Offshore Patrol Vessels

That’s the truth.
Why are so many desks full of clearly fed up RN types doing jobs that formerly were done by much cheaper MoD CS?

Delete D grade admin manager, £24k p/a, replace with engineering WO1, double that and then some. Complain bitterly about a shortage of Engineers and budget.
Because CS are the very devil, the root of all problems, according to most military types/People on here.
 
In the show case we are using the of the Gulf there is plenty of muscle already there.
..
Delete Montrose, substitute Mersey, the muscle was a long way away.

IBut there is a perfectly reasonable case that certain areas like the Caribbean, West Africa and the Falklands could easily be dealt with by a B2 on its own with the planned armament and systems..
And then you defeat the object of the exercise. You now have a 'benign AOA's' on the FI and WIndies ships, 'Bit sportier AOA's' on the Gib one, and 'Natives not friendly AoA's' on the other 2.

. I agree 100% with some senior Officers view, the minimal armament of the B2's is an outdated cultural thing, from the days when you could threaten the natives with a few shots from stern Matlots on the upper deck with a BREN, not driven by todays much more dangerous operational reality.
Once was a time OPVing was a job for superannuated Sweepers, and guard shipping was a job for Frigates. Well, we aint got none spare these days, so time to raise the game. With hulls such a premium, we cant afford the luxury of bespoke OPV's with elegant lines unsullied by weapons.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
So what do you do if a forward deployed B2 OPV is the nearest or only ensign to be found in the region?
Decline the dance?.
Yes, for the same reason we didn't expect HMS Endurance to charge the Argentine naval units in 1982 with Oerlikons blazing.

Of course, if our OPV in that situation had a 76mm gun, it's now a fully-capable full-spectrum warrior able to defeat all air and surface threats, so in that case these "Batch 3 OPVs" - which, having such a capable weapon system, are now the Rawalpindi-class frigates (classmates Jervis Bay, Glow-worm, Acasta...) - will be able to resolve the situation unsupported, won't they?

Indeed, since a 76mm gun is the answer to all above-water threats, why does the Navy - or any Navy - need anything else?

And the point has been raised. A B2 OPV is as big as former Frigates, and now expected to do the same guardship duties, but without a Frigates bite.
Size is driven by issues like habitability and SOLAS - which is why modern OPVs are the size, not of destroyers (which started out around 260 tons!) but of WW1 light cruisers.

And the problem of "put a gun on it so it's got some teeth" is that your OPV will then become a "light frigate" and be expected to face proper threats.

I was on the edge of, and worked with engineers trying to deliver, the fiasco of Brunei's "OPVs" in the 1990s; they went for the notion of wanting "proper fighty stuff" on an OPV, and it went really, badly, expensively wrong.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
. I agree 100% with some senior Officers view, the minimal armament of the B2's is an outdated cultural thing, from the days when you could threaten the natives with a few shots from stern Matlots on the upper deck with a BREN, not driven by todays much more dangerous operational reality..
So, an OPV needs to be able to defeat a couple of middle-aged ASCM, and be able to detect and avoid torpedo attack and at least threaten enemy submarines enough that they don't attack it casually? And of course it needs a medium-calibre gun, because reasons, and a helipad and ship's flight.

Congratulations, you're now driving a Type 23 frigate.

Do you actually understand what you need, to defend against "todays much more dangerous operational reality"? All the evidence is "you clearly do not"...
 
Yes, for the same reason we didn't expect HMS Endurance to charge the Argentine naval units in 1982 with Oerlikons blazing.
.

However, as well as her pair of 20mm Oerlikons), their Lordships in their wisdom had seen fit to fill her magazine with AS-12s for her Wasps that rather upset the Santa Fe, and if Nick Barker had had his way, would have left their annoying icebreaker rather the worse for wear.
I wonder what we were thinking fitting a patrol ship with helicopters able to deliver an OTH missile attack on other ships?
 
So, an OPV needs to be able to defeat a couple of middle-aged ASCM, and be able to detect and avoid torpedo attack and at least threaten enemy submarines enough that they don't attack it casually? And of course it needs a medium-calibre gun, because reasons, and a helipad and ship's flight.

Congratulations, you're now driving a Type 23 frigate.

Do you actually understand what you need, to defend against "todays much more dangerous operational reality"? All the evidence is "you clearly do not"...

Nope, the only person on about sunbmarines is you.

The very reasoned argument put forward by the Admiral is why is a ship the size of a Frigate, now expected to be forward deployed in some less than friendly waters, armed with just a 30mm gun rather than a medium calibre gun and an anti ship missile system - of which we have two excellent low cost choices - Sea Spear and Sea Venom - both of which can also direct their ire at land targets

As he observed 'we seem to be missing a trick here'.


And while you seem particularly resistant to modern medium calibre guns with programmable ammunition for engaging air, sea, and missile threats - and while its just possible that OTO and BAE/Bofors have carried off one of the most stunning deceptive sales ampaigns in modern military history, I'm minded to give them the benefit, and assume people like the 'Muricans actually tested said guns capabilities before buying them.
 
Probably the same people who call RFA Officers 'Civilians in uniform' to their face and then wonder why they get a less than enthusiastic team player.
We are civilians. Comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Delete Montrose, substitute Mersey, the muscle was a long way away.



And then you defeat the object of the exercise. You now have a 'benign AOA's' on the FI and WIndies ships, 'Bit sportier AOA's' on the Gib one, and 'Natives not friendly AoA's' on the other 2.

. I agree 100% with some senior Officers view, the minimal armament of the B2's is an outdated cultural thing, from the days when you could threaten the natives with a few shots from stern Matlots on the upper deck with a BREN, not driven by todays much more dangerous operational reality.
Once was a time OPVing was a job for superannuated Sweepers, and guard shipping was a job for Frigates. Well, we aint got none spare these days, so time to raise the game. With hulls such a premium, we cant afford the luxury of bespoke OPV's with elegant lines unsullied by weapons.
Im not talking about substituting the 23 for the B2 Rivers in the Gulf. I'm talking about avoiding that being able to happen by not stuffing it with weapons.

We can't afford to bring into service and support random weapon systems that are currently not in our inventory for a class of ships that are pretty much "gizzets" acquired through random budgetary woes and not intended to be used in high threat areas. At first they where just going to replace the Original Rivers in UK waters. Lets spend the money on the actual gaps in our capability such as FSGW and Harpoon replacement etc.

A 30mm DS30M, 2 or 3 MK44 Miniguns, probably 12.7mm HMG and multiple GPMG is not in anyway equal to " a matelot with a Bren or in anyway unsullied with weapons. I consider that a pretty reasonable fit and able to give a low intensity threats a bloody nose and make others think twice.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
Nope, the only person on about sunbmarines is you.
And the Iranians, who operate Kilos and Yonos. Remember?

The very reasoned argument put forward by the Admiral is why is a ship the size of a Frigate, now expected to be forward deployed in some less than friendly waters, armed with just a 30mm gun rather than a medium calibre gun and an anti ship missile system - of which we have two excellent low cost choices - Sea Spear and Sea Venom - both of which can also direct their ire at land targets
Until somebody lobs a couple of old SS-N-2 - fifty years old, proliferated to some seventy nations - at it, at which point it does a good imitation of the Eilat in 1967 (sunk in a few minutes with 75% of her crew killed or wounded). It gets more troublesome as the threat gets younger.

And while you seem particularly resistant to modern medium calibre guns with programmable ammunition for engaging air, sea, and missile threats - and while its just possible that OTO and BAE/Bofors have carried off one of the most stunning deceptive sales ampaigns in modern military history, I'm minded to give them the benefit, and assume people like the 'Muricans actually tested said guns capabilities before buying them.
They did, and they didn't buy them for ASMD but for shooting up the smaller, lightly-armed (HMG, MRL) FIAC. Even the design disasters that are the Littoral Combat Ships use RAM, not their 57mm gun, for air and missile defence.

It keeps coming back to the "uncanny valley" identifed a couple of decades ago, as ASCM proliferated and the threat became guided missiles rather than old FBA dropping iron bombs at whites-of-the-eyes range; you either accept "this ship is excused warfighting" (like the Batch 2 Rivers), or you fit enough defence that it can survive the sort of threat that even non-state actors are throwing around these days (which takes you to Type 31e territory)

Between those two you've got a ship that looks like it can fight, but dies when asked to actually do so.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
However, as well as her pair of 20mm Oerlikons), their Lordships in their wisdom had seen fit to fill her magazine with AS-12s for her Wasps that rather upset the Santa Fe, and if Nick Barker had had his way, would have left their annoying icebreaker rather the worse for wear.
I wonder what we were thinking fitting a patrol ship with helicopters able to deliver an OTH missile attack on other ships?
AS-12 wasn't an "OTH missile", it was a first-generation wire-guided antitank missile with a very limited capability against ships, a range of about four miles, and a bad habit of going rogue in mid-flight.

It might have left a few scorched holes in bulkheads, but that would have been all.
 
Yes, for the same reason we didn't expect HMS Endurance to charge the Argentine naval units in 1982 with Oerlikons blazing.

Of course, if our OPV in that situation had a 76mm gun, it's now a fully-capable full-spectrum warrior able to defeat all air and surface threats, so in that case these "Batch 3 OPVs" - which, having such a capable weapon system, are now the Rawalpindi-class frigates (classmates Jervis Bay, Glow-worm, Acasta...) - will be able to resolve the situation unsupported, won't they?

Indeed, since a 76mm gun is the answer to all above-water threats, why does the Navy - or any Navy - need anything else?



Size is driven by issues like habitability and SOLAS - which is why modern OPVs are the size, not of destroyers (which started out around 260 tons!) but of WW1 light cruisers.

And the problem of "put a gun on it so it's got some teeth" is that your OPV will then become a "light frigate" and be expected to face proper threats.

I was on the edge of, and worked with engineers trying to deliver, the fiasco of Brunei's "OPVs" in the 1990s; they went for the notion of wanting "proper fighty stuff" on an OPV, and it went really, badly, expensively wrong.
Endurance was supposed to defend the area.... with Oerlikons

Your “light frigate” is Type 31 isn’t it?
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
Endurance was supposed to defend the area.... with Oerlikons

Your “light frigate” is Type 31 isn’t it?
Type 31 will, at least, be able to stand up to amateur-league air and surface attack (because candidates that can't won't get through selection).

A B2OPV with Magic 76mm? Not so much.
 
Its curious the resistance to up arming the B2 OPVs, a 76mm gun, 2 x 30mm and 12 VL lightweight SAM's is the baseline for the BAE design…
but no ones batting an eyelid at the current state of the T31e process - a 6000 tonne ship armed with, a 76mm gun, 2 x 30mm and 24 VL lightweight SAMS

Yep the dream of a 5" gun, 8 x Harpoon and 2 x Phalanx doesn't seem to have survived contact with fiscal reality of what a £250 million quid a pop FFG means

But curiously, the 76mm gun thats apparently pointless on a B2 OPV, is a fine choice for a major warship armed with, well not much really.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
Its curious the resistance to up arming the B2 OPVs, a 76mm gun, 2 x 30mm and 12 VL lightweight SAM's is the baseline for the BAE design….
Whoa there, Trigger, where did "12 VL lightweight SAMs" come from for upgunning the Batch 2 Rivers? Why, given the superlative and invincible air defence provided by a 76mm gun which is sufficient for all combat needs, would you need a handful of puny "lightweight SAMs"? What happened to "a 76mm with 3P ammo is all you need"?

Did you cost in the radar and the combat systems and the crew and the rest of the issues? (You do have an appropriate adult who can explain TEPIDOIL to you, don't you?)

Seriously, why are you so desperately determined to recreate precisely the fabled success story that was the Nakhoda Ragam-class OPVs? Not even BAE SYSTEMS want to go there again - and they won the arbitration!
 
Its curious the resistance to up arming the B2 OPVs, a 76mm gun, 2 x 30mm and 12 VL lightweight SAM's is the baseline for the BAE design…
but no ones batting an eyelid at the current state of the T31e process - a 6000 tonne ship armed with, a 76mm gun, 2 x 30mm and 24 VL lightweight SAMS

Yep the dream of a 5" gun, 8 x Harpoon and 2 x Phalanx doesn't seem to have survived contact with fiscal reality of what a £250 million quid a pop FFG means

But curiously, the 76mm gun thats apparently pointless on a B2 OPV, is a fine choice for a major warship armed with, well not much really.
I have not seen anything about T31 having a 76mm gun, if thats the case then I agree that it would be under equipped, i think it would be a mistake from a support and training perspective to have anything but the same 5 inch gun on T26. Do you have any links to that information please, I've seen that all the designs can take up to 5 inch gun?

If money is so tight we are deleting capabilities on T31 lets concentrate what little we have on equipping it as best we can rather than uparming the vessels that came out as freebies to replace other OPV's armed with 20mm guns...
 
I have not seen anything about T31 having a 76mm gun, if thats the case then I agree that it would be under equipped, i think it would be a mistake from a support and training perspective to have anything but the same 5 inch gun on T26. Do you have any links to that information please, I've seen that all the designs can take up to 5 inch gun?

If money is so tight we are deleting capabilities on T31 lets concentrate what little we have on equipping it as best we can rather than uparming the vessels that came out as freebies to replace other OPV's armed with 20mm guns...
Some people seem to have an obsession with three inches (76mm)! Would would a psychologist say?

More seriously, the retasking of HMS Duncan shows some of the risk that if OPVs are tooled up, then they will get used for FF/DD tasks. Yes, they could have a 76mm gun, they could havd DS30M Mk2, and they could even have some sort of missile system(s), but what about things like measures of reduce RCS? When the Israeli corvette Hanit was hit by this missile in 2006 - her radar, SAM system, and CIWS were all turned off. She survived because of the low RCS - the missile hit a crane that was being used to lower (or raise) a boat.

On a positive note, perhaps OPVs can help build up an understanding of patterns of life and normal movement at sea, before things go kinetic?

From Russian Presence to Sailboat Traffic, U.S. Learning What's 'Normal' Far From Home - USNI News

.......but the “snoopy team” – an intelligence officer, a photographer and sometimes others – are called away sometimes multiple times a day to document interactions with Russian ships or aircraft. Those notes, photos and videos would be used as evidence if an unsafe interaction did occur and had to be dealt with through political and diplomatic channels, but the snoopy team products also build a picture for future officers to leverage, Cashman said.

“It’s important to continue to document over time what the behaviors are, what we see. And to some extent it’s writing things down; to a large extent it’s taking pictures and video because people are still very visual creatures, and when you show pictures you can talk about it and say this is what it looks like from the bridge wing,” he said, noting that it could be hard to understand what it means to see a Russian ship 1,000 yards off your port side but it’s very clear when you see the images.

“And that helps as ships and commanders prepare for the next deployment, to sort of understand what to expect, to understand that looks about right. It’s all about building experience and judgment so that the old part of your brain recognizes when something’s not quite right, and the hair on the back of your neck stands up or something grabs your attention to say, this is different, something’s not right and we can do something,” he continued.
 
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I have not seen anything about T31 having a 76mm gun, if thats the case then I agree that it would be under equipped, i think it would be a mistake from a support and training perspective to have anything but the same 5 inch gun on T26. Do you have any links to that information please, I've seen that all the designs can take up to 5 inch gun?

If money is so tight we are deleting capabilities on T31 lets concentrate what little we have on equipping it as best we can rather than uparming the vessels that came out as freebies to replace other OPV's armed with 20mm guns...

There is internal resistance to fitting T31 with a 5” gun or heavyweight missiles.
There’s your problem with T31. Started off as a light patrol Frigate to do second line and constabulary duties. Now grown into a much bigger ship than a T23 with the inevitable bunfight over not enough money to arm it well. The bean counters may have lost the size fight, but they can win the money fight. The budget for T31 will only stretch to a very austere fit.

And so, with it becoming increasingly obvious the lightweight Frigate won’t be, and will end up as a Fleet unit, because we don’t have enough Frigates, 16 became 13 became 8, B2’s are going to have to step up to do the job T31 was meant to do. Hence the discussion, do we upgun the B2’s.

And as regards a 3” gun?
There was a time when a 3” gun was the RN’s preferred second line gun based on operational experience - high rate of fire made it an effective AA weapon. The 3” automatic was the great white hope of the 50’s. It was intended all Frigates would get it, (and all destroyers would get a 5” automatic). We gave up, but the Canadians made it work.
 
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Whoa there, Trigger, where did "12 VL lightweight SAMs" come from for upgunning the Batch 2 Rivers? Why, given the superlative and invincible air defence provided by a 76mm gun which is sufficient for all combat needs, would you need a handful of puny "lightweight SAMs"? What happened to "a 76mm with 3P ammo is all you need"?

Did you cost in the radar and the combat systems and the crew and the rest of the issues? (You do have an appropriate adult who can explain TEPIDOIL to you, don't you?)

Seriously, why are you so desperately determined to recreate precisely the fabled success story that was the Nakhoda Ragam-class OPVs? Not even BAE SYSTEMS want to go there again - and they won the arbitration!

I said the BAE baseline.

Personally, wouldn't bother.
A 76 will provide a reasonably effective air defence against low end threats.

3” 76, 2 x 30, 8 x Sea Venom or Sea Spear

And before you bemoan a pK of less than 100 for the gun.
As a former Skipper acquaintance of mine noted about the 45 his sturdy war canoe had been fitted with against air targets
‘Yes, it’s pK was only 2%, but it made you feel better, made the attacker take notice, and it might actually hit him’.

And the 76 has a significantly higher pK than 2%
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
I said the BAE baseline.

Personally, wouldn't bother.
A 76 will provide a reasonably effective air defence against low end threats.
Well, that's okay, because PhotEx has guaranteed nobody will ever fire a missile at this upgunned ship and only "low end threats" will ever endanger it - somehow, somewhere, there's a rich cornucopia of "low end threats" that overmatch a current Batch 2 OPV but will be reliably defeated by a 76mm gun, and no opponent we will ever face has the wit to do basic weapon-to-target matching to decide "let's fire two missiles at that one".

And before you bemoan a pK of less than 100 for the gun.
As a former Skipper acquaintance of mine noted about the 45 his sturdy war canoe had been fitted with against air targets
‘Yes, it’s pK was only 2%, but it made you feel better, made the attacker take notice, and it might actually hit him’.

And the 76 has a significantly higher pK than 2%
No objection at all to firing everything available at incoming FBA. Indeed, there's a TACNOTE on that very subject - from memory it's 08/12, you might want to take a look.

But once the threat escalates past elderly aircraft with iron bombs, which happened about forty years ago in the real world, your Pk is very low.

Again, if I tell you to play a few games of Russian Roulette (one per incoming missile, call it two to four in the salvo) and you notice five out of the six chambers are loaded... do you accept those odds when it's your life at stake?
 

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