Navy's £1bn+ destroyers set to remain unarmed for years

Discussion in 'Royal Navy' started by msr, Dec 2, 2009.

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  1. msr

    msr LE

    The "Sea Viper" missile system for the Royal Navy's new Type 45 destroyers looks set to suffer further setbacks following a reported failure during test firings. The weapons are already so late that the first £1bn+ Type 45 has been in naval service for nearly a year - almost completely unarmed.

    Navy's £1bn+ destroyers set to remain unarmed for years @ The Register
  2. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)

    It isn't a problem really. As long as we can afford the onboard lawyer for the Red Sea patrols, we should just about have it covered!
  3. it's not like they'd be allowed to use them anyway
  4. They wouldn't be allowed to use them anyway,so what's the problem?
  5. I thought one of the great advantages of these vertical launch thingies was that you could put any type of missile you want into the silos, subject to length. I wonder how much retooling of the computers and radars would be required to get T45 to launch American SM-2 missiles used on their Aegis platforms.

    As things stand, the Sea Harriers have been retired, Sea Viper is vapourware and will remain so for some time to come and T42s are, mysteriously, going to sea without any Sea Dart missiles. Couldn't be that somebody stopped maintaining the liquid fuelled Sea Dart some time ago, expecting Sea Viper to be up and running by now and seeing an opportunity to save some money. Couldn't be that the paraffin oozing. ramjet powered monstrosity that is Sea Dart is now in too dangerous a state to put inside a T42 magazine. Could it?

    That leaves Sea Wolf and Phalanx guns as the sole air defence systems available to the Royal Navy. T45 doesn't have either of these so in the event of air attack, the captain will have to resort to foul language on channel 16.

    Sea wolf has a range of about a mile and a half and has a less than stellar history of shooting down other missiles, despite all the bolleaux talked during the Falklands war about shooting artillery shells out of the sky.

    I wouldn't want to bet my life on Sea Wolf against Exocet, never mind one of the new, supersonic anti-ship missiles. If the Royal Navy has to face an enemy with any sort of an air force, lots and lots of matelots are going to die, along with lots and lots of the squaddies they are transporting.
  6. More space for Ipod docks then, eh?
  7. Oh dear, someones quoting lewis page.

    Don't believe everything you read - If Lewis Page told me the sun was yellow, I'd double check.

    As for the story, I understand that its broadly untrue, but hell, Lewis won't let the truth get in the way of a good piece of outrage that the Government won't see the undoubted genius of his plan for an RN involving aircraft carriers, minesweepers and his own ego as a capital ship now.
  8. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    Its hardly a non story though is it, failing a two target test is a setback and AM is spot on about the Type 45 being somewhat of a paper tiger at the moment. Yes it is a development programme and full in service hasn't been met yet but it is rather embarrassing at the least and downright dangerous at the worst.

    AM, I think the Sylver vertical launch silos that are used for Sea Viper and the US Mk41 system are not the same, maybe with some serious engineering you could get SM2 or Tomahawk into a Sylver but why bother, just swap out the silo. There are different lengths as well which complicates things. The silo though is only half the story, to replace Sea Viper with SM2 would mean changing the entire combat system, more a less a complete new ship so I am afraid we are having Sea Viper come what may.

    Hope it lives up to its hype, its certainly had enough.
  9. AM

    A Sea Wolf should be able to kill an Exocet. In the Falklands only two task force frigates had it, and they were never in a position to engage Exocet or any other type of missile. The only real ship launched SAM vs incoming missile enagagement was the shooting down of an Iraqi Silkworm by Sea Dart from HMS Gloucester off Kuwait in February 1991. Sea Dart is still in service, by the way.


    I agree with your comments! Lewis Page must have had his eyes shut during exercises etc so he didn't see the frigates/destroyers supporting his MCMV during exercises etc. Or the Sea Dart vs Silkworm engagment spoken of above.

    My thoughts:

    1. Sea Viper WILL work, as it has worked in earlier trials and other versions of the same missile are in service.

    2. This is made more important by the early retirement of the mighty Sea Harrier (mentioned at length at various places - such as here:

    Sea Jet - PPRuNe Forums

    All the more reason to work to deal with the problems. If there was a real crisis I'm sure the thing could be made to work in a much shorter time scale (and lots of other rabbits would be pulled out of the hat).

    3. This problem, and the reduction in planned T45 numbers, is all the more reason to crack on with both CVF and JCA.

    4. Surely no ship/aircraft/whatever has had full capability from day one, so why should the Type 45 be different?

    5. See this Sea Viper related discussion here. I see that Lewis Page is highly thought off - NOT!
  10. SM-2, SM-3 and Tomahawk will not fit into a SYLVER VLS, it's too short.

    FWIW, the Mk41 VLS was actually CHEAPER than SYLVER and can take anything that goes woosh-bank.
  11. It's a good job that the weapon systems on these boats are top notch, considering that we only have six of the things.
  12. I can't see why everyone is surprised that PAAMS is going to be late. I was on the bid team for T45 Comms. 10 years ago and it was known then that the ship would sail without the missile system.

    BTW, T45 came out of the ashes of Project Horizon when the UK pulled out of the CNGF programme. The French and Italians persevered with it and already have two export orders (Greece & Morocco).

    Amid all the hubris of late and overbudget equipment programmes, two common intertwined threads emerge - DE&S and BAE Systems are deeply involved in all of them.
  13. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    Sea Dart is solid fuelled. Pusser would never have bought into a liquid fuelled system.

    Vertical launch silos are not just tubes for any old missile, they are an integral part of a SYSTEM. To change a missile means changing EVERYTHING else including of course all control & guidance kit.

    Sea Wolf/GWS25 was originally dreamed up in the 1960s. It's a point-defence system, intended only to defend the ship it is mounted on, not anyone else (unlike Sea Dart which is an area defence system). Don't forget one of its 'failures' in 1982 was because the firing had to be stopped because the ship the Sea Wolf was protecting steamed across the line of fire.