Offshore Patrol Vessels

A bit hysterical there! Not exactly a major threat is it? It is not an OPV job - more a case for UK Border Force have more vessels.



Who is going to buy them?



What requirements?

A question for someone like @Not a Boffin: during Operation Corporate in 1982 Leeds Castle and Dumbarton Castle were included in the task group as 'dispatch vessels'. Did this just mean they were used as 'go fors'?
As I understood it, the Batch 2s were built to more warry like standards. Other posters have said nonsense, so built them to incorporate the standards. @Not a Boffin is indeed absent from this august forum and i would suggest we are missing his input. @A2_Matelot what's happening?
 
I thought the Batch 2s were 'improved' and this was part of the extra cost - @Not a Boffin please appear as witness for the defence. ;)
Don't conflate improvements to get the ships close to meeting ANEP77 (the NATO ship code) with "being all warry". AIUI the improvements were all about being able to comply (or get close enough for a concession) with the NSC - which is all about safety and being able to be certificated by the Naval Authority. That's things like stability requirements (intact and damaged), fire protection, escape and evacuation and soforth. The sort of things that allowed the Noggie crew to get off their frigate when it lost an argument with a tanker, as opposed to being trapped below as she capsized sharpish.

That's very different from lots of warry stuff clagged on to go and fight people. Never forget - the origin of the design was for the Trinidad & Tobago coastguard, later modified for the Brazilian Navy.
 
Don't conflate improvements to get the ships close to meeting ANEP77 (the NATO ship code) with "being all warry". AIUI the improvements were all about being able to comply (or get close enough for a concession) with the NSC - which is all about safety and being able to be certificated by the Naval Authority. That's things like stability requirements (intact and damaged), fire protection, escape and evacuation and soforth. The sort of things that allowed the Noggie crew to get off their frigate when it lost an argument with a tanker, as opposed to being trapped below as she capsized sharpish.

That's very different from lots of warry stuff clagged on to go and fight people. Never forget - the origin of the design was for the Trinidad & Tobago coastguard, later modified for the Brazilian Navy.
I was not conflating anything. I thought one of the reasons given for their 'cost' was the 'improvements' bestowed upon them. However, thanks for the info.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
And here is a question, who is going to sink it and why?
Bad People may try to sink it because it's interfering with them being able to do Bad Things.

And another question, what are the threats we face?
More seriously, look back over the last couple of decades: anti-ship missiles have become simpler, more usable and more proliferated. Instead of having to fill up an old P15 Termit (aka Styx) with red fuming nitric acid and Tonka (50% xylidine and 50% triethylamine), the popular export models need much less chemical engineering and have turned up in assorted non-state actors' hands; such as Lebanese Hezbollah (off Beirut, 2006. and more seized in transit a few years later) or the Houthis in Yemen, just for the confirmed examples.

If someone sends one or more of those your way, it won't matter whether you've got a 30mm or a 76mm on the forecastle, neither are going to stop this sort of thing happening:-
1543170610533.png



Even constabulary-type work is higher risk than it used to be these days.
 
Perhaps to increase the RN Orbat these OPV's could be reclassified Corvettes by slight of hand?
Lets call them cruisers!

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Perhaps to increase the RN Orbat these OPV's could be reclassified Corvettes by slight of hand?
Are you a politician?

Lets call them cruisers!

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Sloops?

The purpose of a warship is to act as a platform for weapons and sensors. For the River class OPV her role is to intercept vessels and either mark or board them. If you look at a chart of the UK Exclusive Economic Zone you will see it is a major expanse of water - very rough seas which need the patrol vessels to be large. The RN FPS does fishery protection within English, Welsh, and NI waters. The Marine Scotland runs fishery protection vessels in Scottish water - although they all fly the same fishery protect pennent.

Additionally, the RCOPV carries out other national tasking - such as shadowing passing warships and other vessels of interest. They can be tasked to support the Border Force, however, they are too big for picking up migrants near the shore.

Adding a 76mm gun and a helicopter does not add to their ability to perform those tasks, not does it enable them to participate in actual combat. It does risk dimwit politicians trying to call them corvettes and using that as an excuse to deplete ship numbers, or to try to send them into war zones.
 
Are you a politician?



Sloops?

The purpose of a warship is to act as a platform for weapons and sensors. For the River class OPV her role is to intercept vessels and either mark or board them. If you look at a chart of the UK Exclusive Economic Zone you will see it is a major expanse of water - very rough seas which need the patrol vessels to be large. The RN FPS does fishery protection within English, Welsh, and NI waters. The Marine Scotland runs fishery protection vessels in Scottish water - although they all fly the same fishery protect pennent.

Additionally, the RCOPV carries out other national tasking - such as shadowing passing warships and other vessels of interest. They can be tasked to support the Border Force, however, they are too big for picking up migrants near the shore.

Adding a 76mm gun and a helicopter does not add to their ability to perform those tasks, not does it enable them to participate in actual combat. It does risk dimwit politicians trying to call them corvettes and using that as an excuse to deplete ship numbers, or to try to send them into war zones.
No - just a bit of a joker.
 
Are you a politician?



Sloops?

The purpose of a warship is to act as a platform for weapons and sensors. For the River class OPV her role is to intercept vessels and either mark or board them. If you look at a chart of the UK Exclusive Economic Zone you will see it is a major expanse of water - very rough seas which need the patrol vessels to be large. The RN FPS does fishery protection within English, Welsh, and NI waters. The Marine Scotland runs fishery protection vessels in Scottish water - although they all fly the same fishery protect pennent.

Additionally, the RCOPV carries out other national tasking - such as shadowing passing warships and other vessels of interest. They can be tasked to support the Border Force, however, they are too big for picking up migrants near the shore.

Adding a 76mm gun and a helicopter does not add to their ability to perform those tasks, not does it enable them to participate in actual combat. It does risk dimwit politicians trying to call them corvettes and using that as an excuse to deplete ship numbers, or to try to send them into war zones.
Then explain to the dimwitted how you are ever going to have enough to - purchase, maintain, equip and crew, do even the small tasks you have?

@jrwlynch jumped in and suggested that you need to be armed to repel missile threats? given the numbers that the RN might face, is it likely that the RN could repulse an attack? Was someone being glib?

Ergo, should we look to home waters and wind our necks in and protect what is ours before we consider venturing out upon the Sea? You know you want T26. You know you want her to be mean arrsed and damn warry. You know you want her to built as soon as and not 20 years hence (HMS London) and deliver a serious bad news day to the foes of HM Navy.

Why are we putting money into T31e?
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
Why are we putting money into T31e?
As a cynical outsider, I'd suggest the following reasons.

1 - A ship capable of at least basic self-defence against current threats, that replaces the ..."and five GP vessels" of the current T23s (which are being replaced by a notional eight T26 with the rest being gapped unless T31e or 'something else' happens)
2 - A manpower requirement of "Minister/SoS/PM, you've given us the tasks and the ships, we need these people to man them." Sort of risky, but "more hulls" at least takes pressure off the metalwork even if you don't get extra people, and gives more hulls for the basic seamanship issues. (If I were designing I'd want a lot of commonality with T26 so sea time on a 31 kept the stokers and greenies in date for service on a 26)
3 - A recognition that there won't be 13 T26 and yet we need hulls able to go places and do stuff than an OPV can't do, while there is still No Fµcking Money for lots of sexy kit and steely-eyed death-dealers to man it.

One baseline for comparison for T31e might - I say might - be a current T23 (997/Ceptor) as seen in 2025ish, with the hope of being "not seriously worse than that". Not making progress or growing capability, but at least able to go to places where folk might not welcome our presence, and requiring a fairly significant effort to smite (a couple of C704 from one TELAR is deniable, needing a co-ordinated battery strike is less so) Not a warfighting asset but not helpless either.

I'm not a huge fan of the concept, thinking we should have proper warships or non-fighty OPVs, and not risk the 'uncanny valley' between them, but the T31e concepts advanced to date aren't grossly worse than - for instance - the Canadian Halifax-class, which has not disgraced itself yet.
 
Trying to get back to OPVs - some time ago you wrote:

My usual c/s is u/s. DEFRA are recruiting 3+ dozen maritime enforcement / operations / intelligence type bods who will work on-board RN vessels patrolling... fisheries.
Did you have a source for that? Was that before (or related to) the news about the Batch One RCOPVs being retained and operated from ports around the UK?

What were these DEFRA persons to do exactly?
 
Trying to get back to OPVs - some time ago you wrote:



Did you have a source for that? Was that before (or related to) the news about the Batch One RCOPVs being retained and operated from ports around the UK?

What were these DEFRA persons to do exactly?
It was on the Civil Service Recruitment website and part of the job description.
 
It was on the Civil Service Recruitment website and part of the job description.

The fish boats will be based around the UK in their respective areas of operations to facilitate manning with reservists and the mentioned civilians and others. Crew like Cooks can be hired in from agencies
 
The fish boats will be based around the UK in their respective areas of operations to facilitate manning with reservists and the mentioned civilians and others. Crew like Cooks can be hired in from agencies
You would put a civvy chef in a RN ship? You do know that with such a small small crew everyone has secondary duties - harbour stations, damage control and fire fighting.....

Some RSDs tgere for you @Yokel.
The RNR (that includes my specialisation) is already providing is already providing manpower for the OPVs - but almost doubling the numbers is going to cause issues.

I have not logged into DGW today. I cannot see how this can be done with mobilisations or FTRS. Some things might be achievable for people using normal RSDs, but not my specialisation.

I am still trying to be a carer too. I would rather be at sea.
 
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You would put a civvy chef in a RN ship? You do know that with such a small small crew everyone has secondary duties - harbour stations, damage control and fire fighting.....
Any offshore qualified Cook will have done the MCA courses. RFA manages to use its cooks for other duties.
Outwith the gun, these are just small ships that are perfectly manageable by a mix of reservists and civilians.
These are not gong to be warships dashing about the North Sea seeing off the Russians, they'll be fish bothering boats.
 
Any offshore qualified Cook will have done the MCA courses. RFA manages to use its cooks for other duties.
Outwith the gun, these are just small ships that are perfectly manageable by a mix of reservists and civilians.
These are not gong to be warships dashing about the North Sea seeing off the Russians, they'll be fish bothering boats.
@instinct might know the answer to this - but surely a cook would have to do some sort of MCA approved course to count as a merchant seaman? The last time I spoke to a cook.chef aboard an RFA he was running the bar, and said "I'm not a civilian, I'm a merchant seaman". Your post suggested anyone could be recruited.

As for the politics: MP claims 'there are no naval vessels in Scotland' despite major naval base

“If we look at the here and now, the Defence Committee report, ‘On Thin Ice: UK Defence in the Arctic,’ confirms that the UK should focus more on its operability and presence in the Arctic. Right now, there are currently no Royal Navy vessels in Scottish waters and no indication of any resources being applied. Should not the Minister be doing more to protect Scottish waters?”

Aside from the basing of ships at Faslane, refitting and carrier construction at Rosyth, and naval presence in Scottish waters, if anyone proposed that the FPS should cover all Brirish waters (taking over from Marine Scotland) the SNP would be squealing about the 'power grab'.
 
If they are a discharge book carrying merchant seaman then they would have done the mca courses. If he was on a MOD ship they probably would have done either basic sea survival course or embarked forces sea survival course.

I would say civvies working on warfighting warships isnt new. 23s have the NAAFI manager and the laundryman who are both civvies.

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