Fleet - what fleet


Lantern Swinger
Well I suppose it was only a matter of time. It does beg the question though, being leased, is it like a car, ie if it breaks down they give you another one ? !


War Hero
In this case I think VT have contractually guaranteed a number of AFEDs (or equivalent). Trouble is, as you say if it breaks down they can't offer you another one, all they can do is pay the fine mandated in the agreement and then only if the non-availability exceeds the contracted level.

Having said that, if VT hadn't made the offer to build and rent back, I suspect we'd have seen the requirement for the Southlant Guardship quietly shelved.........
chockhead819 said:
it appears now that the RN leases it ships see the latest page of Navy News regarding the Clyde.


River Class are leased, originally Vospers had building Space/Time on their hands & 'offered' to build lease to the Ministry who as ever strapped for cash. However as per the rules that meant it had to go to tender...............there's a suprise but Vospers won it. Back to 5 watch manning for Fish boats which was tried before but was halted for various reasons, Engineers on leave whilst ship under repair, old Ships, no spares. Now of course they are new & everything is great.


Book Reviewer
chockhead819 said:
it appears now that the RN leases it ships see the latest page of Navy News regarding the Clyde.


I can remember reading a news article a few years ago which reported that the pongoes were looking at leasing vehicles from Lex; rather than Lex's usual vehicles, these would have been Challenger MBTs! The article was slightly tongue in cheek and speculated about how the army might differ in its treatment of a tank compared to the usual treatment of lease vehicles. One point that was raised is should a lease vehicle/ship be damaged in action, then who will pay?
chockhead819 said:
it appears now that the RN leases it ships see the latest page of Navy News regarding the Clyde.



I'm sure that if the price and technical risks were right, the CLS bright boys would contract for UPKEEP periods in Argentina. As it is, we will need to keep on good terms with most of the non Argentinian South American East Coast. The intention seems to be that the CLYDE will not return to UK after deployment. That's one of the ways they have reduced from 2 CASTLEs: all docking periods in local commercial Yards. Manning will be trickled roullement, not dissimilar to the cover for CASTLEs.



Lantern Swinger
Given the manpower situation and the constant drive for harmony I can see ships staying away for longer and an enhancement of Topshaft with everyone rotating around.
I am sure the commercial yards around the third world could do a cheaper refit and/or repairs than DML, Babcock, etc. This was done recently with RFA Diligence.
How long before the first DD/FF does a docking in Singapore?
How long before the DD/FF world work the crew rotation that the hydrographic boats (SCOTT, ECHO, etc) do at the moment? Anybody got any strong feelings on this?
I would go a bundle on working the RFA routine, I believe they work about 3 months on the 17 days off, then if you are out of the UK for 6 months or more you get the whole years earnings tax free. Don't think Gordon Brown would support it!
Surely though with there being a Manpower shortage, and the means of the Navy sending more people to sea for longer, this will then put off potential recuits who don't want to spend a year at sea (I know I am exxagerating now!) for a normal non-combat stint at sea.

So therefore the manpower crisis will get worse and worse, etc. Surely more effort should be on recruiting the right amount of people, paying them for their efforts and ensuring that all of our forces are equipped with the best availible to do the job we pay them to do.


Book Reviewer
What are normal drafts now. It used to be, for the Far East for example, 18 months unaccompanied or 30 months married accompanied. Are there any overseas married accompanied, with sea going time, now a days


War Hero
LFS drafts have dwindled big time with very few available. The far east ones have all long gone and the only real LFS ones up for grabs are in Europe. Even Gib has downsized big time!

Sea drafts for JR's is IAW Topmast which is around 4 years. For SR's it remains around the 2 to 3 year mark dependant on trade.

Sootblower has it about right with regard to manpower etc. I also think that will be the way ahead for our ships refit/AMP packages in the future. Just fly home the crews as requires much the same way the RFA do today.
For Local foreign service Janner was right however most ships were on General service commissions which meant refits/maintenace every two years --there was also an interim docking not neccessarily at home .
The General Service commission was split between a foreign leg [nine months] and a home leg --the home leg didn't always mean what it said.
That way crew changes were two yearly. Also leave was given regularily.

Training for advancement was also available.

Lease hire in civvy street normally means you take on a contract for five years -and the dodge is no VAT!! The responsibility of upkeep is that the user pays!! Also after the initial period of contract you have an option to buy!!
Its like a buy on the never never!!


Lantern Swinger
The Clyde is a real gin palace. The JR's are all in 2 man cabins with their own on-suite. And its all crome and mirrors not pussers fittings!

A new trial is about to start with rotating ships companies.

A T42 is having it's whole crew changed over to keep it on station in the SA

A T23 is having a Gulf patrol extended and the crew rotated bit by bit on-station.

And there's a third experiment but can't rermber the details.

This in a C-IN-C Fleet priority to see if it works. Save wasting time rotating the hulls.

Copying the Yanks again!