Blue Water vs. Littoral Navy - which do we need nowadays ?

#1
HMS Clyde becomes first ship built in Portsmouth for nearly 40 years
14 Jun 06

The first complete ship to be built in Portsmouth Naval Base for nearly 40 years has been loaded out from the VT Shipbuilding assembly hall today, Wednesday, June 14 2006.

The launching of the 80m Offshore Patrol Vessel Helicopter (OPVH), HMS Clyde, marked the renaissance of shipbuilding at the Base turning the clock back to the launch of the Leander Class frigate HMS Andromeda in May 1967.

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/D...irstShipBuiltInPortsmouthForNearly40Years.htm

HMS Clyde is an enhanced River Class design with a helicopter deck capable of accepting helicopters up to the size of the new Merlin aircraft, increased accommodation to cater for an embarked force, a 30mm gun, higher levels of survivability and surveillance radar. The new design is built with increased watertight subdivisions for a higher level of survivability, and incorporates active fin stabilisers to improve seakeeping and expand the operating envelope for helicopter operations.

She will accommodate a crew of 36 (six officers, nine senior rates and 21 junior rates), berthed in single or twin berth cabins with en suite facilities. There will be additional accommodation for up to 20 extra personnel, which could be an embarked military force, trainees or headquarters staff.
 
#3
Chances are that these new OPVH's will deploy to the Falkland Islands sooner rather than later to replace the old ships there...
 
#5
FrogPrince said:
HMS Clyde becomes first ship built in Portsmouth for nearly 40 years
14 Jun 06

The first complete ship to be built in Portsmouth Naval Base for nearly 40 years has been loaded out from the VT Shipbuilding assembly hall today, Wednesday, June 14 2006.

The launching of the 80m Offshore Patrol Vessel Helicopter (OPVH), HMS Clyde, marked the renaissance of shipbuilding at the Base turning the clock back to the launch of the Leander Class frigate HMS Andromeda in May 1967.

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/D...irstShipBuiltInPortsmouthForNearly40Years.htm

HMS Clyde is an enhanced River Class design with a helicopter deck capable of accepting helicopters up to the size of the new Merlin aircraft, increased accommodation to cater for an embarked force, a 30mm gun, higher levels of survivability and surveillance radar. The new design is built with increased watertight subdivisions for a higher level of survivability, and incorporates active fin stabilisers to improve seakeeping and expand the operating envelope for helicopter operations.

She will accommodate a crew of 36 (six officers, nine senior rates and 21 junior rates), berthed in single or twin berth cabins with en suite facilities. There will be additional accommodation for up to 20 extra personnel, which could be an embarked military force, trainees or headquarters staff.
Luxury!!
 
#8
Littoral is the way ahead in my opinion. The days of two navies knocking the shite out of each other are well and truely gone. Littoral ops are what will occupy the RN and the USN (the biggest navy in the world but the second best!) in the future. Africa/Middle East etc ops will be conducted close into land. Asymmetric warfare will be the choice of the discerning raghead!
 
#9
The SBS / LRDG did an excellent job of it around the Dodecanese during WWII, whilst the US created a whole 'Brown Water' Navy to combat insurgents in SE Asia. I'm sure there are also applications vis-a-vis Homeland Security, akin to some of the stuff the USCG does at present.

IMHO, this small vessel capability is affordable and (climbs on soap box) also within the grasp of our Reserves.

Blue Water capability = the Chinese, possibly some Iranian subs, can't think of anyone else.
 
#10
I suppose it's because my grandfather worked at John Brown's shipyard that I noticed a certain irony that HMS Clyde was built in Portsmouth.

IMHO Littoral is definitely the way forward, as has been stated by those far more knowledgeable than myself on such matters.

Has anybody been to Blue Water lately?
 
#11
Listen to any presentation involving Booties and the word littoral will be literally and liberally used! Its the strongest rationale for the retention of the RM. Blue water? Essential for global reach and projection but, realistically, will we ever again act independently on a global reach task? (I know, the persistant threat to Las Malvinas but the two new flat tops and their attendant force are considered to be suitably large enough for that sort of thing.)
 
#12
HMS Clyde is just a glorified Offshore Patrol Vessel, not a 'combattant' in any real sense, although the design could probably be adapted to this purpose. Even then, it'd be a long way from the USN's Littoral Combat Ships.
 
#13
Thing is.... You cannot say "we will never......"

Twenty years ago, when major combat systems that the Forces are recieving today (or haven't gotten yet!) were first being dreamt up, nobody would have predicted that we would not be facing the Red Horde.

If you write off an effective Blue Water Navy, a usable Armoured Corps or an Air Force with significant capability in the air superiority mission, all of which have been mooted as "we'll never need them again". Then, if something untoward happens which calls for these capabilities there is zero chance of knocking up any of them in a short timeframe.

The RAF will, arguably, only recover fully from the 1958 decision to cease manned fighter aircraft development programs when Typhoon is deployed.

As with virtually every other defence decision though, the outcome will be decided on a cost basis.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#14
Taz_786 said:
A glorified coastal force.
uh-huh....with four nuclear-propelled submarines each armed with 40 atomic weapons....which can be launched from any ocean in the world ,travel 6,000 miles and impact a target to within 120 metres..... http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/vanguard/

the largest navy in Western Europe and 4th largest navy in the world....that coastal force ?

http://www.royal-navy.mod.uk/server/show/nav.3867

The Twenty-First Century Navy
The Royal Navy ended the Twentieth Century more powerful relatively than it had been for some time and perhaps second only to the United States Navy in its ability to project power around the world.

There are sixteen nuclear powered submarines, some of which are armed with nuclear ballistic missiles or conventionally armed Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles. The surface fleet combines three aircraft carriers with over thirty capable destroyers and frigates, an amphibious squadron recently reinforced with a new helicopter carrier and one of the most proven flotillas of minehunters in the world. It is a worthy successor to the fleets of the past whose unmatched tradition of excellence provides a powerful stimulus to the men and women of the Royal Navy today.

Slightly more than " two canoes and a rowing boat " yet shipmate :)
( despite every Government since 1982's best endeavours to destroy the Silent Service)


Le Chevre - Matelot brevete d'antan

<< Allez les Bleus ! >>
 
#15
the largest navy in Western Europe
I believe now the second largest in W. Europe, for the first time ever the Frogs now have a larger fleet. Not that it dtracts from your point, much.
 
#16
But since the Septics are getting worried about the Slant eyes build up of Blue Sea anti-Shipping capablity then Blue sea warfare is back in play.

Global reach may not be "needed" BUT we do need to able to protect OUR supply lines over Blue Sea. It's no good us saying the Septics will do it for us. They could very easily not have the ships to help.
 
#17
As a kid I learned of the Battle of Coronel, where the German East Asia Sqdn sunk the British South Pacific fleet.
The Brits in their ancient ships never even got their old guns within range of the Kraut opposition.
Sighting meant fighting and they did, always did. The pulled Tom off Crete when their ships where being sunk by the Luffwaffa.
The navy never let Tom down and I can't see it ever happening despite what ever any government may do.
john
Please don't rip me apart for exact titles in first sentance, all done from memory, I have no refrance books and this Google is cheating.
 
#18
Goatman said:
Taz_786 said:
A glorified coastal force.
uh-huh....with four nuclear-propelled submarines each armed with 40 atomic weapons....which can be launched from any ocean in the world ,travel 6,000 miles and impact a target to within 120 metres..... http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/vanguard/

the largest navy in Western Europe and 4th largest navy in the world....that coastal force ?

http://www.royal-navy.mod.uk/server/show/nav.3867

The Twenty-First Century Navy
The Royal Navy ended the Twentieth Century more powerful relatively than it had been for some time and perhaps second only to the United States Navy in its ability to project power around the world.

There are sixteen nuclear powered submarines, some of which are armed with nuclear ballistic missiles or conventionally armed Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles. The surface fleet combines three aircraft carriers with over thirty capable destroyers and frigates, an amphibious squadron recently reinforced with a new helicopter carrier and one of the most proven flotillas of minehunters in the world. It is a worthy successor to the fleets of the past whose unmatched tradition of excellence provides a powerful stimulus to the men and women of the Royal Navy today.

Slightly more than " two canoes and a rowing boat " yet shipmate :)
( despite every Government since 1982's best endeavours to destroy the Silent Service)


Le Chevre - Matelot brevete d'antan

<< Allez les Bleus ! >>
That description is out of date.

IIRC there are now only eight SSN in service and FAA minus Sea Harriers.

The bread-and-butter of the Navy is the frigate/destroyer force which is now so depleted that we would be hard pressed to deal with any emergenices in addition to current committments.

Its all very well having two shiny new carriers but will we have enough surface escorts?

There may be trouble ahead...
 
#19
IIRC, back in 1982 there was alot of muttering about Sir John Nott (then SoS for Defence) trying to reduce the RN fleet to less than 50 surface vessels. The current incumbant is a Treasury man (and a lawyer!) so I'm more than a little sceptical about him 'going into bat' to fund all the high cost Blue Water replacement kit the RN says it requires.

Also, whilst I don't swallow every line in 'Lions, Donkeys and Dinosaurs', it's easy to see why the self-reproducing RN hierarchy of frigate and destroyer drivers might not put a high priority on buying the stuff to do 'meat and potatos' littoral / assymetric warfare.

UK plc nowadays still has deep pockets compared to many nations but the public - through our politicians - have short arms. Twang, there goes another elastic band !
 
#20
Basically there are four main elements to a navy:

Above surface (i.e. carrier air);

Surface escorts

Submarines

Littoral & amphibious forces.

In Europe, the French and arguably the Spanish and Italians (by virtue of possessing AMRAAM/radar equipped AV8Bs) are stronger in the air than the RN.

Until the T45's arrive, the Dutch, Germans and Spanish will all have much more powerful air defence destroyers than the RN, although the RN still leads in ASW frigates.

Amphibious forces - the RN is roughly equal with the French

Subs - this is the only area in which the RN is clearlysuperior to other European navies.

In terms of manpower, the RN/RM are actually somewhat smaller than the USCG (43,000 v 36,000), and only about a tenth the size of the USN (340,000 + 178,000 USMC).
 

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