Four more ships for the Surface Fleet...?

stumpy

War Hero
Just a quick idea, but considering that the RN is short of escorts, and given that either Albion or Bulward is on a successful deployment to the Gulf of Aden, why not use the Bay Class in a similar role? Surely one could be permantly deployed to the West Indies, with a team of RN sailors for disaster relief and RMs for drug interdiction. She would have enough space for a couple of helicopters, landing craft (and possibly RM fast boats), and crucially, enough disaster relief stores and equipment to do a proper job. You could either keep the RFA personnel onboard, or fully take them into the RN, in manpower terms 1 scrapped Type 42 almost equals the manpower for 4 x Bay Class.

I know that they are not as fast as a frigate or destroyer, or have the sensors, missiles etc. But, most of the time the sort of the work that escorts do don't require these. This idea would provide 4 more ships to go on the plot, and enable them to be fully utilised.

What do you think? :?:
 

Scud

Badgeman
Wait and see what they can do - word on the grape vine is that we're only going to get Lyme, Largs and Mounts and Cardigan's going to be sold/used for spares.

None of them have even been through more than sea trials yet (I'm joining Mounts in June and she's going to start the full trials busines ie getting BOST'ed etc.), so it's worth waiting and seeing what they're capable of. There's no need to take them into the RN (long standing bone of contention this) - they seem to think that the Wave class are capable of doing standalone ops in the Caribbean, so why not the Bay's? I like the idea personally, but because they've been built on the cheap, and like Albion and Bulwark there are serious teething problems at the moment, we're just going to have to wait and see what they can do.

In manpower terms though, it would be interesting to see if 60 RN personnel could man one - the division of responsibilities is radically different in the RFA, and the requirements might be a bit of a culture shock. (again, different topic in itself this).
 

Megalopteron

Lantern Swinger
Scud said:
Wait and see what they can do - word on the grape vine is that we're only going to get Lyme, Largs and Mounts and Cardigan's going to be sold/used for spares.

There's been all sorts of RUMINT on the Bays, from full RN manning to only two entering service and the others to be laid up. If it hasn't come to you personally from COMRFA himself it's all lies! :p

None of them have even been through more than sea trials yet (I'm joining Mounts in June and she's going to start the full trials busines ie getting BOST'ed etc.), so it's worth waiting and seeing what they're capable of.

Have you visited or sailed on a Bay yet? I was on Mounts Bay's maiden voyage as an RFA so if you've any questions about her, or about BOST from a cadet's point of view feel free to PM me.
 

Scud

Badgeman
Well funnily enough, the dit on Cardigan was from old Billy bob himself when he came to us to give his 'triangle with three corners' speech. He said we were definitely getting Mounts, Largs and Lyme, but Cardigan was a bit uncertain at the moment.
 

stumpy

War Hero
Mmmm, I thought the government was meant to be taking littoral warfare seriously...?

At the very least I would have thought that the Cardigan Bay would make a good dedicated Hospital Ship/PCRS (or whatever it is called). I understood there were plans for one anyway to replace the RFA Argus.
 

Scud

Badgeman
Not if the chancellor doesn't like it we don't.

Argus is on her way in for a refit, but there is still talk about replacing her. The main RFA replacement impetus at the moment though is replacing all our old tankers with double hulled jobbers (MARS project), so possibly it might have to wait a bit.

I have to say though, I shall be joining the Naval medical branch in their cheers of joy when they finally scrap Argus. Horrible Ship.
 

Megalopteron

Lantern Swinger
Scud said:
I have to say though, I shall be joining the Naval medical branch in their cheers of joy when they finally scrap Argus. Horrible Ship.

What do you think is wrong with Argus sufficient to merit 'horrible'?

Last I heard this year's refit is intended to extend her service until 2020.
 

Scud

Badgeman
She smells of effluent, she manoevres like a brick, the bridge is cramped and badly designed, she's horrendously stiff and rolls like a pig (even in practically flat calm in the med).

Hopefully the refit will go some way to dealing with most of the above issues, but having spent a few days on her I'd never ever wish to do a trip on board.

The thought of her being still there in 2020 is a pretty horrendous thought for what is after all an 80's box boat.
 

Megalopteron

Lantern Swinger
When were you on Argus?

I was on her for five months last year, and not once that I can recall did she smell of shit. :p

She's very straightforward to manoeuvre once you get the hang of it. Not especially agile perhaps, but positively spritely compared to a Leaf boat.

No argument on the bridge layout. It's only going to get worse when they install two WECDIS terminals this year, taking up whatever gains of space are made with the removal of CANE. I sailed with a functioning CANE table on Galahad and it's actually quite handy when it works.

Disagree on her movements in a seaway. She is notorious for it, but in practice I had no problems in weather up to Force 9/10 in the Channel. Had much more trouble on Mounts Bay because of the height of the accommodation and that awful navy style metal furniture they've fitted her out with. Argus is getting at least some cabins refitted this year so she may go the same way. :(

Overall, Argus is not half as bad in reality as her reputation IMO (a lot like her former owner Capt(X) ;)), despite all the flying and high naval content.
 

avoiding_action

Lantern Swinger
Is it not true that she had tonnes of concrete added to make her roll more? I heard that originally she was too stable to provide worthwhile aviation training for 'small ships flights'?
 

Not_a_boffin

War Hero
Not quite - as a container ship she was designed to operate in a laden condition, which a few helicopters, spares and additional accommodation can't come close to. She has had well over a thousand tonnes of ballast added, but it's to reduce her GM and thus increase the roll period to something sensible. Without it, she'd be stiffer than a stiff thing that had been set in starch and then shown a picture of Kylie in the nack.....
 

Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
Rumours abound that the RN want all the Bays. As Scud moots:

In manpower terms though, it would be interesting to see if 60 RN personnel could man one - the division of responsibilities is radically different in the RFA, and the requirements might be a bit of a culture shock.

Who will get the CEO’s cabin (mirror of the Captain’s)? Will Senior Rate MEs occupy RFA Officers' cabins adjacent to the old man’s (different organisational cultures) or would that be a touchy feely step to far?

And then there are the difficult questions. One RN SR and a baby stoker/technician responsible for an entire engine room? They'll be busy.

PFS/harmony time?
 

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