Offshore Patrol Vessels

#1
This follows this thread: National Strategy for Maritime Security 2014

How has the maritime security issue changed since 2014? I am thinking of the migrant crisis, increased demands on Border Force and those who support them, and new OPVs.

My understanding is that the three Batch One River OPVs and Clyde (slightly beefed up with a slightly larger gun, a flight deck, and a few other things) are being replaced by five Batch Two Rivers. One of the Batch One (Tyne) does not have a decommissioning date. So in future we could have up to six OPVs, both carrying out fishery protection (and MAGD/integrity of UK waters) and deploying in lieu of frigates/destroyers in low threat environments. Or am I being over optimistic?

The RCOPV (apparently the accepted term for River Class OPV) is apparently a very capable design. How much more capable are the new ones?

Could they do other things?
 
#4
I was thinking of things like the one mentioned here.
 
#5
More cost effective than putting a frigate to sea for a days?

Royal Navy monitors Russian spy ship task group as it sails past UK | Royal Navy

The patrol ship has spent 72 hours tracking the Russians as the vessels made their way into the North Sea, handing over to the Dutch Navy once the three ships had passed through the Strait of Dover.

“Ships like HMS Mersey are the eyes and ears of the Royal Navy around the UK – we are at sea for 320 days a year, so Mersey provides the Navy with a ship ready to respond at short notice like this,” said Lieutenant Alexandra Karavla, the patrol ship’s Executive Officer.

“Although her routine business is patrolling UK waters and helping to enforce fishery legislation, HMS Mersey was tasked to locate, meet and escort the ships through the English Channel.

“In this we have been well supported by a Royal Navy Wildcat from 815 Naval Air Squadron and by NATO colleagues. Operations like this would not be possible without such support and co-operation.

“This tasking proves why HMS Mersey is vital to UK Defence. The flexibility and options these offshore patrol vessels provide to the Government is evident in the variety of tasking undertaken.”
 
#9
River Batch 2s are considerably more capable then Batch 1.

That said, they are rather lightly armed for anything more than fishery patrol. The B1s have only a 20mm IIRC and the Batch 2s have a 30mm Bushmaster. None have any form of missiles.

The B2s have a flight deck and are faster with more range. Helicopter ops will be limited because none have any hangar facilities.
 
#10
River Batch 2s are considerably more capable then Batch 1.

That said, they are rather lightly armed for anything more than fishery patrol. The B1s have only a 20mm IIRC and the Batch 2s have a 30mm Bushmaster. None have any form of missiles.

The B2s have a flight deck and are faster with more range. Helicopter ops will be limited because none have any hangar facilities.
I thought they had been hardened? Magazine with kevlar armour, watertight, water resistant, et al?
 
#12
At the risk of getting some form of "WOOSH" cartoon posted at me - no, I'm not. But I am intrigued as to what makes you ask that.
It comes from a Forces TV short programme in 2015 about HMS Ocean and her visit to London for the anniversary of VE day. As she passed the old naval coliege the presenter said the College was dwarfed by Ocean..

 
#13
https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/news-a...forth-welcomed-to-her-home-port-of-portsmouth

The ship departed BAE Systems ship building base on the Clyde last week following an extended period of sea trials. They began in August 2017 and have honed the ship to its current state, ready to be handed over to the Royal Navy, which will take her onto the operational stage of her life.

The new OPVs are four knots faster than their predecessors at 24 knots, have an increased range of 5,500 nautical miles, have a 30mm automatic cannon* as their main armament instead of a 20mm gun, two Miniguns, four machine-guns and are equipped with two Pacific 24 sea boats.

Each ship has an extended flight deck** to operate up to Merlin size helicopters and accommodation for up to 50 embarked Royal Marines for boarding and supporting operations ashore if required.


* Does that mean DS30M?
** Can a helicopter be embarked for short periods?

I know of some of the other improvements as well.
 
#14
Yes, a wokka can be embarked for short periods. However, all maintenance has to be done on the open deck and hence anything even remotely complicated can be totally buggered by the weather. The wokka is also prone to being damaged by heavy weather. (They don't like large quantities of salt water being thrown over them).

As @Yokel says, other improvements have also been made to various systems, including limited hardening to some areas. In addition, they were built IIRC to military standards and not commercial standards so internal divisions etc are to a better standard.

They are ok as a coastal patrol boat or for fisheries / anti-smuggling duties, but desperately under gunned (or missiled) for anything more serious.
 
#15
Yes, a wokka can be embarked for short periods. However, all maintenance has to be done on the open deck and hence anything even remotely complicated can be totally buggered by the weather. The wokka is also prone to being damaged by heavy weather. (They don't like large quantities of salt water being thrown over them).

As @Yokel says, other improvements have also been made to various systems, including limited hardening to some areas. In addition, they were built IIRC to military standards and not commercial standards so internal divisions etc are to a better standard.

They are ok as a coastal patrol boat or for fisheries / anti-smuggling duties, but desperately under gunned (or missiled) for anything more serious.

you dont want to upgun or missile them - adds vastly more cost for tiny theoretical gain on a ship which isnt designed to fight high end wars. Keep them cheap, not as surrogate frigates.

https://thinpinstripedline.blogspot.com/2018/02/the-russians-are-coming-yet-again.html
 
#16
Yes, a wokka can be embarked for short periods. However, all maintenance has to be done on the open deck and hence anything even remotely complicated can be totally buggered by the weather. The wokka is also prone to being damaged by heavy weather. (They don't like large quantities of salt water being thrown over them).

As @Yokel says, other improvements have also been made to various systems, including limited hardening to some areas. In addition, they were built IIRC to military standards and not commercial standards so internal divisions etc are to a better standard.

They are ok as a coastal patrol boat or for fisheries / anti-smuggling duties, but desperately under gunned (or missiled) for anything more serious.
They are not, and never will be, replacements for frigates or destroyers. The point is to use them in lieu of FF/DD in low threat roles that do not require a fully tooled up warship. The new gun is an increase in self defence capability against small boat threats. It could be said her weapon systems are:

1. Presence - either flying the White Ensign in a defence diplomacy role or representing HM Government and the civil authorities in either fishery protection or national tasking roles.

2. The Sea Boats/boarding party/embarked RM or SF/visiting helicopter(?) - boarding vessels is bread and butter work for fishery protection, counter narcotics, or other security roles.

Your use of the term 'Wokka' threw me for a few moments - surely 'Wokka' means Chinook? If you read the story of the latest escort of a passing Russian ship you will note an OPV and a Wildcat from 815 NAS took part, surely now the Wildcat can operate from a Lilypad now?
 
#17
Yes, a wokka can be embarked for short periods. However, all maintenance has to be done on the open deck and hence anything even remotely complicated can be totally buggered by the weather. The wokka is also prone to being damaged by heavy weather. (They don't like large quantities of salt water being thrown over them).

As @Yokel says, other improvements have also been made to various systems, including limited hardening to some areas. In addition, they were built IIRC to military standards and not commercial standards so internal divisions etc are to a better standard.

They are ok as a coastal patrol boat or for fisheries / anti-smuggling duties, but desperately under gunned (or missiled) for anything more serious.
In the years up to handover Hong Kong had a few minhunters with 40mm bofors to see off the might of the Chinese navy. Occasionally there was an additional guard ship too. The main thing was the little wodden ships were a presence with a white ensign.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
re HK CMS, they did have their 20mm Oerlikon replaced aft by a second 40mm Bofors, with the magnetic mine sweeping loop removed to square off the weight gain.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
#19
More cost effective than putting a frigate to sea for a days?
Less disruptive and expensive than scrapping a Thursday War because the frigate got retasked to follow some Russians through the North Sea?
 
#20
In the years up to handover Hong Kong had a few minhunters with 40mm bofors to see off the might of the Chinese navy. Occasionally there was an additional guard ship too. The main thing was the little wodden ships were a presence with a white ensign.
Er, the wooden ships with a bofors were replaced from 1983 by 5 (initially, then two were sold) Peacock class carrying (amongst other things) the OTO Melara 76mm.

Which isn't a criticism of the new OPVs (which I'm rather a fan of) but HK realised that the Tons were crap in the late 1970s and (IIRC) paid most of the cost of binning them and getting something rather better.
 

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