Replacement for HMS Ocean...?

Potential_Officer said:
stumpy said:
Because Ocean was built to cheaper commercial standards rather than military ones, and then worked very hard.

Does the fact that she was built to cheaper standards to begin with mean she will need replacing sooner? Is that not a false economy then?

It is an interesting point as to what is the cheapest way to provide such a service.

The tin box bit is as part of the ttal ship cost small, it is the systems that cost the real money, and taking the old ones out and replacing them when they are obsolete is expensive compared tio installing in a new hull. So perhaps lifing the hull at the expected life of the systems and replacing the lot in one go may actually work out less expensive. Yes it make be cheaper to build a hull with double the life, but how much extra will you pay to keep the systems up to date
 

Karma

War Hero
Potential_Officer said:
Does the fact that she was built to cheaper standards to begin with mean she will need replacing sooner? Is that not a false economy then?

She was bought as a bit of a gap filler, hence brought into existence quickly and with minimum capability. There is a balance between getting an optimal solution and getting something in rapidly. The approach taken avoided a lot of the governance waste which is endemic in DE&S. (In theory SMART procurement was pretty good, but MOD fucked up the implementation with control freakery)

When you're talking about the changes in operations over a twenty to thirty year period simple cash assessments of economy aren't really appropriate.

That said, whilst I agree with the sentiment from Stumpy, the practice assumes that the CVF was designed from the ground up to be an adaptable design. It's already been pointed out that it isn't so the rework is significant for the different role, although the experience from re-roling ARKR for rotary heavy operations could be enlightening.
 

Karma

War Hero
Trooped_Again said:
Cheapest Standards? Get a grip, a Standard is just that, it's a benchmark to work to, it's not cost associative.

I'm not convinced it's entirely reasonable to criticise what's essentially sloppy use of language.

OCEA was built to commercial standards in many areas, rather than the NES. That change in build standard intevitably brings in cost reductions, as I'm sure you're aware from your PM experience.

The NES are there for a reason, and the type of use that is made of a warship is different from that of a commercial vessel is likely to lead to a faster rate of wear, and reduced survivability.

MOD, and the service, went into the procurement with their eyes open, but it was brought in at a reasonably low cost, although I'll acknowledge that a large part of that saving was down to reduced governance and project management, rather than the cost of steel.

All that said, it's a little specious to focus on the cost of the hull, since the majority of cost of a modern vessel is in systems, both life support and operational.

I think we can give PO some credit for not even being in the service yet.....
 

Not_a_boffin

War Hero
The proper shipyard is the one that went into receivership as a result of that contract - Swan Hunter. I hasten to add NOT the bunch that made such a bollix of the Bays (no former employees were hired by the new owner as a matter of policy - worked well didn't it?)

Ocean was never a gap-filler. She was the result of the Aviation Support Ship programme in the mid-80s, which was put off and put off in a vain attempt to make the requirement go away. When sanity dawned and it was recognised that the Junglies really did need somewhere to go, the absolute minimum budget was applied.

The commercial standards bit is two-fold. Kvaerner Govan were a merchant yard and therefore eligible for what was known as the Shipbuilding Intervention Fund (an EU subsidy) providing there were no warship features in the vessel as built. That's why the hull and ME were built in Govan and the operational (mags, WE kit) side done in Barrow.

As people have alluded to, commercial standards are just that. Perfectly good enough to use, provided that you know they are suitable for the way the vessel will be operated. The issues with the LCVP davits demonstrate this admirably. The original davits were a commercial standard (used for lifeboats) and the LCVP was well within the SWL. Trouble was, the duty cycle for the lifeboats was an MCA test every year as opposed to being crammed full of booties and hauled up and down several times a day. Unsurprisingly they broke and had to be replaced with another davit to a more suitable duty cycle (still a commercial design AFAIK).

The problem is that the MoD bought an 18 year ship (as opposed to the 25+ years the Swans design would have given), without really thinking through where they were going with the programme. At the end of the day of course cost is king, but this really is theh ha'porth of tar.....
 
Karma said:
Trooped_Again said:
Cheapest Standards? Get a grip, a Standard is just that, it's a benchmark to work to, it's not cost associative.

I'm not convinced it's entirely reasonable to criticise what's essentially sloppy use of language.

Who's? The language was fairly clear.

Karma said:
OCEA was built to commercial standards in many areas, rather than the NES. That change in build standard intevitably brings in cost reductions, as I'm sure you're aware from your PM experience.

No, it doesn't, a change in standards and the practises that are used increases Capital Expenditure through (in this case) the adaption of jigs, tools and fixures, the manufacture of tooling and the re-setting of laid down systems of work. This becomes cost effective when you are building numerous items (economies of scale) but Ocean is a 'one off'.

Karma said:
The NES are there for a reason, and the type of use that is made of a warship is different from that of a commercial vessel is likely to lead to a faster rate of wear, and reduced survivability.

Standards exist to minimise variations in builds (irrrespective of product), the hull of Ocean was built to a set of exacting standards as approved by the relevant professional and governing body and, of course, the MoD. Faster rate of wear, redundancy of systems, and survivability are factored in.

Karma said:
MOD, and the service, went into the procurement with their eyes open, but it was brought in at a reasonably low cost, although I'll acknowledge that a large part of that saving was down to reduced governance and project management, rather than the cost of steel.

How on earth can you acknowledge reduced governance and project management? Is this comment here to raise a bite? Building a warship requires a huge degree of governance of the various professional bodies concerned during the build life, from the initial blocks and units to the assembly of the hull. Project Management? Have you worked in a shipyard? You can't through a stone in the air with it hitting a PM on the way down, BAE has some of the better PM standards, principles and systems in the market, they combine proprietry systems and knowledge with the experience of the work force and the expertise of the employed mass, shipyards are no longer flat bunnets and metal bashers. Through lean manufacturing more knowledge of the product and systems is imparted to all workers in the yard, the majority of Coordinators, Supervisors and Managers come from the shop floor.

Karma said:
All that said, it's a little specious to focus on the cost of the hull, since the majority of cost of a modern vessel is in systems, both life support and operational.

I think it is important to focus on the quality of the hull, as well as it's cost. Without it there is no platform for the others systems that need to exist to allow our service men and women to operate one of the most modern and fit for purpose Major Warships the Royal Navy operates.

Karma said:
I think we can give PO some credit for not even being in the service yet.....

Well done P_O, but read back, my comments are directed at no individual, but the forum as a whole.
 

Karma

War Hero
Trooped_Again said:
Who's? The language was fairly clear.

Both Chockhead, who you responded to specifically, and Potential_Officer who made the cheaper standards statement.

Karma said:
OCEA was built to commercial standards in many areas, rather than the NES. That change in build standard intevitably brings in cost reductions, as I'm sure you're aware from your PM experience.

No, it doesn't, a change in standards and the practises that are used increases Capital Expenditure through (in this case) the adaption of jigs, tools and fixures, the manufacture of tooling and the re-setting of laid down systems of work. This becomes cost effective when you are building numerous items (economies of scale) but Ocean is a 'one off'.

OCEA was a one off, yes, and I'll acknowledge your superior knowledge of the specifics of shipbuilding. One of the stated advantages of the use of commercial standards for much of the hull was the reduced requirement to do that adaptation.

Karma said:
The NES are there for a reason, and the type of use that is made of a warship is different from that of a commercial vessel is likely to lead to a faster rate of wear, and reduced survivability.

Standards exist to minimise variations in builds (irrrespective of product), the hull of Ocean was built to a set of exacting standards as approved by the relevant professional and governing body and, of course, the MoD. Faster rate of wear, redundancy of systems, and survivability are factored in.

I have a feeling we're in violent agreement. Whilst rate of wear etc are factored in to the standard, the standard should be appropriate to the use that the hull is going to be put to. With that in mind the NES reflects the nature of warship operations. NaB has already highlighted one example of where the commercial standard led to a procurement decision which was wholly inappropriate. Not the fault of the standard, but the interpretation of what the standard meant in context.

Karma said:
MOD, and the service, went into the procurement with their eyes open, but it was brought in at a reasonably low cost, although I'll acknowledge that a large part of that saving was down to reduced governance and project management, rather than the cost of steel.

How on earth can you acknowledge reduced governance and project management?

My own fault for inadequate language here, since I've already raised the point upthread I assumed the context for the statement would carry through. The governance load in PE, DPA and now DE&S is ridiculous, the amount of money wasted on circulating the same thing through numerous stakeholders with only a tenuous link to the project is insane. One of the problems is an excess of control freakery around the public purse.


BAE has some of the better PM standards, principles and systems in the market, they combine proprietry systems and knowledge with the experience of the work force and the expertise of the employed mass

I'm not in a position to comment on BAeS shipbuilding, having only had experience of some of their other service lines. My issues are with waste in the MOD procurement system.

Karma said:
All that said, it's a little specious to focus on the cost of the hull, since the majority of cost of a modern vessel is in systems, both life support and operational.

I think it is important to focus on the quality of the hull, as well as it's cost. Without it there is no platform for the others systems that need to exist to allow our service men and women to operate one of the most modern and fit for purpose Major Warships the Royal Navy operates.[/quote]

No need to be quite so defensive when the majority of my post was broadly in agreement with you. Procuring any platform is a hugely complex undertaking, and thinking in pure cost terms fails to deliver what is required by the end customer. MOD procurement has many weaknesses, one of which is the focus on the cost element of the time/ cost/ performance equation at DE&S and in MOD centre.
 

Heart-of-Oak

Badgeman
Trooped_Again said:
Welded where it met? Brilliant observation. Steel, when used in the panel sizes that went into Ocean is flexible, which is why, more often than not it is Tampa heated or re-heated to bring it back to tolerance, so if it looks 'off' it maybe is, it doesn't affect the structural integrity (or are you all inferring that the Naval Archs & Design Boffins aren't worth a fcuk either?)

Have you ever walked along 2 Deck Fwd of the MCO cross-passage?

I haven't been on her for 5 years but she was a rust bucket back then. Although to be fair she was just about to enter DP1.
 

Rocket_Ron

Lantern Swinger
Trooped_Again:- get off your high horse with regards to the shipyard/builder/matelots.

Its built DOWN to a price, you can`t possibly say that its the best available. If it were,it`d be made out of steel,not ally,it`d learn the lessons from 25 yrs ago as opposed to being ready to melt but cheap on fuel while alls peaceful.

Its a warship. Therefore it should be designed and built with war in mind, not how fuel economic can we make it.

18yr life-i`ve bloody undies done longer service.
 

Not_a_boffin

War Hero
Er, Ron - Ocean is steel. Nine and a half thousand tonnes of it to be precise. With another five thousand tonnes of pipe, cabling, linings, furnishings, engines, gennys and WE kit on top.
 
I wouldn't wholly knock merchant ship construction standards, they are designed to do more sea time than the average grey war canoe, they are designed to run on much less maintenancetime and they are bought by organisations that will sue the pants of the builder if they cock up. Yes they are built with a lower planned service life, but that is because the owners want to keep up to date with cost saving technology as much as anything else. One major difference between merchant and naval standards is the ability to survice action damage, and often the need for higher speed and a more flexible propulsin plant, and it is these factors that make the naval hull more expensive.

Considering the cost of major upgrades these days it is questionable whether buying a hull with a planned long service life these days is actually cost effective. With the rate of change of technology these days particulaly for a frigate or destroyer a relatively short hull life of less than 20 years may actually be cost effective.
 

Seaweed

RIP
Book Reviewer
Deja vu, as usual. The 'Light Fleet' Collossus-class aircraft carriers which were constructed in the early 1940s (and of which the first four arrived in the East just after the Japanese surrender) were built around a Shaw Savill merchant-ship design, the idea being that after the war they could be converted back to merchant use. In particular they had their machinery in echelon (arranged boiler room, engine room, boiler room, engine room rather than having all the boiler rooms together and then the engine rooms) so that one shaft was much longer than the other. As anti-torpedo protection they had some ship's side compartments filled with empty 40 gal oil drums. To balance the island they had port-side compartments full of concrete. I seem to remember they had an armoured main deck (3 deck). Someone with a better engineering background than mine might like to comment on how far these ships represented 'merchant' ship-building standards.

The irony is that not only did the post-war merchant conversion never eventuate but not only did at least four of them give excellent service off Korea but they were hugely successful and highly regarded as carriers in the 50s and 60s, eventually serving in the navies of Canada, Australia, India, France, the Netherlands, Brazil and Argentina as well as the RN.
 
Rocket_Ron said:
Trooped_Again:- get off your high horse with regards to the shipyard/builder/matelots.

Its built DOWN to a price, you can`t possibly say that its the best available. If it were,it`d be made out of steel,not ally,it`d learn the lessons from 25 yrs ago as opposed to being ready to melt but cheap on fuel while alls peaceful.

Its a warship. Therefore it should be designed and built with war in mind, not how fuel economic can we make it.

18yr life-i`ve bloody undies done longer service.

I'll get off my high horse, when you get your facts straight. As for it being down to price, if you build a ship using Alu (or did you mean Alloy?) to retain integrity and strength you would certainly quadruple your materials budget.

And as for alloys, they are just as expensive (aka 'Exotic Materials').

The view is great from up here.
 

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