Fantasy Fleets

Discussion in 'The Fleet' started by ChiefRyback, Apr 6, 2008.

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  1. Hi all, first post here. Have seen the light and made the transition over from Warships1 after 7 dutiful years there (mostly as a lurker, but have posted too).

    Two apologies - firstly for the capricious username. I'm watching Under Seige on Channel 4 at the moment... it seemed fitting. Hope I haven't made some schoolboy error in having it named after a yankee bootneck. Secondly, for the nature of this thead... over the forums I've visited, with Fantasy Fleets you either love them or hate them. Again, I hope I'm not lowering the IQ of this board by posting such a thread!

    Finally, a bit about me... a complete civvie, finishing up my Master's and while at uni was on the UAS. Though great fun, discovered I had a great distain for the fliers and now am thinking about joining the RNR within the coming year (well, got as far as popping along to the AFCO but need to get back into shape over summer). Have questions about the particular trade I wish to go into and I will probably make a thread about that later.

    Anyway, it's funny how soon things change; a few years ago, we were looking about the 32-ship Navy. Now, it's generally thought that we'll be heading towards a two- or even three-tier Navy what with C1, C2 and C3. I'm admittedly a proponent of the two tier Navy and I think that the Marine Nationale is a decent example to follow. Given tightening budgets and an administration that cares little for the forces beyond implications on politically sensitive constituencies and one based on myopic short-termism, I believe that the two-tier Navy is the best solution to meeting our standing committments, as well as retain the significant heavyweight punch should be need to use it.

    The two-tier Navy makes significant savings in resources - freeing up capital ships to either train or meet operational committments. The C3s also allows ships to be in the water, providing younger COs the experience they need before being streamed to higher-end combatants.

    Edit: In light of suggestions, have amended the proposed fleet to look like this. Democracy at work!

    2x STOVL CVF – Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth
    289m; 65,000t full load (75,000t design limit); 180x36x10m hangar deck; 2x deck-edge a/c lifts (carrying 2x F35); 29kt fast; composite belt armour and blast-resistant bulkheads; C4ISTAR capability
    Airwing: 42x F35B (24 in peacetime); 4x Merlin ASAC; 2x HM1 Merlin, 3x HC3 Merlin (RAF)

    1x LPH(F) – Hermes
    40,000t; 2x deck-edge a/c lifts; 25kt fast; composite belt armour and blast-resistant bulkheads;
    Airwing: 8x MH-47G Chinook (RAF), 8x HC3 Merlin (RAF), 3x FireScout UAV, 5x WAH-64 Apache (AAC) (Suggested airwing?)

    6x C1 AS/SuW Cruiser – Churchill, Centaur, Conqueror, Cerberus, Challenger, Charger
    172m trimaran; 11,000t (full); 29kt fast; composite belt armour and BRB; 1x 5" gun; 16x Harpoon; 2x Phalanx CIWS; Type 2087 Towed Array Sonar; huge USV capability; 8x Cray Marine 324mm (2 quad) torpedo tubes; 32x Sylver A70 with Aster 15; RAM; large hangar
    Airwing: 4x HM1 Merlin; 2x FutureLynx; 1x FireScoutUAV

    8x Type 45 AAW Cruiser – Daring, Dauntless, Diamond, Duncan, Defender, Dragon, Dreadnought, Devastation
    As built but add/replace with the following… composite belt armour and BRB; 1x 5†gun; 8x Harpoon; 2x Phalanx CIWS; 4x Cray Marine 324mm (2 twin) torpedo tubes; 48-cell Sylver A50 with Aster 15/30; 16-cell Sylver A70 with Aster45
    Airwing: 1x HM1 Merlin

    6x C2 General Purpose Cruiser – Revenge, Rodney, Ramillies, Repulse, Renown, Royal Sovereign
    172m trimaran; 12,500t; 29kt fast; 1x 5†gun; 8x Harpoon; 64x Sylver A70 with Aster 15 and TLAM; 2x Phalanx CIWS; 8x Cray Marine 324mm (2 quad) torpedo tubes;
    Mission 'Modules': 2x CB90s; Mexifloats; 2x LCVP; 2x HC3 Merlin; 2x HM1 Merlin; reverse-osmosis equipment/power generators etc. In some combination

    11x C3 Ocean-Capable Patrol Sloop – London, Derby, Manchester, Liverpool, Swansea, Belfast, Aberdeen, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Bristol, Southampton, Exeter, York, Coventry
    110m length; 2,500t; 25kts; Thales Artemis IRST; Herakles S-Band MF; extensive USV kit for minesweeping and oceanographic survey; modularised sensor and weapons systems; basic fit – 1x OTO 76mm, RAM, 2x 30mm cannon; 16x Sylver A50 with CAAM; FFBNW Aster 15 and Harpoon

    10x Astute-class SSN – Astute, Artful, Ambush, Audacious, Anson, Achilles, Invincible, Illustrious, Indomitable, Indefatigable, Icarus
    As built.

    2x Albion-class LPD – Albion, Bulwark
    As built. Maybe a hanger?

    4x Bay-class ALSL – Largs Bay, Lyme Bay, Mounts Bay, Cardigan Bay
    As built.

    4x Vanguard-class SSBNs – Vanguard, Vengeance, Victorious, Vigilant
    Enough said.
  2. So we have 22 'specialist' high-end warships with 6x AS/SuW, 8x AAW, 8x General Purpose cruisers, and 11 C3 sloops darting around doing the Armilla Patrol, APT(N) and (S) etc.

    In wartime, the C3s ride shotgun as point-defence for the RFA supply train to the area of operations (assuming such escort is necessary as may be if tackling a regional power with a sizeable air force).

    The C2 General Purpose cruisers either act as point-defence for the main task group, or act as 'battlewinners' in deploying over-the-horizon punch via TLAM and 155mm under the umbrella of specialist ASW and AAW defence. I believe rethinking C2 as cruisers and not as a frigate/Type23-replacement frees funds to realise the two-tier navy.
  3. E-2D!!!! F-35B and C!!!!!!! 8 x T45 with TLAM!!!!!

    Can we have some X-wing fighters and a Klingon battlecruiser too please?!!!!! :rofl:

    Oh, and I doubt you'd be operating F-35B from an LPH with MH-47G and Merlin HC3s.

  4. Help WTF is the chef talking about? I have never heard of these ships/ufo's only the black bringgers of death.
  5. At the displacement and size you're looking at, trimarans lose their appeal. Wouldn't want to put 2087 on a GP ship anyway.

    The airgroup size on a 40000 te LPH is a tad small even if you are using non-folding helicopters.

    Are you envisaging some form of large cloakroom on Albion & Bulwark?

    Good names though, although somewhat disappointing that you ran out of A's for the boats.
  6. No nooo, you misunderstand Magic Mushroom; in this FF, it's not like the FAA have 200 F35Cs, the 700 RAF F35Bs or some completely rediculous amount. In this scenario, the FAA is handed back sole jurisdiction over organic fixed-wing naval aviation. I.e. the F35 buy of 136 (or less) goes solely to the Navy. And this is paid for by...

    Now hold your breath here, I assume you're a one of the boys in light blue... no direct replacement for the GR4. Come 2018 or 2020 when they'll be retired, the Typhoon fleet will assume strike duties. If the RAF want to retain STOVL aviation they can do so by replacing Harriers with Dave-B which will also contribute. Long story short, the RAF drops the need for a heavy mud-mover and opts for the stealthy, survivable Dave-B and Typhoons.

    So when that happens, it's feasible that an RAF Dave-B may operate from an LPH (without ski-jump), but the USMC are doing the same.

    As for TLAM - it depends on the mixture of weapon systems during deployment. T45 has room for another 16 VLS, I am just proposing to make these 16 the A70 strike length version :). It also benefits us if MBDA develops an Aster ABM variant with a significantly larger booster.

    Hi Not_a_boffin... I wasn't aware of that. Why do trimarans lose their appeal at heavier displacements? I'm not a naval architect but surely it should be the opposite effect where drag becomes insignificant with increasing weight? I chose trimaran because you get a nice big roomy flight-deck, possibly approaching something in size to the Moskva or Jeanne d'Arc. Perhaps you are right about 2087 on a GP.

    Well I figure the airgroup is small on the LPH because, all things being equal, the Treasury will always be the forces no1 enemy. So while it may be nice to have a dozen of each type, I doubt it'll happen. But futureproofing by designing a large roomy box seems prudent (air is free steel is cheap). Also, although I've put two LPHs there, I don't ever think we'll need a second. Probably something from that list I'd nominate for the chop?

    Yes on hanger on the LPDs... something to enclose say two choppers. Room for maintenance kits might be a nice idea too.
  7. Chiefy,
    I'm also an advocate of replacing the GR4s with a combination of Typhoon, F-35 and TLAM. There is no way on earth that we'll get a replacement for the GR4 anyway.

    But mate, believe me, your plans are TOTALLY, UTTERLY, COMPLETELY unaffordable.

    Defence faces a short fall of over £10B (yes that's BILLION, B-I-L-L-I-O-N) over the next few years. And that's even before we've started looking at where the cash for the SSBN replacement comes from.

    Sadly therefore your fantasy fleet is just that.

  8. I've yet to meet a hullform where drag becomes insignificant with increasing weight. Once you get to the sorts of length and displacement you're talking about with a tri, a nice simple monohull does most of what you want without the penalties. Hint - there's more to ship design than hydrodynamics and the tri has some hidden penalties.

    As MM rightly points out, given financial realities, the whole discussion is at fantasy level and that's been done fairly extensively already on the thread below.
  9. MM: Yeah, absolutely mate. I'm aware that with the current spend (of 2.1% GDP is it?) this is completely unaffordable. But if this thread were to predict the status of the fleet in a few years, it'd be a very short post and something along the lines of "a dinghy and a peashooter" ;)

    I think the above fleet (okay, I'll compromise - minus the luxuries of a second LPH, escorts with TLAM and a STOVL CVF instead) is affordable at 2.8% of GDP? Assuming some contingency is provided for the Trident-replacement...

  10. Ah bugger, I didn't see that. Apologies.
  11. So how exactly would you then fund the manpower? And recruit sufficient numbers?

    You'd also need to articulate exactly what it's all supposed to achieve? The RN doesn't exist in isolation and the military in general is merely an instrument of government foreign and security policies.
  12. Given that there's no money for MASC or the E-3D EAGLE upgrade, I think you can safely forget the E-2Ds as well.

  13. The 2.8% budget could absorb some of the associated increases in costs; manpower, fuel, onshore storage. Forward-basing could be employed to reduce fuel costs; e.g. the C3 assigned to APT(N) could be based at NS Mayport in Florida, perhaps basing more assets EoS such as jointly with the MN at Reunion, or even Australia.

    Recruiting the additional number of personnel (which, for the surface fleet wouldn't be that much more than present - 33 'large' and 'small vessels vs 25 'medium' ships) could be achieved through more funding of the cadet forces etc. I'm not really sure where you're going with this.... I'm not an expert with acute understanding of how the AFCO and cadet forces function, just merely suggesting an end-result fleet taking into account of likely demands on cash, manpower, and logistics.

    Absolutely. The CVFs (whether CTOL or STOVL) form the cornerstone of the British military policy as outlined in SDR98 and Delivering Security In A Changing World 2004. These require escorts, and it is unfeasible to operate 30 such vessels on the current shoestring budget. During peacetime, these assets are (mis)used in roles they are not designed for due to lack of appropriate assets, e.g. destroyers in the C'bean or Cornwall in the Gulf. APT(N) could be satisfied by a long-ranged corvette with smaller-calibre gun and a Lynx than a ASW Type 23 sporting Harpoon and SeaWolf. Similarly, in hindsight, (and I don't want to open up this can of worms) the patrol of Shatt-al-Arab could have been met by a command and control vessel (at stand-off range) with smaller craft such as CB90s to search the commercial ships. So I hope that shows the necessity for a tiered Navy, than simply relying on one weight-class of escorts to conduct all duties.

    The nature of this tiered approach is taken from the Marine Nationale which operate a core of 20 high-end warships, supplemented by light frigates and avisos. Furthermore, they fully employ forward basing (as mentioned) at Reunion and other overseas departments. In designing the tiered RN, we need to calculate how many high-end escorts are necessary based on likely operations; Delivering Security In A Changing World suggested that the UK would bring specialist units to ‘plug and play’ within a broader coalition. This suits the Type 45 fine as a highly-capable AAW specialist but is limited as we may end up building 8, or worse, 6. As the Type 23 units get older we’ll need to start thinking about replacements but with budgetary constraints, fewer hulls are likely. So the logical course of action is to design a similar ASW specialist which utilizes UUVs and other gadgets. So we have 8 Type 45s and maybe 6(?) ASW C1 units. How does the RN prosecute a high-intensity short-duration conflict similar to the Falklands? It requires ships in sufficient amounts to be on station, on route, and in refit. It then seems opportune to have a third class of high-end general purpose combatants, the C2s.

    The idea of the C2s is that they would work under the umbrella of specialist ASW and AAW assets, and so not need to have such capable sensor fits. Predominantly, the function should be to act as another layer of air-defence, ship-defence as well as contribute to a land attack during hot wars, hence Aster 15s, Harpoon and 5†artillery. The other 95% of the time when the C2 is not throwing TLAMs at some country, they would be better suited as multi-purpose cruisers tasked with humanitarian/disaster relief (large water filtration capacity, bladder tanks for storage, mexifloats, capable of deploying helicopters as well as LCVPs or CB90s etc.

    So, in conclusion we have our fleet centred around the CVFs with high-end escorts for ‘hot’ wars, as well as cheaper, lighter C3s to dart around doing the peacetime bread n’ butter work of the RN as well as showing the flag to other countries (as the MN often does with their futuristic-looking LaFayettes). Good for Britain Plc. In addition, through careful design of the General Purpose C2, we obtain a large vessel with multirole capability, to straddle the tasks of peacetime humanitarian-type ops (e.g. Op Palliser?) as well as those of providing another sea-control/area-denial asset during hot wars (e.g. Falklands).

    Naturally, cancellation of the E2D is implicit with a STOVL CVF :)


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