How does that help you case? Phalanx is a smaller caliber? The only thing going for it is the fact it has a reasonable AAW mode and with the block Bs a good surveillance capability. And the bay boat is 30 thousand tonnes of massive radar cross section with 150 people (including the battle staff) and lots of other important assets on board. Not 2000 with 35 people.larger guns serve two needs.
Its no good patrolling If you can’t bring an adversary you cross swords with under threat. It’s hard to convince someone with a 57 to cease and desist when he outguns your by a comfortable margin.
More teeth raises the stakes for an adversary tempted to take a sly pop at you. The B2 OPVs are armed with weapons that in the regions they will be patrolling East of Suez, are the stuff you find on small coastguard are paramilitary type Ships.
it’s not a very expensive upgrade to stick a 40 or even a 57 Bofors on. There’s is a budget for increasing lethality.
the argument against uparming B2’s operating east of Suez falls a bit flat when you see that a Bay aquires a pair of Phalanx mounts to top up its two 30mm mounts living in the same waters.
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The OPV isn't for crossing swords with the IRGN houdongs it's for cruising around patroling for smugglers, waving the flag and reminding people we are about. I.e. to Patrol. Just like the USCG cutters armed with 25mm bushmasters out of Bahrain. Except the OPV has longer legs, ability to have a large boarding team and a flight deck to support a helo.
What stops people attacking the OPV isn't that OPV might mallet them back. But that a T23, an Arliegh Burke, a couple helos and the combined airpower of the USN, USAF and (Maybe) RAF/FAA will come over the horizon and extract horrific revenge ala operation praying mantis.
And what makes you thing it wouldn't be that expensive to fit? There are more costs than just the ticket price in the naval ordnance store. Fitting, trials, maintenance, maintainers courses, operator courses, ammo, lisences, training and so on does not make it flipping cheap.