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 …


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  1. JamieL

    No SCADA I hope?

    I do hope they're not using Siemens SCADA systems on board. We all know what happens when you use them to control turbines' speed...

    1. Anonymous Coward


      It sounds to me like the ship was designed and rubber stamped by dick heads...

      I just sort of hate that really bottom of the barrel logic that gets missed in the whole scenario.

      A warship, is both supposed to spend enormous amounts of money for the war profiteers, and to actually kill anyone and anything that moves.

      The only difference between the big ones and the little warships - is the big ones have more shooters and bigger loads of ammo to keep feeding them, than the little ones.

      But this piece of under armed shit really sounds like 4 guys in viking costumes on a plastic raft, with wooden swords and rubbish bin lids, getting an upgrade to a bucket of rocks to throw.

      What? No decks sprinkled with the odd quad barrel 20mm machine gun? A few BOFORS? A couple of torpedo tubes? Some depth charges?

      Noooo when the one shot wonder arms take a shit we will give the crew sling shots....

  2. NightFox


    Drivers! it's always the damn drivers!

  3. NogginTheNog


    Is that like *singular*?

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Remind me why we need this sort of thing?

    other than for transferring taxpayer money to large corporations.

    1. Muscleguy Silver badge

      It's the Falklands Stupid

      These are 'Air Defence' Frigates, the idea comes from the embarrassment of the carrier taskforce sent to the Falklands being pretty much useless as they had to sit so far SE of the islands so Argentine Migs couldn't reach them that their Harriers had only seconds over the Falklands so couldn't provide effective air cover. If that task force had been screened by, fully operational, T45's it could, theoretically have been parked between the islands and Argentina itself. Or that is the idea.

      Of course we will soon not have any carriers to protect, but it's the thought that counts I understand.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        New Non-Solution to old problem

        Unfortunately the laws of physics interfere with this great idea.

        Daring has roughly 20mile to the horizon, and aircraft flying below the horizion will not be seen until it is 20 mile away, unless you have AEW. (oh, sorry we forgot to order that)

        The exocet has a 40+ mile range, and would be visible to a Type 45 for around 120 seconds from clearing the horizon (asuming the radar operator is awake, and it is a perfectly flats sea with little radar clutter), and thus we prove the RN capability to design solutions to WW1 problems. Designing solution to the last war, would actually be a massive cultrual leep forward.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          @New Non-Solution to old problem

          Look up EuroHawk, RC135 and all (including EriEye) the long-endurance AEW a/c.

        2. SkippyBing Silver badge

          unless you have AEW. (oh, sorry we forgot to order that)

          What about these then?

          1. Chris 244

            Does Lewis write for Spyflight?

            "Given the history of UK defence procurement ... jobs in marginal constituencies and politics will always outweigh the preferred military choice."

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's the Falklands Stupid

        Migs? They were operating Skyhawks, Daggers, Super Etendards and Mirages. The baddies don't all operate Soviet/Russian gear, you know.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. YARR

      One H pad + no hanger = 1 chopper

      So you know of another type of destroyer that has more than one helicopter pad?

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        It's hangAr not hangEr

        unless you're putting a coat on it. And it does have one, big enough for a Merlin which isn't small as these things go. I think Top Gear magazine did a photo shoot in it a few issues back.

    3. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Well it's not an Aircraft Carrier

      So presumably no one felt a need to equip it with an air group. On the other hand I believe it can operate two Lynx if it's felt the situation warrants it, and there are any extras going after the latest cuts...

    4. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: why we need this sort of thing

      It would seem that *no* equipment procurement within living memory has been anything other than a total cock-up, delivering zero capability, late, and over budget. So presumably, in a few years time, there will be no part of HM forces with an offensive capability.

      At that point, I would simply observe that we could sack the lot of them. Not only would this not actually reduce our defensive capabilities, it might actually liberate enough cash to repair the economy and leave some left over to buy goodwill with foreign aid, so the net effect on national security might be positive.

      So, erm, MoD, it would appear that *you* are the country's most serious existential threat. How about falling on your swords. You *do* still have swords, don't you?

  5. Tony S

    Left hand down a bit

    Being of an age to remember (with great fondness) the BBC's radio programme "The Navy Lark", I do wonder if the writers of the scripts were psychic! They seem to have predicted with a fair amount of accuracy some of the issues that have plagued the Senior Service over the past decade.

    Bring back Leslie Philips, Jon Pertwee and Stephen Murray (Sub Lt Philips, CPO Pertwee and Capt Murray) - they'll get the ship home! (Left hand down a bit it is sir!)

    Mine's the one with the inflatable yellow collar, flashing light and whistle on it - oh look, just like yours!

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge


      Of the main cast, only Leslie Philips, Heather Chasen and Judy Cornwell are still alive. Richard Caldicot, Jon Pertwee, Tenniel Evans, Dennis Price, Ronnie Barker, Chic Murray, and Michael Bates, who all played a variety of parts, are no longer with us.

      Epic days of British radio comedy, that my teenage children love listening to.

      1. Tony S

        Sadly yes

        And I miss them all. Some of the finest comedy output of the last century.

        I'll drink a tot to their memory tonight

  6. Bilgepipe

    Sticks and Stones

    Perhaps they should equip it with some very sharp sticks, and perhaps a few hand-sized rocks for throwing, just in case, you know, it has to /fight/ or something.

  7. Disco-Legend-Zeke

    Let's Hope...

    ...that the parts airfreighted in will become a part of ship's stores so that similar repairs can be done mid-ocean.

    We could wish for the bugs to be fixed, but that is much less likely to happen.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Are we still at war with the french?

    They seem to be doing a good job of disabling our navy.. First No French Asters now failing French Drive units...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not French

      English drive units.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        re: Not French

        From the article "the Type 45s' buggy electric drive units are supplied by French-based multinational Converteam, formerly known as Alstom Power Conversion."

        Which part of that did you fail on?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          re re: Not French

          > Which part of that did you fail on?

          Maybe I know more than Mr Lewis? The secret is in the word 'multinational'

    2. Anonymous Coward

      French Missiles Work

      Look up the track record of Exocet. It was British "Muddling Trough Technology" which failed in the Falklands 1982.

      Yank ship hit By French Missile:

      Anymore questions, matey ??

      It is/was British Neglect which doesn't/didn't give the ships proper defensive weaponry (cannons then, ESSM today. The German navy now has ESSM. HM Navy still trusts cannons, which are ineffective against anything modern. )

      Canada's also better...

      1. Anonymous Coward

        @In Love With Destructors

        fail to understand your post, which point is it arguing against?

        The original post referes to missing Asters and does not claim they dont work. however the reason they were missing is outlined here:

        Basically its cos they didn't work >:oP

        here's a Fail for you.

  9. Peter Fox

    Ten of those not so brilliant French missiles...

    ...would be "dix Asters"

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Ten More Exocets

      ..would be "Disaster 1982".

  10. adrianww

    Is it only me...

    ...or does the concept of a "Kryten" gun turret immediately conjure up images of some bit of armament that - once it has finished shooting at things - likes nothing more than to settle down to a bit of ironing while watching the latest episode of Androids?

    "And could I just take this opportunity sir to call the person who ordered these vessels a bit of a smeeee...g, a smeeerrrrrr...gggg, a smeeeeeegggg-heeeeeead!

    A smeeeeeegggg-heeeeeead?

    Yes sir, a total and utter one."

    Alright, alright, I'm going...

  11. The Dark Lord

    Call this a destroyer?

    What a pitiful array of weaponry!

    A destroyer should be from the Neo class: Guns, Lots of Guns

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Guns ceased to be relevant after the first world war

      Guns on ships ceased to be relevant a long time back. It is now all about air and submarine threats - despite the FUD that Lewis sometimes shifts around. The only recent conflicts that have seen any relevance from naval guns are concerning some of the naval bombardment that big old battleships did, specifically in the first gulf war. And Naval bombardment of any relevance needs big guns. Missouri's big 16" guns have a range of about 38km, still a tiny fraction of the range of a carrier air wing, and irrelevant in most conflicts.

      Lewis likes to tell you that the future is aircraft carriers. If you want aircraft carriers, you want to protect them, and the T45 is essential for that. We could have bought Arleigh Burke class destroyers instead (as Lewis would like since he would only ever buy American). But they are a 20 year old design. You could also look at Ticonderoga but they are almost 30 years old.

      Finally, Lewis would like you to think that submarine threats are irrelevant and we don't need most of our destroyer/frigate fleet. Yet many rogue nations have large submarine fleets. If I remember correctly, North Korea has between 20 and 30 submarines as an example. Iran has 13 submarines as another example. Remember that when operating inshore, diesel/electric submarines are a bigger threat than nuclear subs.

      What the Royal Navy needs for the future is obvious.

      1) Some real catapult and nuclear powered aircraft carriers.

      2) Some proper fleet protection ships like the T45

      3) Plenty of ASW capability.

      4) Some nice helicopter landing ship functionality for landing troops and dealing with pirates.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Some valid points.....

        ....but some glaring errors.

        The Arleigh Burkes and Tico's maybe old, but they:

        A) work.

        B) have anti-surface capabilities with Tomahawk or Harpoon missiles.

        C) The Aegis system is cheaper, proven and has been tested, even against ballistic targets and a satellite.

        As for guns on ships, if you have any conflict against a Coastal country, they come in useful (look at Korea, the second world war, the first Gulf War as good examples). A battlewagon like USS Missouri with some decent AA cover might have been useful in the Falklands, not to mention now the North Koreans might be playing up.

        How does an Anti-air warship deal with Somali pirates? With guns - either from a chopper or with it's own.

        Guns are far from irrelevant.

      2. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Naval Bombardment

        So you're saying the Naval Gunfire Support provided by the Royal Navy on the Al Faw peninsula didn't happen in the last Gulf War? Read Armed Action by James Newton and you'll see how useful a few 4.5" guns can be...

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          And more naval bombardment

          The RN also provided very accurate and effective supporting fire during many of the actions during the Falklands conflict with the old 4.5in guns. The 4.5s also knocked down several Argentine fighter-bombers over San Carlos. It is long-overdue for our destroyers and frigates to be fitted with a 155mm weapon to allow them to fire the NATO rounds as used by the AS70, but in the meantime the 4.5in is definately better than nothing.

      3. Zippy the Pinhead


        I wouldn't be to quick to say that naval guns are obsolete. Shells are cheaper than rockets and missiles and can be just as accurate!

        They just aren't as sexy or hi-tech, but the hole they create is just as big!

      4. arkhangelsk

        And if it is not possible to have all 4

        , please state the order in which you'd like to give up your 4 capabilities. We all know pretty much Lewis wants (something like 2->3->1->4). What's yours.

      5. Scorchio!!


        You are absolutely bang on the mark where nuclear powered carriers are concerned, since nuclear power is the only properly viable source of energy for modern aircraft. The experimental electromagnetic device in the US might be ready by the time we can afford the air craft for our new carriers, of course. Hmm. Let's gamble shall we? I know, let's tell the markets that we intend to sell our gold and see how much we can lose. Then let's make the MoD pay for our adventurism in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, let's see. I know. Let's completely destroy NHS dentistry (only 24 hours to save the NHS!). Let's have a covert immigration policy, fail to control illegal immigration, sneer at prognostications where new EU members are concerned (while France, Germany and other EU countries take 'steps'), and then let's cut back on border controls, and allow at least 1 million illegal immigrants in. OK that's 4 million. I know, let's have an amnesty. Oh I forgot. This isn't sustainable development, nor were our military and economic policies, but never mind! We can accuse the new incumbents of doing wrong everything that is our fault! People won't remember. It won't be long before they have forgotten, and start to demonise the new government, blame them for everything that is being done.

    2. SkippyBing Silver badge

      About the guns

      Originally the T45s were going to get the Phalanx close in weapons systems from the retired T42s, you know looks a bit like R2D2 but packing a 20mm Gatling gun to take out incoming aircraft, fast attack boats etc. Unfortunately they've all been lent to the Army, along with some of the maintainers, indefinitely as they're very good at taking out incoming mortar fire and the Pongos don't want to give them back.

      Hence a number of sailors wandering around land locked countries fixing things and wondering when the next run ashore is...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Propellers !!

    Spolling seems to be going downhull on this sight.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Have they tried...

    turning it off and turning it back on?

    Then calling IT support to report it's not working and the Argies are playing up...which button do I press?


  14. Anonymous Coward

    The Royal Navy

    Pride of the world ..............of comedy

  15. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Ideal solution

    The point of the armed forces is to keep BAe/Thales/RR executives in gravy and workers in marginal constituencies in pot noodle.

    Since our enemies de-jour either live in caves in land locked countries or can wipe us off the map with nukes in a few minutes (or just turn off the gas) then the only thing the navy is going to get to fight are icelandic fishing boats and somali pilots = a small cannon seems more sporting.

    Not fitting them with big expensive missiles seems like a sensible measure - rather like not giving traffic wardens shotguns.

  16. S.G.


    Surely it's all still under guaranty so it will be fixed by the suppliers as per EU regulation?

    1. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Nice in theory...

      ...except the nice lady in Bangalore told the captain that they can't proceed until he provides the ship's serial number which is painted in 10 point characters on the ship's bottom.

  17. Anonymous Coward


    Over a billion quid to land 60 Royal Marines and launch a single helicopter?

  18. Ted Treen

    None:- I'm just a plain Mr

    If Nelson were alive today, he'd be spinning in his grave...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: None:- I'm just a plain Mr

      Good point, couldn't we just strap some magnets to his corpse and replace the dodgy drivers with him?

    2. Tony S


      I spoke to someone in the MOD a while back and he confirmed this - technically speaking HMS Victory (Nelon's Flagship, the one made of wood in Portsmouth Harbour) is still on the navy list. Her commander could actually be ordered to take her to sea. Might find it difficult with all the concrete around it mind.

      There was also a big discussion about a year ago about one of the Dunkirk little ships (Resolution? can't remember off hand) - in a very poor state and needing to be re-built. Some enthusiasts wanted to raise the money to pay for the work as it was of such historical importance - and a very cynical person suggested that in a couple of years, it might even become the flagship of the RN!

  19. Frederick Karno
    Black Helicopters

    why is it a suprise ??

    Its no suprise to me that the French have a vested interest in giving us shoddy equipment, they have been waiting a long time to get their own back, and our last government has opened the door to that.

    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.

    Well our aircraft carriers have been retired and the one replacement is many years away and has no aircraft so this vessel will be able to tie up along side the new ship and fight off boarders with its gun and close range weapons quite adequately in plymouth dockyard.

    Many i know are worried about our ability to provide adequate cover for our outlying dependencies like for example the falklands well again this is no problem, we can now eacept that we cant infact help at all as our projected armed forces would be unable to defend the isle of wight let alone such far flung places as Guernsey.

    Ministers of course deny that our armed forces are being depleted in any way, these are the same people that say they are capable of running their own checks on expenses and the banking crisis is not a problem.


    1. Paul RND*1000

      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.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      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.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        AC @ 16:33

        "generally a bunch of gobshites."

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

    3. Sweep

      "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?

    4. viet 1

      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.

  20. JaitcH

    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 ...

  21. Paul RND*1000

    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.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    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.

    1. Astarte

      Already Prototyped

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

  23. This post has been deleted by its author

  24. despairing citizen

    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?

  25. Anonymous Coward

    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.

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge


      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        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.

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

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Mark 65 Silver badge

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          @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

    3. teacake

      @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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Explain Techspeak

        (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.)

        (airborne RADAR with 450 km range)

        Other intersting stuff

        It's all out there in Wikipedia for you

        1. SkippyBing Silver badge


          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.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            @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 :-(

            1. SkippyBing Silver badge


              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...

              1. Anonymous Coward


                "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.

                1. SkippyBing Silver badge


                  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.

                  1. This post has been deleted by its author

                    1. SkippyBing Silver badge


                      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.

                    2. SkippyBing Silver badge

                      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.

                      1. Anonymous Coward

                        @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.

                        1. SkippyBing Silver badge

                          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.

    4. arkhangelsk

      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?

  26. qwertyuiop

    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!

  27. Marketing Hack 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!!

  28. BILL_ME


    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.

  29. Terry Kiely

    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!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      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.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      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)


      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)

  30. Adrian Esdaile

    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."

  31. Anonymous Coward
    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!

  32. william henderson 1

    you call this a destroyer?

    more like a gold plated gun boat.

    the russians have assault ships with heavier armament.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

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

    ...ah, oh yes...

  34. Anonymous Coward

    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 !)

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        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:

        1. SkippyBing Silver badge

          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.

  35. Anonymous Coward


    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.

    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.

  36. BeefEater
    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)

  37. Death_Ninja

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      @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.


      "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."

  38. Scorchio!!


    Nu Liebour's floating liegacy strikes once again.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    @All French Missile Haters: British Technology Excels


    "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."

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge


      after 28 years the shortcomings detailed in that article have been solved. Besides MBDA is an Anglo-French company.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    'HMS Daring to be Naff' actually it can keep up with any aircraft carrier in the world.

    Provided the rope doesn't break while it's being towed.....lovely finish on those missiles though. Utterly useless but a great paint job.

    Can we rename her to HMS Buggeralluse?

    Mines the one with the gold rings round my sleeves...yes I'm a gypsy violinist!

  41. Anonymous Coward

    French Missile Hit List

    HMS Sheffield: Put out of action, sunk. Exocet.

    USS Stark: Put out of action for months. Exocet.

    HMS Glamorgan: Put out of action for months. Helo killed. Exocet.

    Seawise Giant: Biggest Tanker then. Sunk. Exocet.

    Altantic Conveyor: Surrogate Carrier. Sunk. Exocet.

    40% success rate in the Falklands for the Exocet.

    Say what you want about the French, but their technology is first-rate.

    No, I don't work for MBDA, but I would love to.

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge


      Really what was the point of that post?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        My intention is to show that french technology works quite well. Other posters bitch about the french SAMs of the Type45.

  42. SkippyBing Silver badge


    I take it you're aware then that at the time of the Falklands conflict the RN had ships armed with Exocet? And that we neutralised an ex-USN submarine with French wire-guided missiles?

    I also think you need to understand the British psyche more before trying to counter it with extracts from Wikipedia. The nationality of the T45 weapons system is only tangentially related to the slagging off, they could be Italian, American or even British* we'd still slag it off, there'd merely be a change to the epiphets.

    *Which as it's an Anglo-French-Italian programme they partly are.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      @SkippyBing / Exocet

      So you want to make the French Technology Success List longer ? Well done. The Type 45 apparently is worth every single penny, considering it is equipped by MBDA, a franco-british company with a proven track record of sinking first-rate warships.

      Maybe you could also write about the franco-german Euromissile Roland, shooting down both a Harrier and an A-10 ?

      "On 1 June 1982, during the Falklands War, Sea Harrier nº XZ456 was shot down south of Stanley by an Argentine unit deployed in that area.[20] The launcher, one of four examples delivered to Argentina, was captured in fairly intact condition by the British around Port Stanley after the surrender. It was taken back to Britain as a valuable prize and studied in detail.[citation needed] It is believed that an Iraqi Roland missile succeeded in shooting down an American A-10 Thunderbolt II at the beginning of the Iraq War, during the battle of Baghdad.[21]"

      Thanks !

      Could you also elaborate how the Eurofighter, the Airbus A330 Tanker and the Euroleopard defend Britain, Australia and Europe ?

      That would put Lewis in even more rage. I am waiting for him to display his white bedware, now that his arguments have been conclusively perforated.

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Nice jacket, like the straps

        What is your point with the list of French weapons that work? Are you trying to prove you can use Wikipedia? Irrespective of the opinions of the posters on this forum, the UK armed forces use equipment from a variety of countries including such famed aggressors as Holland and Belgium.

        Reference your list of random bits of defence equipment, the Eurofighter is very good at defending UK airspace, it's just a pity we've spent the last decade or so fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan where it hasn't done anything. The A330 MRTT isn't in service yet in Europe so it's achieving f**k all for us. And I think the Leopard sits in the middle of Germany not really doing anything because Poland's in the way.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          @SkippyBing / Euroleopard

          As the Eurofighter, it is doing a great job in many jurisdictions to Ensure the Peace:

          "In an assault on November 2, 2007, a Leo 2A6M hit an IED and survived without casualties: “My crew stumbled upon an IED (improvised explosive device) and made history as the first (crew) to test the (Leopard 2A6) M-packet. It worked as it should.” wrote a Canadian officer in an email to German defence officials.[20] Canadian Chief of the Defence Staff General Rick Hillier denied reports that a Leopard II tank that was struck by an IED was a write-off, insisting that the tank has been repaired and is once again in use. “The Taliban have been engaged with some of the new Leopard II tanks in several ambushes” and that as a result the Taliban “learned some very harsh lessons” and lost the battle in question “very quickly and very violently.”[21]"

          Other users are also very happy:

          "In January 2008, Danish tanks halted a flanking maneuver by Taliban forces near the Helmand River by providing gunfire in support of Danish and British infantry from elevated positions.[25] On 26 February 2008, a Danish Leopard 2 was hit by an explosive device, damaging one track. No one was injured and the tank returned to camp on its own for repairs......A press release from the British ministry of defence claimed the tanks were a decisive factor in the Coalitions success, and praised the accuracy of their fire and their mobility"

          I am not convinced the Defence Of Europe starts at the Hindukush, though. We should start here:

          Austria: The Austrian Army acquired 114 Leopard 2A4s from surplus Dutch stocks plus one turret.


          # Denmark: The Danish Army operates 57 Leopard 2A5DK (equal to Leopard 2A6 minus the L55 gun) from German stocks.[53]

          # Finland: The Finnish Army bought 124 2A4s from surplus German stocks. 20 have been converted into bridge-laying and combat engineering tanks.[54][55] 12 tanks have been disassembled for use as spares and one tank burned and was a total loss, leaving 91 operational tanks.

          # Germany: The German Army has operated about 2,350 Leopard 2s of all versions. Large numbers have been sold to other countries after the end of the Cold War or placed in storage. Currently some 408 Leopard 2s are in service, of which 225 are Leopard 2A6s. 395 Leopard 2s are planned to remain in service by 2012.[56]

          # Greece: The Hellenic Army operates 366 Leopard 2s (196 ex-German 2A4s and 170 newly built Leopard 2A6 HEL vehicles)

          # Netherlands: The Royal Netherlands Army has operated 445 Leopard 2s. Many were sold after the end of the Cold War. Currently the Netherlands Army operates 82 Leopard 2A6s and have an additional 28 Leopard 2A6s in storage plus a damaged hull.

          # Norway: The Norwegian Army operates 52 ex-Dutch Leopard 2A4s, designated A4NO. The Norwegian Leopards will be upgraded to 2A5 standard.

          # Poland: The Polish Land Forces operate 128 ex-German Leopard 2A4s.

          # Portugal: The Portuguese Army has 37 ex-Dutch Leopard 2A6s in service.

          # Singapore: The Singapore Army acquired a total of 96 ex-German Leopard 2A4s, including 30 spare tanks. Upgraded with additional armour to A6 standard in 2010 by IBD & ST Kinetics and was renamed L2SG in October 2010.[57]

          # Spain: The Spanish Army operates 327 Leopard 2s (108 ex-German Leopard 2A4s and 219 new-built Leopard 2A6+ (Leopard 2E).

          # Sweden: The Swedish Army operates 120 Leopard 2(S) (Strv 122) and has operated 160 ex-German Leopard 2A4s (Strv 121). Only the Strv 122s are still in active service.

          # Switzerland: The Swiss Army operates 380 2A4s designated Pz 87. 35 of these were bought from Germany while the remaining ones were license manufactured locally.

          It also defends other countries:

          # Turkey: The Turkish Army operates 298 ex-German Leopard 2A4s.

          # Canada: The Canadian Forces acquired 100 Leopard 2 tanks from the Netherlands (eighty 2A4, twenty 2A6NL) in 2007

          Chile: The Chilean Army acquired 132 Leopard 2A4s upgraded to the Leopard 2A4CHL standard (plus 8 to be used as spares) from German stocks in 2007.[52]

          Did you notice the Euro Leopard ALSO defending Poland ? As much as the EFA defending Lithuania ? Here in Europe, not in Crackistan.

          1. SkippyBing Silver badge


            So in a shock disclosure, defence equipment produced by a variety of countries is being used for it's intended purpose.

            What are you trying to prove with this except that you can use google?

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    More dribble

    More dribble from Mr Page. New stuff goes wrong (it does not matter who makes it) that is why you do lots of trials before you send new stuff to war! It really is that simple and is hardly news. If a war kicks off the Type 45s will put into service if needed. I really doubt Mr Page has any friends left in the Navy to feed him accurate information anyway so the details will be rumours and hearsay.

    Why would it need any heavy guns it is there to protect other ships? The name of the game these days is low colateral damage and as accurate as these guns are they are not going to be used WW2 style anymore. The US, UK and Isreal etc are switch to small low yeild prescision bombs.

    Lots of wikipedia fed Top Trumps Naval Power analysis from the Reg readers again. If only it was all as easy as you make out.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    Ref Drivel

    Drivel being a step up from gunnery officers begging their captain to hazard a ship to bring it close enough to shoot something with it's non-standard calibre gun with minimal ammunition(result minimal selection of off the shelf muntions, e.g. precision, base bleed, rocket assist, etc.)

    Man hidden on shoreline with "cheap" missle vs £250m frigate, 100+ RN crew highlighted against the horizon. Who is most likely to survive the engagement? or failing that man with telephone to airbase vs frigate dumb enough give it's position away?

    There are too many RN officers putting out myths and mis-information just to keep the officer carrying escorts, that frankly where redundant prior to 1980. Reason, well one could speculate that a 4 carrier fleet would need less captains than a 25 frigate fleet. And any wanabe Nelson's don't fancy being a taxi driver for the fleet air arm and Royal Marines.

    Many of the arguments used to keep the escorts are just a 2010 rehash of the 1930's arguments to keep battleships, because obviously aircraft can't sink them!

    Unfortunately I think it will take a "pearl harbour" size event for the RN brass to update it's thinking from the 19th century to the 21st century, I just pity all the sailors that will get killed so the officers can learn the lesson.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      "cheap missile hitting frigate"

      Assume the Best Scenario:

      + EuroHawk ELINT at 20kms (!) altitude doing passive surveillance

      + EriEye AEW at 10kms altitude doing active surveillance

      + A frigate with S-400 SAM missiles

      + frigate shelling the shore with 155mm projectiles

      + frigate equipped with ESSM to counter the "cheap missiles"

      + frigate launching Storm Shadow

      This frigate is easily as capable as the current class of British Carriers, simply because the Harriers are not more capable than the S-400 missile in the air defence role.

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        That's not really a Frigate

        More like a cruiser. So your plan to replace carriers we actually have is to buy more expensive equipment, we are trying to save money you know, if we weren't we wouldn't be retiring the Harriers.

        Additionally we'd have to develop a navalised version of S-400 and integrate a Russian system with a western C2 system. That will be a) expensive b) late.

        You want a frigate launched version of Storm Shadow developed, that will be a) expensive b) late.

        You want to introduce another new SAM to the inventory ESSM, that will be a) expensive b) late. You will argue it's off the shelf technology, however if your ship isn't designed with the right fire control radars, launch system, magazines etc. it's a massive expense.

        You also still seem wedded to the idea of launching SAMs at ranges in excess of 150KM, ignoring all sorts of rules of engagement that require you to have a much better idea of what you're shooting at than 'it's got the wrong kind of radar'. Sure in some sort of total all out war that might be an option, outside that you're going to need a higher degree of confidence that what you're shooting at is a valid target. Go and read up on the Law of Armed Conflict, real life isn't like Call of Duty...

    2. Anonymous Coward


      Who is going to attack the UK Pearl Harbour style? Defence spending is based on threat, always has been and always will be. The UK is safe from a conventional style attack and is also part of NATO so if attack NATOs navies would combine and we would kick ass.

      Something tells me you are bitter navy junior rating rather than a naval power expert??

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Massive loss of life and capability "Pearl Harrbour SIZE event"

        Go find out how much of the RN would have been at the bottom of the atlantic, if the argentine airforce had actually managed to fuse their bombs correctly, or had been using retards instead of slicks at low level.

        The RN was saved by the stupidity of the Argentine armourers, not because Bath can design warships for a modern combat environment.

        By size of event, it means size of event, Pearl Harbour was in business speak a "Game Changer", all the battleship fans of the USN had to shut up, as all they had left was carriers. Every subsequent pacific engagement, the side with the carriers slaughtered the ones with out. Since WW2 there have been many "game changing" technical inovations, but the RN just loves to keep designing it's WW2 style warships for WW2/early cold war conflicts. Wasting precious defence budget on floating death traps.

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