News story: New offshore patrol vessels for Royal Navy

The MOD wants BAE's shipyards to stay open even when they're not building ships, how else are BAE supposed to pay their workers?

Exactly. Like all commercial enterprises, BAE will ditch parts of the operation that stop making money. That's why we now have no UK capability to do things like design and build large military aircraft, tanks or AFVs. (*) So if you're happy to lose the ability to build RN warships in the UK then by all means let the BAE shipyards go to the wall. If you'd rather keep the ability to do that then, whether you're buying ships or not, you need to pay them.

The fact that the military need this pointing out to them and the poor performance of UK military procurement are, I believe, not unrelated.


(*) Please note that setting up a UK front in some deprived constituency to bolt foreign sourced components together is not at all the same thing.
 

Yokel

LE
If we were really bright, we would find a way of using this to our advantage. But we're not - and won't!
 
Sold for breaking up in the mid to late 80s


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Cheers for that. The "wooden walls" were superb for learning about life at sea - esp if you had a strong stomach - and I'm lucky to have sailed in Kedleston, one of the last.

Gatecrashed an INS social in Dublin a few years back and was well looked after by other Ton Class vets, hence can't remember too much. :)
 

SOI

LE
So to recap:

1. Three new OPVs are being built for the RN
2. Nobody knows if they will replace the current ones or be in addition to them
3. Nobody has any clear idea regarding their roles


Point 2:

"They are replacements for, not in addition to…"

From a Grown Up.
 
If we were really bright, we would find a way of using this to our advantage. But we're not - and won't!

Your so right. says me banging my head against the wall.
 

SOI

LE
One Star

This is apparently all about keeping the yards ticking over until T26 kicks off. Harsh and expensive lessons learned from past stand downs.
 

Yokel

LE
It probably was never a possibility due to manpower constraints, but instead of building replacements for the existing River OPVs (will the changes make that much difference to what they can do?), would it not have been worth thinking about building a handful of small, agile patrol craft like the US Cyclone class, for force protection and counter FIAC roles?

Or fit them to act as dedicated MCM command/support ships - as discussed here on page 8.

Links to these threads seem apt:

http://www.arrse.co.uk/royal-navy/195781-black-swan-sloop.html

http://www.arrse.co.uk/royal-navy/195952-new-threats-new-weapons.html

http://www.arrse.co.uk/royal-navy/174618-blimey-speedy-response.html
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
RIP
Sounds to me as if these craft add no value to the real RN and its proper purpose. But maybe they can be based in Gib to annoy the Spanish (Seaweed has learned to avoid the d word).
 
Sounds to me as if these craft add no value to the real RN and its proper purpose. But maybe they can be based in Gib to annoy the Spanish (Seaweed has learned to avoid the d word).

I got told off for the word that starts like Spanish but finishes like Hispanic.

But, what we really need in Gib to annoy the neighbours is a couple of MLRS batteries. And a rather elderly sub.
 
This isn't directly about the new OPVs for the RN, but I thought the commercial relations aspect may provide a bit of enlightenment as to how commercial terms are handled, and how changes in deliveries can affect costs:

Auditor general report: Shipbuilding plan may fall short - Politics - CBC News

This story is about Canada's ship building strategy, which seems to be following a path similar to what Britain is doing in providing for long term continual delivery rather than a quick order and shut down cycle. The "Auditor General" (Michael Ferguson) referred to in the story is a senior bureaucracy official who goes through government spending and points out areas where money is poorly spent, or where programs are at risk of not delivering on their promises. They are non-political and held in very high regard by the Canadian public.

Here's the relevant bit:

The national shipbuilding strategy, signed in October 2011, selected two shipyards as preferred builders for the federal government — one in Halifax for combat ships, the other in Vancouver for smaller civilian-grade vessels.

With that overall agreement signed, it is left up to federal officials to negotiate each ship-construction contract individually.

Ferguson found the overall strategy was reasonably well executed, but complained about how the federal government was drawn into backstopping the cost of infrastructure upgrades at the two preferred yards.

Both the Irving-owned Halifax Shipyards and Seaspan in Vancouver bid on the exclusive arrangement, saying upgrades to their facilities would be at "$0 net cost to Canada."

But after the deals were signed, they raised concerns they would be shouldering the burden without a guarantee that federal government would build as many ships as promised.

The Irving Shipyard requires $300 million in upgrades, while the B.C. company is aiming for $200 million.

Ferguson warned the federal government could be on the hook for some of that extra cost if it doesn't order the number of ships it promised.

The intent of the strategy was to avoid the boom-and-bust cycles that have characterized shipbuilding in Canada for more than two decades.

This sounds similar to the situation in Britain, where investment and operating costs are supposed to be amortized over a specified number of ships during the agreement period. If the customer (the government) changes their mind on what they want to buy or when, they need to compensate the builder for not holding up their end of the deal.
 

Yokel

LE
So what improvements will the new OPVs have compared with the current ones? Like Clyde (an improved River) perhaps? Will they really embark a Lynx/Wildcat*/Merlin?

* Have we ordered enough?
 

Bouillabaisse

LE
Book Reviewer
This isn't directly about the new OPVs for the RN, but I thought the commercial relations aspect may provide a bit of enlightenment as to how commercial terms are handled, and how changes in deliveries can affect costs:

Auditor general report: Shipbuilding plan may fall short - Politics - CBC News

This story is about Canada's ship building strategy, which seems to be following a path similar to what Britain is doing in providing for long term continual delivery rather than a quick order and shut down cycle. The "Auditor General" (Michael Ferguson) referred to in the story is a senior bureaucracy official who goes through government spending and points out areas where money is poorly spent, or where programs are at risk of not delivering on their promises. They are non-political and held in very high regard by the Canadian public.

Here's the relevant bit:



This sounds similar to the situation in Britain, where investment and operating costs are supposed to be amortized over a specified number of ships during the agreement period. If the customer (the government) changes their mind on what they want to buy or when, they need to compensate the builder for not holding up their end of the deal.

The Canadians have far, far bigger problems than this highlights. They're trying to build 15 complex warships in a yard that hasn't built a proper warship in over 25 years, with no indigenous Canadian experience at all. Any equipment for those ships to be, as a result of the Canadian offset rules, built in Canada in a defence industry that lacks the capabilities, skills, experience or people. And their timescales are woefully unrealistic. I predict 2 things - British and Ameerican systems engineers are going to be paid lots to move to Canada and they'll have a job for life as this programme runs and runs.
 
The Canadians have far, far bigger problems than this highlights. They're trying to build 15 complex warships in a yard that hasn't built a proper warship in over 25 years, with no indigenous Canadian experience at all. Any equipment for those ships to be, as a result of the Canadian offset rules, built in Canada in a defence industry that lacks the capabilities, skills, experience or people. And their timescales are woefully unrealistic. I predict 2 things - British and Ameerican systems engineers are going to be paid lots to move to Canada and they'll have a job for life as this programme runs and runs.

Yes, I can't argue with you that there will be many problems. However I wasn't trying to inject Canadian problems into a thread on British shipbuilding so I saw no need to bring those up here. I was just pointing out the similarities of the approach in answer to the people who moan about MoD procurement and BAE. The point I was trying to get across was the need for long term planning in a business that basically has only one customer. I don't know the historical background of the concept, but it's quite possible that Canada got the idea from the UK. The Auditor General reviewed the business aspects and had only what I would consider to be minor criticisms. He wouldn't of course comment on the technical design of the ships nor on management failings which haven't yet occurred.

BAE proposed having the Canadian frigates be designed jointly with those for the UK, but was turned down by the Canadian government (the one currently in office). I never saw any reason given for this refusal.

The worst procurement fiasco in Canada right now though is the naval helicopter project, which was supposedly a more or less off the shelf purchase from Sikorsky in the US. Going to a established big vendor in the US doesn't seem to work out that well either. The government is seriously considering simply cancelling that contract and buying from someone else (quite possibly the Merlin).
 

Yokel

LE
Anyway:

MOD said:
.....will play a key role in counter-terrorism, counter-piracy and anti-smuggling operations.

How (unless the new vessels are additional ones)?
 
BAE proposed having the Canadian frigates be designed jointly with those for the UK, but was turned down by the Canadian government (the one currently in office). I never saw any reason given for this refusal.

Politics. After 15 years of trying to knock the square Upholder peg into the RCN Oberon's round hole - and largely failing - successive Canadian cabinets have found it politically expedient to lay the failings at UK plc's door. Throw in the EH101 buy that became a party political football before it and UK plc's name is pretty much mud in Canada. The only way you'd see a joint UK building program now is if the CMoD came clean to the utter farce they've made of the Victoria's... and that is simply never going to happen.
 
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