the B2 OPVs are fulfilling exactly the same role as their predecessors which were specifically designed as ‘colonial gunboats’. They are effectively unarmed, yet they will operate alongside sister ships east of Suez that carry medium calibre guns, SHORAD and ASM’s.
They are chronically under armed for their new role, that’s freely accepted by their Lords and Masters. It restricts them to a strictly observer role, they lack any ability to impose alarm and distress upon even the most amateur of Her Majesties enemies. They don’t even have any means to keep an IRGC Boston Whaler with a 23mm and a battery of 107mm rockets at arms length.
And yes, it really is ‘as simple as bolting the damn thing on the front’. People involved with the project fought hard to retain the ability to bolt a gun up to 76mm on the front. Even a Mk4 40mm Bofors, (Which we are taking aboard as a core weapon system), would represent a very substantial increase in lethality, (and would give them a credible air defence capability), at very little extra cost and no extra manning impact.
Oto Melara 76mm isn’t bolt on, it has a magazine below deck and hoists etc from the magazine to the gun