cricket ball travelling at Mach 3
so at least we have a defense against serious fast bowlers!!
HMS Daring, first of the £1.1bn+ Type 45 destroyers now coming into service with the Royal Navy, has finally fired her primary (and only significant) armament, the Sea Viper missile system. The glad news comes five years after the ship was launched, three years after she was accepted into the Royal Navy and well into the tenure …
The Torys are as much to blame. The decline has been long-term and presided over by governments of both stripes.
We have politicians who have no long-term vision because that won't happen during their time in government so they can't take the credit. They just dick about and micromanage.
And don't forget about the inter-service rivalry for funds: Namely the constant bickering between the RN and the RAF.
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First, defense industry is like the insurance industry. The money flow through it makes the GNP look bigger, but in terms of benefiting the People, it is useless. The most useful thing it can hope for is that a contingency happens, and it helps reduce the losses or pain.
So the question is not whether it is PROFITABLE (any profits are illusory once you count in the opportunity cost), but how to cut your losses while getting the capability your national policy and circumstances say it needs.
So sure, if the cost-effectiveness is same or similar b/w domestic and foreign produce, then sure, build local. In that case, the recovered amount by taxes tilts the table towards domestic products. However, where the foreign product is MASSIVELY cheaper, the amount the taxes recuperate no longer cover for the difference.
As for exports, when your product is massively more expensive, not as commonplace, and not as versatile as its competition for dubious gains in certain performances (Type 45 vs Aegis), I won't be looking forward to any recuperative sales there.
Finally, do remember that the Defence budget is the defence budget. The vitality of industry is the responsibility of another department. When the most defense-efficient solution is a foreign product, and the nation insists they buy homebuilt, they DO NOT allocate extra money (from the supposed recuperation via taxes and exports) to cover the shortfall. Defence just gets less capable. to the potential cost of its foreign policy and the lives of the front-line trooper.
2nd most powerful? Huh? Spain and Italy each have twice as many aircraft carriers as we do, and as carriers are the core of a fleet its a pretty useful metric. The french have a very modern one and they are also pretty good at missile tech (we buy theirs).
This is what happens when you let a bunch of lawayers run the country, and bunch of bankers ruin the economy and BAE steal the money from the cold dead hands of under equipped british soldiers !
or the love of god, how they hell a destroyer in the missle age does not have ship to ship missle systems escapes me, ffs they could even slap a quad box of exocets on the sucker like we did with the old county class!
Our country is turning into a bad joke :'(
... to be fair, Harpoon is small enough to be "tacked on" to warships without too much pain. It is weapons like Exocet and Harpoon that allowed small warships to be multi-purpose.
If the Soviets had something like Harpoon, they won't have to create both Sovremenny and Udaloy. They eventually realized this and built Uran (SS-N-25 Switchblade), but by then they had broken up.
"In most situations the most useful capabilities of a Type 45 would reside in her embarked helicopter and possible party of Royal Marines."
£1.1B is an awful lot to spend on a minicab. They could have got Noel Edmonds or Mike 'Smithy' Smith to drop them off for a lot less, with Smithy even offering to film the whole thing from the air for a reasonable additional fee.
It's like building a nuclear power station but then not buying any rods for it, in order to save money.
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The problem with this being designed as an air defence ship is that whilst it's all well and good to theoretically have a different ship for every occasion, the Royal Navy is being pruned like a diseased shrub, and every ship has to be good at everything as a result. Whether it shouldn't be like that is irrelevant, if a conflict occurred, don't think the MoD wouldn't have its Type-45s sinking the Belgrano rather than shooting down Skyhawks.
And a lot of what you said revolved around 'coulds' and 'mays' and mountings for guns that don't exist (making them analogous to the abandoned Heathrow Terminal 5 tunnel they squandered money on digging in the 1970s), not to mention nothing more than theory about whether it can single-handedly shoot down an entire squadron. In practice, the first plane to fly over it may well deliver a Hood-style shot that reveals a fatal flaw. At least sticking some great big guns and missiles on the thing provides some tried and tested 'fact' to its capability.
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I'm sorry to disappoint you, but that "squadron of aircraft" stuff was achieved with Ticonderoga or with Kirov.
The "for but not with" Harpoons is again stupid, cheap economy considering that the ships already cost over a billion each. They are sacrificing a lot of ability for, what is in relative terms, pennies.
Jesus Lewis, you're always moaning and saying all our kit is shit, we should have bought this or that thing that the Americans use, and all our vehicles are completely vulnerable. Give it a bloody rest mate, it's well boring - stereotypical self-depricating Englishness *yawn* We have an excellent Navy, be in no doubt about that. How about you get behind the forces, at least some of the time?
"We have an excellent Navy"
Oh boy, someone *really* hasn't been checking the news.
For the benefit of the truly thick, let's be clear that the serving individuals in the Navy are a fine and brave bunch of people. But they're administered by some of the stupidest desk-warmers in the world, as aptly demonstrated by all the recent cock-ups on what to buy and what to scrap. And the lives of services personnel are being directly put at risk as a result.
A long, long series of these life-endangering clusterfucks should be a cue for people to get righteously angry, not for fucktards to say "it's well boring". Tell you what, why don't you ask someone to kick you in the nuts on the hour, every hour. Tell us how many repetitions it takes before it gets boring.
It's hard to get behind a navy that consists primarily of rear admirals.
We *had* an excellent navy. It's all gone, has been for years, either sold off or scrapped, and never replaced. We *had* the capability to project power around the world. Now we can barely project power past cornwall.
You can try and ignore the plain truth if you want but it won't change the reality that Type 42 is a complete waste of money and completely inadequate for its alleged role. Supporting our armed forces doesn't mean pretending that everything is hunky dory when it bloody well isn't. Supporting them means demanding the best kit they can get, not overpriced, second-rate shit that won't serve them at all in combat.
About 50 years ago I read Professor Parkinson's book "Parkinson's Law".
In in there was information about the post WW2 manning of RN .
There was a large decline in active seaworthy warships and personal to man them, but an marked increase in the number of Admirals,Vice Admirals etc to administer the declining capability of RN.
Things have only become much more so now that vast amount of money is spent on bureaucracy and bugger all on operational capability .
I find that comment difficult to understand. In what way is it not "get(ting) behind our troops" to point out that the political side of the military has provided the useful side with inadequate equipment?
I'm glad you think Britain has an excellent navy. Indeed, I've seen it, and it does a splendid Fleet Review. Very smart. Just the thing we need. Ah, I see the sun's over the yard arm....
How is a destroyer that has a single missile type as its primary weapon "excellent"? If you don't want to buy US, don't. But clearly the US Arleigh Burke class destroyer is superior across the the board than a UK type 45. At least the UK could have copied it.
An Arleigh Burke destroyer carries a 96 call vertical launch unit, that can carry a mix of ground, air (both Standard and Sea Sparrow), and underwater (missile dropped torpedo) missiles. So it can everything. On top of that, it carries two helicopters, a Phalanx close-in anti air and anti surface autocannon, and two torpedo tubes. And it has a 5 inch deck gun too. That is a crap ton of weaponry.
Most of the Arleigh Burke is built by BAE Systems too, so the the Royal Navy just paid more for less, for no reason at all.
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,,, what the entire article is about, and what you are trying to avoid, is why these wonderful men don't deserve a ship that can not only shoot down a dozen (as I understand it, it is "over ten", not 40) aircraft at once, but also has Tomahawks, plus costs less?
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Well that's done it, will the Navy get their next Sea Viper once they've paid for the one they've just launched?
This vessel could be defeated by a small speedboat stuffed full of C4.
Mines is the one with the rolled up newspaper in the pocket, a significantly better arnament than what's on this piece of junk.
... is whether a system is battle-tested.
This thing isn't even fully tested under ideal circumstances. In battle? It'd sink at the mere sight of the Bismarck. And I fully expect the inquiry would find the sea had the wrong salt in it or something.
I don't think I'd care to serve on such a rating tin, no. Maybe we should give the captains radio controlled toy ships to tenure with instead. It'd be so much more cost effective.
Was there a target? If so, did the radar spot it? Did the missile get close? Did it actually do any damage?
PS: I assume the marines for the helicopter have guns but no ammunition. They would be able to use bad language against the pirates if they had enough helicopter fuel to get close and one of them brought his own Somali phase book.
Our enemies de-jour don't have aeroplanes. The most advanced technolgy they have is a Toyota pickup truck and they live in countries more than 75miles from the sea.
Any aeroplane flying over one of these ship sis either civilian, on our side, on the other side but belonging to a country with a big army and lots of nukes who you really REALLY don't want to annoy.
So learning from our allies' preponderance for shooting down their own and our aircraft in error - wouldn't it be safer to just take the batteries out of this thing and hide the remote control?
Or potentially switched off (radar) and hidden (AA gun and SAM units)
Given the confusion on the ground, the multitude of factions probably couldn't tell you what they still have and where, even if they wanted to.
and air recon is only as good as the interpretation, for example using wishfull thinking to reclassify photos of tanks into dummies, and training units, so no need to hold up operation market-garden, or conversly say the place is littered with sites containing WMD's so go invade iraq.
So yes, no real proof
Selective use of facts, as ever!!
OK, Phalanx; Phalanx will be fitted to the Type 45 destroyers from later this year - it is to be taken from Type 42 destroyers, as they are decomissioned. So it won't be temporary, it is just a prudent use of available resources.
The "single 4.5 inch gun has proven to be the most effective armament for this kind of surface vessel since the days of the Leander Class frigates; in fact the Type 22 Broadsword class was initially designed without a gun armament, and the 4.5 inch was deemed essential and fitted on the batch III frigates. There is a program in place to upgrade this venerable and proven gun with a 155mm replacement.
The ships are "fitted for, but not with" quad Harpoon ASM missile launchers. Again, a prudent use of resources, these can be fitted as and when needed.
Didn't you feel the miniguns were worth mentioning? As a close in system they have proved very effective. If I was a Somali pirate I'd be more than a tad worried about a combination of the main gun, the 30 mm cannon, miniguns, Lynx helicopter and mean looking Royal Marines. And if I was a fast bowling Aussie I'd be running for the outback!!
Where's my "Eurofighter going down in flames" icon I requested?
Funny, and here I was thinking that a warship was supposed to be _prepared_.
Seems I was wrong, and the Type 45 captain can just blunder into a situation where he needs the thing and that's when he sends a tweet to get it installed. That's how it works now, right ? Or does he just download a quad Harpoon ASM missile launcher from the proper site when needed, then delete the installation afterwards ?
My, technology is a wonderful thing.
Your whole point about the 4.5in gun is strawman argument and mere deflection, as Lewis wasn't arguing that it wasn't needed, just that a £1.1bn+ warship should be armed with MORE than a main gun and a few 30mm cannons. The Miniguns aren't for pirates. They are only there to be used against suicide bombers near or in harbour (a USS Cole style attack). They don't have the range to keep pirates out of RPG range on their own.
"Fitted for, not with" was a strategy the Royal Australian Navy used with their Anzac-class frigates in the late-90s and early-2000s when defence spending was a bit tighter. It is generally thought to be a bit of a mistake. It spread acquisition costs out a bit, but this is offset to a degree by rising costs of purchasing later, as well as the extra costs of installing systems on vessels that are in service with crews and have operational responsibilities, as well as the integration difficulties of using modernised or more modern systems the vessel wasn't designed to have.
"...a prudent use of resources, these can be fitted as and when needed". The problem is that these systems cannot be fitted as and when needed. Until the vessel has these systems, the ship is unable to be deployed in combat areas when required. This is especially true when deploying to the gulf (you know which one), as this is considered a combat area. And seeing as these deployments are often required at short notice (see Libya), it limits the abilities of planners to manage the fleet in an emergency.
If a vessel isn't combat deployable now, then it isn't fit for service, regardless of how shiny it is and how many fancy pop-guns and bling-bling rotating sensors it has.
Seriously, if Falklands 2 broke out right now, the RN would be seriously screwed with their brand new, massively expensive, yet under-armed and under-performing Gin Palaces (tm RN). Lets not mention the forced retirement of the Harriers/Sea Harriers and the platforms that carried them, not to mention the lack of inflight-refuelling assets to project land-based combat assets, even if the Tornado or Typhoon could fight from Ascension Island (4000mls/6400km away) which they couldn't. In 1982 ships had to leave for the South Atlantic in whatever condition they were in, with at most a few days in dockyard hands. No time to fit weapons systems they didn't already have. Vessels on patrol in the Caribbean and Mediterranean left and joined the fleet south in as is condition.
Another factor to consider is that you probably shouldn't be using your £1.1bn+ air-defence asset to chase pirates around off the coast of Somalia. It is a valuable and limited asset. There are going to be six Type 45 destroyers. This is only enough to sustain TWO on station at any one time what with the needs of transit times, crews, maintenance and vessels being refitted or modernised. Navies (such as the RAN) are looking towards larger OPV-type vessels for this type of role. You don't need SSMs/SAMs/AS torpedoes/precision land attack missiles and 200 crew members for pirate/EEZ patrols. A OPV freeing up combat platforms and other scarce resources (their crews) for the missions they were designed for.
Yep, all fair comments - and much better reasoning that that used in the main article.
And I agree, the Type 45s are an air defence asset and shouldn't be used for chasing pirates etc; that point seem to have been missed by Lewis though, hence his comments about the 4.5 inch gun etc. I was merely trying to point out that there were other assets available if it was forced into this role. I also agree that the Phalanx should have been fitted from day 1, as both a proven last defence AA weapon AND a very effective close support weapon - but it wasn't, money is tight, so hopefully it will be fitted as and when available.
Re. Falklands 2. The major difference between then and now is that there is a permanent RAF presence on the Falklands now; although Lewis might argue that 4 Typhoon aren't a sufficient deterrent and that we would be better off with a detachment of schoolboys with catapults, I suspect that any Argentinian Mirage/Dagger/Skyhawk pilots will be sufficiently deterred. There is also one major similarity between then and now; a Conservative government seemingly hellbent on emasculating the Royal Navy (if you recall, they were within weeks of selling one of the Illustrious-class to Australia back in 1982).
If only RAF Mount Pleasant was the base of "Fortress Falklands", but it isn't. The Typhoons are housed in un-hardened shelters (http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/20328977.jpg) so even the depleted Fuerza Aérea Argentina can take them out. I would also imagine that, with time to rehearse using information about a known target, a half-competent special forces team could infiltrate the airfield and render the aircraft, or the facilities they rely on, inoperable.
Soon it will be a great time for Argentina to try to reclaim the Malvinas all over again. No RN carriers, no Maritime Patrol aircraft (FFS, what is this? What kind of Armed Forces doesn't have a maritime patrol capability?), no land-based combat aircraft able to strike in the combat area (unless you count a few token 9000mi Black Buck-type raids by refuelled Tornadoes), Type 42 destroyers ancient and all but decommissioned, Type 45 destroyers unfit for active service, and an over-extended army committed to supporting a war in Afghanistan.
The only thing saving a British Falklands is that Argentina is even more unprepared for conflict and seems to be pursuing their claims legally through diplomatic means, and keeping the rhetoric and sabre-rattling for domestic consumption. Which is a good thing, because Britain doesn't have a best friend in the region any more (El Presidente Pinochet) and other South American countries are much more supportive of a politically de-militarised, democratic Argentina.
In defence of the cut-backs though (although I don't necessarily support them), government spending must decrease, and if defence has to take a hit, then perhaps the service that has the least at risk should take the hit (in other words, better a Navy that is largely carrying out a supporting role than gutting an Army that is in contact with an enemy). National debt reduction hasn't been much of a priority until now.
As much as we can criticise Lewis for his "buy American" views, he isn't entirely wrong. British defence procurement has been a long line of decisions that would charitably be described as "utter lunacy". Platforms shouldn't just be made domestically just because they can. It promotes a lazy inefficiency if manufacturers don't need to compete for contracts. If the domestic platform is 15% or 20% more than the imported equivalent, then fine, an economic case could be made. But not 100%! It is not the taxpayers role to subsidise uncompetitive industries such as the UK defence industry, especially when the money puts the country further in debt. Which would you rather the RN had: 6 Type 45s, or 10 Arleigh Burkes?
Nimrod MRA4 is a prime example of MOD madness. Rebuilding 40 year old airframes, each of which had unique needs and unique parts, was a disaster from the start. You didn't need a crystal ball the cluster f**k in the making, and what did it do for the British economy besides prop up BAE Systems? Britain would have been better off using an Airbus A320 airframe (which would have large numbers of British components already) that is modern, in production and is sustainable in the future. Modifying it in Britain wouldn't have been more of a challenge than engineering 21...18...16...12...9 (which is all we really needed any way. Honest) unique aircraft, and there might have even have been export potential (impossible with the Nimrod). Now the RAF has NO maritime patrol aircraft, and are having to do MP duties with C-130 Hercules aircraft, that aren't equipped for it and are desperately needed for the roles for which they were intended, hauling cargo.
It seems that project planning and supervision isn't the MODs strong suit.
The real stupidity is in not having something such as Phalanx or one of the more modern equivalents. For much of what a warship would have to do, these days, the 4.5 and the 30mm guns are fine weapons, but if an incoming missile does get past Sea Viper, that seems to be the end of the game. Maybe the chaff rockets work.
There looks to be a lot of double-talk about the weapons fit. It's fitted for Harpoon launchers, but not with them. "Oh, sorry, can't fight now, I have to sail home and install weapons."
How easy is it to saturate a missile ship's screen?
I'm not a navy person but what happens if you get a crapload of incoming, like say, if a drone got past or a small boat or 'ekranoplan' (or flottila of such) came just far in enough to loose a whole load of stuff like this?
Apart from that, I'd *REALLY* like to see this missile hit a cricket ball. Would be great for navy morale if they could do a video of that. But of course, they won't because it can't, innit?
"Sea Viper is the Royal Navy's name for the Principal Anti Air Missile System (PAAMS), a fusion of British, French, Italian and US-made equipment. It is touted as being superior to any other maritime air-defence system in the world, with the makers claiming that it can shoot down a cricket ball travelling at Mach 3 up to 75 miles away."
That'll teach those steroid-abusing bowlers!! But can it hit a googlie? (and now I will shut up on the sports analogies, since I have just reached the limits of my cricket knowledge)
Extra good news! The RNs latest escort ships are no longer in danger of being taken out by a seagull carrying a hand grenade!!
Im not really sure why people are attacking Lewis here.
We all know he loves US kit blah blah blah but im not sure how anyone can defend the expensive lump of turd of a missile frigate.
He has stated nothing but fact in this piece. I think people are guilty of the same bias that they are accusing him of
Here goes that broken record Lewis Page moaning and moaning about any military equipment that happens to be British to sell yet more of his books which merely do the same moaning.
The reality is that the type 45 is the most advanced destroyer in the world, with nothing else coming close.
Most advanced, least useful destroyer in the world. No cruise missiles, not anti-ship missiles, no close-in anti-missile defense. Not even a token ABM setup. I'm sure the US could re-do an Arleigh Burke with super-advanced technology and make it useless to actual war if they wanted to, but they're smarter than that.
For a vessel that has just enough weaponry to combat dinghys and low-threat pirate boats, I find your comment particularly ridiculous.
Against anything with proper ship-to-ship weapons, the Type 45 is sunk, no questions asked. The fact that it is a so-called "destroyer" just adds insult to injury.
The missile system defends the boat against air attack. No boat, no need to defend it against air attack. Since the boat doesn't seem to do anything else then its a bit of a waste of space.
Its most effective offensive weapon may be its cost.....sell it to an enemy and watch them go bankrupt....
The seagull with a grenade is easily defeated by the Botham air defence system already fitted to all cricket class ships. An array of sailor's with bats line the ship ready to deflect any casually lobbed ordnance.
The earlier Boycott system was abandoned when during tests it chose to ignore anything fired at it for the first three days of any conflict.
That would be the RAF that lobbied to take over control of Harrier and then had it scrapped so they could keep flying Tornados (somehow requiring eleven of the damn things for every one that actually sees combat), in the process removing what little capability we had for providing close-range air power of the sort we need in Libya? That RAF? The RAF obsessed with absolute dominance and control of anything flying? The RAF that thought it would be more cost-effective to refit the ancient Nimrod with unique-to-each-craft parts rather than purchase something new, at a fraction of the price and more effective? The RAF so obsessed with fast jets that it won't even consider anything capable of close air support with loiter?
Remind me how many carriers the RAF fields. How in the hell can they "look after" our navy?
The RAF gets a lot of aircraft that it didn't want;
Rebuilding a cut and shut DH Comet was not on anybody's wish list in the pilot run RAF, but it was cash in the kitty for an organisation hiring lobbyist after the next election!
Tucano, jobs for belfast
A400M, minister driven requirement, rather than off the shelf C17 (which we had to get in the end)
Could draw up similar civil servant & politician led procurement activities for the army and navy, such as the never suffciently damned SA80 (get a contract for Royal Ordance so we can privatise it, thanks Maggie!)
Britain's last aircraft carrier was scrapped a couple of weeks before everyone's 'hero', Cameron, decided to conquer Libya in 2 or 3 weeks, months ago.
But the Ministry of Defence, always on the ball, has ordered two new aircraft carriers which will be delivered in a few years time.
Everyone but everyone knows 'mods' aka 'variations' is where suppliers make money.
So our gallant desk bound admirals ordered these ships, but without knowing what aircraft will fly from them - in fact there will be no aircraft when they hit the water. The choice of aircraft will determine if the carriers will be equipped with the standard steam driven or the latest maglev launching system.
If they go with maglev on only one carrier it means when the maglev version is out getting oiled and greased the other, steam launcher version will be unable to launch the other carriers aircraft.
So what did these expensive destroyers teach DOD about procurement? Squat! And once again the British tax payer get to pay twice or three times the original cost.
Part 3 are the Trident submarines .....
"makers claiming that it can shoot down a cricket ball travelling at Mach 3 up to 75 miles away"
only if the cricket ball has a death wish and is flying above the horizon.
pilots without a death wish fly BELOW the horizon, so the first thing a 45 see's is a missle 20 miles out and due for impact in under 120 seconds.
if the other side have any tactical sense, then what the 45 see's is a lot of missles 20 miles out, then even if the computer OS is working the defence system is swamped.
Correct answer, Aircraft carrier with AEW, see low flying aircraft 150 miles away, and task fighter to kill it before it gets to 75 miles.
(oh, that would have required us to spend £3Bn on a combat vessel, rather than 3x£1bn on a carrer oportunity for 3 captains)
We'll make you a sweet deal on some Aegis cruisers at America's foreclosure sale next year. For a few extra bucks we'll throw in some missiles, a tank of fuel, and an mp3 player...
You may have to outbid China, but I'm pretty sure the French invitation will be lost in the mail. Strange that...
Beer icon: Because we can no longer afford good liquor...
The amount of know-it-alls posting comments is astonishing, but not surprising. Far too many points to comment on, but my 2 cents...
The primary purpose of a destroyer is to defend the fleet from the air, it is the primary purpose of a destroyer is to protect the fleet from smaller vessels. It's not about being a jack of all trades and a master of none.
The S1850M and SAMPSON radars are cutting edge, able to track hundreds of projectiles at the same time. The Type-45 destroyers are by far the most advanced anti-air ships.
I can't defend the cost issues though, it is indeed imsane, but that's BAE for you...!
It's all the fault of NuLabour/The Tories.
If you think a single party could make a fuck up this big you have fundamentally misunderstood modern politics. It is the whole system that is at fault. It is the system that mandates flipping from one ideology to another every few years, the system that forces one government to reject out-of-hand anything the previous administration though worthwhile, the system that passes the baton between runners who despise each others values that is to blame. It has taken generations of self-serving and party dominated individuals of all hues and both civil and military to get to this state of affairs.
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