we aren't buying enough to make your plan even vaguely feasible, never mind the fatigue factor on the crews flying the missions, airborne spares in case a mission critical unit goes abort, SAR cover etc. etc.

There's a reason there were so few Black Buck missions in the last conflict.

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Anonymous Coward

In what fantasy world

Could Argentina take over the Falklands? Even the 40 combat aircraft they claim to have are very unlikely to be serviceable. Recently their fleet of 10 Hercules was limited to a single operational aircraft. Building an airbase is impossible in that countries financial condition.

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Out of interest

Why do you use Tornados rather than Eurofighters? We paid enough for them, at least get the bastards out of the hangars.

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@Admiral Of The Pink (Slip)

"Scenario: Argies have built an airbase in the south and have destroyed the airbase on the Falklands.

..."

This is primarily an IT tech site, with the occasional divergence in to military hardware at a non-technical level. That being the case, could you possibly translate your little scenario into English? Can't follow your banter, old chap.

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19 MRTT Tankers Under The Command Of Buckingham Palace

RAF: 14

RAAF: 5

Now that Mrs Elizabeth Windsor is technically the head of both the state called "UK" and the state called "Australia" she should have the authority to command 19 A330 MRTT tankers with a fuel capacity of 19*110==2090 tons of Jet Fuel.

The UK already have 7 E3A AWACS AEW. EirEye is a cheaper, Swedish alternative for the future.

On Order are three RC135 ELINT a/c for the UK, which is probably the most potent ELINT a/c and maybe they are more valuable than the E3 Senties, as they are silently monitoring for emissions. Emissions are required to reconnoiter Ships in the vast Atlantic.

Currently, the Nimrod, which also is refuellable, serves in this role.

At least the E3 Sentry missions should be easily possible even without A330MRTT. And three RC135s refuelled by 19 A330MRTTs are also more than enough to constantly have a Strategic Ferret over the Type45-protected fleet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_RC-135

Of course, the Australians might required quite a few cocktail parties to lend their help, but it should be doable.

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FAIL

Bad Plan

The entire idea of air forces stretching themselves to fill a role normally filled by a proper carrier has AFAIK never been proven to be successful in history.

If we are to assume that the Argies will dare take their Malvinas, one has to assume they've beefed themselves up somewhat, say with Su-35s and the like.

Any heavy AEW and ELINT that reaches Falklands will be from Ascension supported by tankers, so no change there. Subs and satelltes will be there either way too.

Ignoring all the problems of mechanically guaranteeing the Tornado ADVs you plan to stuff on those ultra-long flights, the planes will be badly hampered by a very poor sortie rate simply because of the distance they have to fly before getting to their station, and the run back. No more than 1/3rd of the total plane count can hope to be there (no chance of a surge of reinforcements scrambling from a carrier) Further, they'll be bone-tired even as they reach the scene and facing relatively fresh Argies. Drugs keep you awake but the drug that is a substitute for actually being relatively fresh, in terms keeping the combination of optimal reflex speeds and proper judgment has AFAIK not yet been invented - they are OK for prepping you up before landing, maybe even ground attack against weak enemies, but even not counting long term health effects are nothing to rely on in a truly hot situation.

The day when external target designation from platforms designed for search (from a slow-sweep AEW or worse, from a ELINT aircraft) can provide target data of equal quality to onboard sensors may never arrive. In real life, historically planes and missiles are hard enough to hit even with the best target indication and fire control, which a AEW is not. Cruise missiles are good for one-time strikes in coordination with bombing assets - otherwise, they lack sustained power.

Is this all really better than a carrier?

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@Mark 65

Tornado has

+ two officers -> better endurance on vast airspaces, better battle management capability

+ swept-wings which are both economical and allow for fast dashes

+ buddy-refuelling, which is important on long-range missions

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Anonymous Coward

@Explain Techspeak

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ELINT

(pinpointing fighters,ships, tanks, air defence systems by their own RADAR or High-Frequency Radio Emissions, pinpointing special forces HF Emissions etc. Accuracy is about 2 degrees in the 360 degree circle. Two bearings then you have a x,y coordinate fix.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AEW

(airborne RADAR with 450 km range)

Other intersting stuff

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAR-Lupe

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_Grumman_RQ-4_Global_Hawk

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawker_Siddeley_Nimrod#R1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_RC-135

It's all out there in Wikipedia for you

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FAIL

Tornado

The Tornado GR.1 had entered service at the time of the last Falklands conflict. One of their Navs was given all the necessary charts and asked to have a look at the feasibility of them conducting bombing raids on the islands. You'll notice they didn't. Hell at the distances we're talking about there's a chance the engines would run out of oil, even if we had enough tankers.

You'll similarly notice how the Nimrod MR.2 didn't actually conduct ASW patrols over the Falklands due to a lack of tankerage. And we had a lot more AAR platforms at the time.

Also I'm fairly sure the RAAF would be within its rights to tell us to f**k off if we wanted to take their tankers to war. Not to mention kicking off a massive constitutional crisis in Australia.

Reference your interesting take on using ELINT to pinpoint targets, if you've only got two degrees accuracy on the fix, at a range of 60 miles that's an arc of 2 miles, even using two fixes doesn't improve the situation much, you just know the contact is in a 2 mile square box. Bar WW3 breaking out you'd never be allowed to launch a missile with such a low level of accuracy because you'd have no guarantee it wouldn't hit the cruise ship of nuns and orphans sailing past.

Finally if you're using Wikipedia as a basis for your argument you've already failed.

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@SkippyBing / Tornado / Wikipedia

It is true that this kind of operations over 6000 miles must be trained for. If you train when the need arises it is simply infeasible. Probably a certain critical part will have not enough MTBF and needs to be improved. Procedures for failures must be invented. An additional handheld GPS receiver for 200 pounds will prove to be a lifesaver, if it has 12V juice from the a/c. (a 100 pound change of the a/c). IF you have trained for the 12000 miles (rountrip) mission.

I would also question that Britain in 1982 had better Air Tanker capabilities than now. The A300MRTT is the most capable air tanker in existence. 10 A330MRTT are probably much more capable than 40 pieces of most other tanker models.

Terrorizing Buenos Aires with Tornado/Storm Shadow ALCM attacks will also be much easier, because the distance is smaller. It will certainly have a desirable psychological effect of reducing general morale and sucking away the Argie AF to the north.

An SLBM hit in of a prominent argie airport (w/o fused warhead) will also remove any doubts about the chances of success for the Argies. They must know it is either A) about graceful defeat or B) annihilation of their forces by nuclear hits. If they use airbases close to cities, too bad for the bystanders.

Regarding wikipedia, it is in general accurate and matches with other sources I have. But your attempt to make me publish that stuff has failed :-(

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Hahahahah

A few of the many flaws in your argument.

So rather than an aircraft carrier you think it'd be easier to just have pretty much the entire RAF practice 12000 mile round trip missions.

10 A330MRTT may be able to carry as much fuel as 40 other tankers (mileage may vary etc.) but you've only got 10 of them which makes it difficult if not downright impossible to operate the multiple tanker trails needed to meet the various refueling requirements of the range of aircraft types you need to have on task. You'll need several refills for the fast jets which would involve tankers tanking tankers to get them close enough to the target area. Airborne spares etc. etc.

Launching an ICBM is possibly the most deranged idea you've had so far and is so far into fantasy land I'm wondering if you've forgotten to take your medication. An interesting thing about ICBMs is you can't tell when someone launches one that it hasn't got a nuclear warhead, follow that to its logical conclusion. Secondly the Argentinians know we wouldn't use actually nuclear weapons against them so it's a pointless exercise.

Strangely I'm not upset that you aren't sharing your copy of the Observers Book of Aircraft with me...

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@Hahahahah

"So rather than an aircraft carrier you think it'd be easier to just have pretty much the entire RAF practice 12000 mile round trip missions."

I have been writing about practising this mission type. You don't need to strike Buenos Aires every hour to get the desired effect. Having a Storm Shadow ALCM hit an important building is certainly already eating into their confidence.

To get an idea whether it works in principle, repeated exercises of three Tornados and two A300MRTT should be enough. 110 tons of fuel is quite a lot and most of the route would be flown in the most fuel-efficient mode (speed, altitude). You have to figure out what the critical MTBF and fatigue issues are.

Most of RAF are certainly training to defend the Island called Britain.

The A330MRTT/RC135/EuroHawk/Type45 team exercise/operations plan development would work the same way.

Regarding SAMs/ARMs being cued by ELINT, I accept your argument that ELINT cues might not have sufficient accuracy for long-range SAMs. Whether it is infeasible in principle I am not so sure. Large semiconductor memories, high-speed signal processors and precision motion sensors can be used to postprocess long recordings of a signal to greatly improve angular accuracy (and that means postion in the end). The signal's sources predictable characteristics might also be of great help :-)

Whether UK ELINT people&funding is *currently* capable of that task, I have some doubts.

With Anti-Radiation-Missiles the story is different. They are *already* launched by ELINT cueing. And just because HARM and ALARM don't have long range means zero. Strap the Advanced HARM warhead on a long-range SAM engine and you have exactly what I described.

You *can* fire AAMs from the ground after some minor adaptions:

The Diehl/BGT IRIS-T is currently adapted to be launched from Type 214 submarines to give ASW helos/turboprops a nasty surprise. Sparrow has been developed into Sea Sparrow. It's called IDAS.

It costs time and funding, that's true. But certainly the A-HARM warhead can be mated with any capable SAM motor.

It's also not cheap to train for these missions and to make sure all the IT involved cooperates (more or less) flawlessly. But it is certainly doable.

Regarding my sources, maybe you will research who is doing ELINT R&D in Germany and then do some guesswork.

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So

Your plan relies on developing new versions of ARMs at a time of reduced defence spending. Genius.

And of course ARMs are launched on ELINT cueing, because they're designed to follow the radar signal to the target, which is the radar. It doesn't mean it'll work for a SAM that uses active terminal guidance because if you don't get it into the right piece of sky it's pencil beam seeker head won't have anything to lock onto when it goes active.

You also haven't answered the question of crew fatigue for the crews flying these long range missions in short range aircraft. Because at some point you’ll need them over the actual theatre of operations, to provide air defence for the surface forces, rather than bombing civilians in Buenos Aires which strangely doesn’t fit in with the UK concept of operations.

Meanwhile your plan to use ELINT to cue SAMs relies on the enemy not switching their radars to standby for the vast proportion of their sortie. Something the Argentineans had figured out in 1982 even if you haven't yet. They would use ESM (ELINT to you) to localise RN warships, peck the lobes on the way in, and then when they'd been forced down to an altitude that indicated the ships were in range popped up, gave three sweeps of their radar for targeting and then launched the Exocets. Strangely the RN are rather good at ESM as they know from the experience you may only get one hit of an enemy radar followed three minutes later by a missile through the fo'c'sle. Your much praised ALARM and HARM are useless in this scenario as they rely on the transmitter either continuously emitting, or not moving when it gets turned off.

Incidently if you're sources are doing ELINT R&D in Germany they may want to pop across the Channel as they seem to be a couple of decades behind the UK.

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So

You're now using a fantasy version of an aircraft that's not yet in service (the RC-135) in numbers that won't be available. If there are only 3 of them you're rarely going to have more than one in the air at the same time.

As for Euro Hawk, there's no intention for the UK to buy any at this stage, so why your fantasy battle plan includes them is beyond me.

Further more RC-135 and the Nimrod R-1 aren't configured for the role your talking about, that's what the ESM kit onboard the ships is for.

Will the Argentinians need to turn their radars on to find the ships, yes at some point someone will, however as I've already explained you only turn it on for a few sweeps. It's not as if they're going to need to search the entire South Atlantic. As the aircraft will be traveling at ~480 knots any position information you can get from that will be useless for targeting purposes.

Reference T45's ESM detection range, it's always twice the range the aircraft's radar will see the ship at. If you need that explaining to you you're out of your depth.

I'm also still at a loss as to how you intend to maintain your airborne armada over the Falklands. It's a 7000NM round trip from Ascension, the nearest friendly air head that's around 14 hours flying time. Being generous a Tornado is going to use ~10 tons of fuel to go around 1600NM in combat fit so that's around 5 refuels or 50 tons of fuel to get one Tornado F.3 (or GR.4) to the Falklands, so pretty much all the fuel in an A330 MRTT to get two there and back. Lets say you're happy with just two aircraft at a time to provide air defence, or ground attack Tomahawk being rubbish in a CAS role. Assuming the aircraft can spend 2 hours over the islands (using the remaining fuel in the tanker) you're going to need 8 tankers and 16 fighters airborne to provide a continuous presence. This leaves at best 6 tankers available to fuel the plethora of RC-135s and E-3s you're advocating having protect the fleet each of which will need at least one top up to make the round trip. This doesn't take into account any force protection for the tanker fleet which would be the Argentinian Air Force's primary target, because you literally don't have enough tankers to take another fighter down there.

Incidentally the RN did a much more in depth study of a similar problem when the RAF claimed they could provide air defence for the fleet anywhere in the North Atlantic in the '70s, it required two squadrons of Phantoms and the entire tanker fleet to be feasible.

Still I like the way you think the world's navies haven't figured out you want to minimise electronic transmissions, it's like there aren't three major exercises off the coast of Scotland every year where that sort of thing gets practised. Or indeed every week off the Devon coast, that one's so good the German Navy send all their ships to it for work up.

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All that maths at the start of your post

You seem to be missing the point, although ESM can localise contacts to a reasonably accurate level, it still needs the contact to be transmitting. In your example you've identified a radar in a 244m^2 box, 200 KM away, obviously things improve the closer the radar gets but that increases the risk to the RC-135 which would be an embarrassingly easy target for a fighter.

Unless the radar remains transmitting for the entire time it takes your imaginary long range ARM to travel from the launcher to its position it'll never find it. Lets make it easier and say the target is only 50km away, a missile travelling at M2.0 will take 1 minute 15 seconds to get to its last known position, in that time an aircraft travelling at M0.8 will have travelled 20km putting it well outside any search area for the missile, even if it's got an active seeker head. Never mind the difficulty of turning the missile around and pointing it in a new direction.

The enemy aren't going to transmit their radars any more than absolutely necessary, they're as aware of the need to reduce electronic chatter as anyone else. Strangely you haven't invented the concept of EW.

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@Tornado/A330MRTT, Terror/SLBMs usage, Cue By ELINT/AEW

I agree that 6000 miles (not 7000 !) are indeed an extremely long range. That's why I would choose their capital as a diversionary target. That's just about 3000 miles from Ascension Island. Don't tell me this being "unbritish". You know exactly that RAF CiC Arthur Harris developed and implemented this concept of targeting hostile civilians in Arabia. His RAF pals even used chemical weapons; something Saddam's lieutenants replicated 50 years later.

In WW2 Arthur Harris' concept was the only way to help the Russians in the first year and I don't think it was particulary immoral. German civilians were making munitions, arms and other supplies, so they were legitimate targets in a war Germany had started.

The argies don't have SLBMs or other nukes, so the use of Trident is a no-brainer. Use them if the fleet is in real danger. Take out all airfields at once. They start the fsck, they suffer.

We would have used a few tactical nukes in Germany to stop a soviet armoured breakthrough if the huge fleet of air-mobile ATGM jeeps , Leopards and Bo105 ATGM helos would have failed to stop them. They knew it and they never took the risk.

So back to the Type 45s sailing down to the Falklands. We have some ELINT (UK got the RC135s three months ago, then) and a EriEye (on loan from old ally Sweden) in the air. Refuelling by A RAF managed to mount an air-refuel boom to the Embraer carrying EriEye. Decoy transmitters on submarines generate bogus RADAR emissions which look like the Type 45.

Everybody else is in zero-emission mode until the RC135 picks up the ASM search Radar from the Argie Su34s, which the acquired in the meantime. Immediately, the coordinates are broadcasted (encrypted of course). This makes the Type45 launch ASTER in the general direction. In the same second, EriEye starts looking for the SU34, acquires it and continously updates the ASTER for about 50 seconds, until ASTER sees the SU34 itself and slashes through it. Other "silent" aircraft can be by acquired by EriEye in the meantime, as it's beam can be switched in milliseconds. This triggers more ASTER launches for these.

Two minutes later, everything except the decoys goes silent again. The Type45 and the other ships never transmitted a single bit of data nor did they do a RADAR sweep. ASTER was under completet control of EriEye.

I know that UK currently doesn't have EriEye, but you have E3, which should have similar capabilities. RC135 and A330MRTTs are firmly ordered.

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Oh I get it

You're living in fantasy land.

You lost any credibility when you started talking about nuking Argentina. Look up the concept of deterrence, the UK's policy on the use of nuclear weapons and all the occasions they haven't been used in the past e.g. Korea, Suez, the Falklands.

The range to the Falklands from Ascension is 3434 Nautical Miles, assuming you want to get back that's 6868 NM. And that's if you're happy not going any further than overhead the islands themselves and a flying a perfect great circle route. Google Earth will confirm this.

Further more it's all very well saying it'd be easier to bomb the mainland than fly all the way to the Falklands, but if that's the bit of land you're trying to take back at some point you'll actually need air cover down there. You'll also notice since WW2 it's now rather out of fashion to bomb civilian targets, again look up the Law on Armed Conflict, I think you'll find it's now a war crime and strategically it would be a massive mistake.

How the f**k you think you can get a transmitter on a submarine to imitate a T45 without a major R&D program and a refit is beyond me. Hint the T45 isn't big just to look imposing.

You still haven't explained how you're going to keep an RC-135 on station over the fleet 24/7 with only three airframes, or why a neutral country would lend us an aircraft and crew. Or do you think the RAF have a spare crew trained up on how to operate Erieye?

Meanwhile your explanation of the SU-34 shoot down might have Tom Clancy worried for his job but that's about it.

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WTF?

Where's the rest of the article?

I mean, here we are with a defence piece by Lewis describing how crap the latest piece of British defence kit is and no details of the US kit we should have bought instead. Restore those redacted paragraphs now I say!

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Silver badge

Some suggestions for the "Daring"

How about adding oarlocks and a couple hundred sets of oars??

Barring that, and in light of the before-mentioned problem with getting the HMS Victory out to sea because it is concreted into its berth--maybe you should take the masts and sails from the Victory and Duck Tape or glue gun them onto the Daring? Tourists probably don't go up into the rigging when they visit anyway.

The sad thing is that arguably the Victory would be a better ship to having on pirate patrol off Somalia than the Daring is. :( Just attach a surface radar to the maintop and you can see ships for 100 miles in all directions, plus a 50 gun broadside would ruin any pirate dhow's day!! And reputedly the Victory's propulsion system meets all "green technology" standards and it can stay on station longer than the "Repairing Daring"!!

Man the mainbraces! make ready to get underway!!

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Grenade

Oh Dear!

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

We could have saved so much money then, I bet an old Woolwich Ferry could field 3 Helicopters and hundreds of RMs!

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OK....

OK, I'll bite. As an American, I guess I prove the rule here and am just too stupid to get the nuanced view being expressed.

On one hand a number of poster's are complaining about shoddy workmanship/engineering. Which sounds like it is becoming routine.

On the other, there is a sarcastic slam at the author for not adding his obligatory comments on some American kit that he believes should have been bought in its place.

Curious and curiouser.

I've read a few of Lewis' pieces before, some have been interesting, and some rather off in my estimation. However, maybe you should all make up your minds? First bitch at the guy for suggesting American kit that could have been purchased, or bitch that he doesn't make such suggestions. Seems like the classic definition of 'blithering'.

Top Gear is a hit over here, and the wife and I love Clarkson, his typical Euro trashing of the US not withstanding. However here, just like with Jeremey, I hear a lot of bitching, whining and excuses.

Many of you are exactly like Clarkson, comparing and dismissing an American product, even though there is little if anything locally produced. Its interesting to note that when Clarkson dismisses US-made vehicles, its always against some German, Italian, or even French made vehicle. Aside the occasional Vauxhall, I really don't see where Clarkson or the average UK snob has a pot to piss in when it comes to any sort of manufacturing capability/comparison.

I really just don't get how otherwise intelligent people can talk trash about others when they can't make squat themselves, and not feel like total bare-assed baboons.

The UK has poor record of maintaining a consistent defence budget as a part of GDP. As of 2009 IIRC it was below the world average, now, probably even more. If you don't 'invest' consistently, you lose the talent and capability, and are then forced to either join in with a pool of others like you have, or purchase from others.

And, relying on subs is as foolish as relying on planes. For the guy who had the container ship idea, kudos for cheap, down and dirty outside the box thinking.

You can always go talk to the Russians or Chinese you know.

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Anonymous Coward

@BILL_ME

it's biological. British mothers have a gene which makes milk that makes Britons hate good food, logical reasoning, systematic thinking. Don't mind their arguments when it comes to France. All they see is good food, logical reasoning and systematic thinking. They simple freak out.

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Happy

Not Anti-american, just anti-bad design

"Top Gear is a hit over here, and the wife and I love Clarkson, his typical Euro trashing of the US not withstanding. However here, just like with Jeremey, I hear a lot of bitching, whining and excuses."

That is because he is reviewing american cars.

FA18, briliant aircreaft, can even fly back to base (150+nm) with no radar and half a wing missing (by no radar, I mean nothing forward of the cocpit folowing mid-air)

A10, a serious bit of avaition engineering. Even fits pilots over 6 foot.

AC130, wish we had these, especially when you consider most of our Herc pilots are ex-jet jockeys, and fly down the valleys in wales so you can read the markings on the top of the wings.

AWACS, does the job, unless it is trying to out run a Tornado, because it's controllers can't count how many "enemy" the RAF have in the air during the exercise. (drop 2 out of the fight, hit the deck, pop up behind the air cover, oh look the USAF has managed to generate some extra thrust from the cockpit)

However,

American cars have the turning circle of a super tanker, and anybody going into mildenhall or lakenheath can view how good american driving is when you have "Corners", and road lanes smaller than the grand canyon. (all the wrecked cars are kept by the gate, to try and remind USAF that 70 may be the limit, it does not mean it is advisiable)

So whilst we will happily take your planes and rifles (ours are crap), we are quite happy for you to keep the cars. (and the footage of JC trying to drive a Hummer through an English village is (a) funny and (b) educational)

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FAIL

Bloody third party drivers at fault again....

"Problems with the drivers".

I can see it now... bridge control screens go BSOD (I'm certain they will be using Windows!) with the classic DRIVER_IRQ_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL Cx00000005 errors.

"er, Captain, Sir... we're fooked."

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Anonymous Coward

Bridge to Engineering...

Scotty, I need full speed in three minutes or we're all dead.

Sorry cap'n, it's these Italian engines and French propellers. It's like the Europa rocket all over again!

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FAIL

you call this a destroyer?

more like a gold plated gun boat.

the russians have assault ships with heavier armament.

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Anonymous Coward

...superior to any other system against missiles and aircraft...

Perfect as air defence to a carrier group then...

...ah, oh yes...

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Stop

The Biggist Issue Probably Is

..datalinks and Joint Excercises.

Navy has got a great SA-missile platform in the Type45, air force has the fighter and AEW/ELINT assets (RC135 and E3 Sentry). But THEY MUST ACT AS A TEAM.

So the RC135 won't have a strategic role, but a tactial support role. Intelligence must be delivered in two seconds, not two days. The team MUST TRAIN TOGETHER, or it will simply not work when it has to.

That's something were Americans are good at - launching aircraft, servicing them and having a high "operations tempo", as they call it. Playing in a team, spending serious money on IT and command/control/networking.

A properly trained and interconnected Nimrod/Type45 Team is probably more effective than a botched effort to get RC135/Type45 work together in the last minute.

My suggestion is to TRAIN and KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid !)

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It's called LINK 16

it's a NATO standard, we've all got it so RC-135/T45 won't be a botched effort.

Go on use Wikipedia, you seem to like that.

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@SkippyBing

So in theory they can interoperate ? Did they train to launch missiles on an ELINT cue ?

Also, the "2 degree accuracy" statement is valid for a single measurement. GlobalHawk/Eurohawk can operate at high speed and perform lots of fixes in short order and do something like Synthetic Aperture Radar does.

I agree that it might turn out to be technologically infeasible, but the opposite is also true. Too bad for the widows and their acompanying orphans. Shit happens during wartime and this kind of consideration won't stop any officer from lauching a missile if a whole fleet is under threat of annihilation.

Also, the Type 45 could launch something like HARM or ALARM based on the ELINT cue. HARM has already been succesfully used to attack a B52:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGM88#Gulf_War_friendly_fire_incident

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FAIL

You really don't know what you're talking about

No one trains to launch missiles on an ELINT cue it's a localisation tool so you can either narrow down your search or attempt to classify a radar contact. This classification wouldn't be enough to launch a missile, it certainly wasn't for HMS CHURCHILL in the Falklands conflict.

T45 has a very capable ELINT suite of its own so the use of RC-135 in close control wouldn't be necessary.

HARM and ALARM are air launched missiles not sure how you think T45 would launch one, she certainly isn't equipped to at this stage and without major modification to the missile the range would be worse than the ASTER 30 missiles she's already fitted with.

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EuroHawk

Considering the fact that we supported GW's illegal war in Iraq with two spies providing targeting data, I am sure we could also help out the UK with these drones.

They have an extremely long endurance and could nail down the position of any Argie Fighter using it's RADAR to procure targeting data to launch Exocets or long-range AAMs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_Grumman_RQ-4_Global_Hawk#Luftwaffe

And the ground movements we deliver you with the SAR-Lupe and the french optical sats. The frogs now also have ELINT sats. All of these systems can be countered somehow, but the Argies aren't exactly first-rate enemies. And I am not going to tell em how, here.

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IT Angle

What a load of xenophobics

I can't say what it is that is going wrong with these "drivers", but I have a fair idea - and it's nothing to do with software.

But the technology is definitely British, and is very similar to that being provided by the same British company to some new/recent USA ships. (albeit being built in the USA for political reasons)

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Megaphone

How is a T45 useles??

Its got all of the capabilities of the T42 only in theory the sensor platform and air defence system is more modern. Ok, so the usual suspects have some remedial work to do, but lets face it, all modern weapon systems are the same and if you can name one that isn't then you just don't know about the subject well enough and have only read the sales and marketing blurb.

I'm not quite sure what all you armchair admirals understand about naval warfare since WW2 - its not about some stupid videogame where you have some super invulnerable mega ships costing 1000000 resource points each.

A T45 has plenty of value for the RN's normal peactime role and an important role if/when war fighting is required.

Its not going to be required to fight Jutland II.

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FAIL

@not stupid videogame

Well, it is sort of. Except that you can really die if you use Britsh missiles which simply won't work. That's why they chose French missiles this time.

from

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Dart_missile

"low level attacks. Exeter's success can be partially attributed to being equipped with the Type 1022 radar, which was designed for the system and provided greater capability than the old Type 965 fitted to the earlier Type 42s.[3][4] The Type 965 was unable to cope with low level targets as it suffered multiple path crossings and targets became lost in radar clutter from the surface of the South Atlantic, this resulted in Sea Dart being unable to lock onto targets at distance obscured by land, or fast-moving low-level targets obscured in ground clutter or sea-returns."

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Bronze badge

Yarrgh

Nu Liebour's floating liegacy strikes once again.

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Flame

@All French Missile Haters: British Technology Excels

From

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Wolf_missile#Combat_performance

"A second wave of aircraft attacked during a failure of the missile system, which led to Glasgow suffering heavy damage. Broadsword however was unable to successfully defend Coventry when the pair were attacked on May 25. The latter, moving evasively, crossed in front of Broadsword and broke the Sea Wolf's lock on the attacking aircraft [3]. Sea Wolf also suffered from problems with hardware failure causing launches to fail, and broken lock resulting from the extreme sea conditions and the Argentine's low altitude hit-and-run tactics, and multiple targets and crossing targets - neither of which it was designed to intercept. Sea Wolf accounted for two confirmed "kills" and three further possible successes from eight launches."

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