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RFA Support Vessels

Manoeuvrability, especially whilst docking/position-keeping. Used where hull form means you can’t have one in a tunnel (through the bulbous bow, for instance).

Or in this instance because the survivability monkeys were left unsupervised. Trouble with drop downs on deep draught ships is they make berthing more difficult.
 
Not my specialist subject, but that sounds needlessly complicated. What's the advantage?
If the entire back end of the ship was taken out (including the two independent engine rooms) apparently someone would have survived and not abandoned ship but would use the Genny up forward to power it and drive the ship home at 4 knots. The funny bit is it has to be tested every week as its emergency equipment and SOLAS says you have to, only two dry docks (so i've been told) are deep enough for it if the damn thing gets stuck down, and both are in the far east!

As boffin said the survivability monkeys were left unsupervised and someone had a good idea and wouldn't let their baby die.
 

Yokel

LE
If the entire back end of the ship was taken out (including the two independent engine rooms) apparently someone would have survived and not abandoned ship but would use the Genny up forward to power it and drive the ship home at 4 knots. The funny bit is it has to be tested every week as its emergency equipment and SOLAS says you have to, only two dry docks (so i've been told) are deep enough for it if the damn thing gets stuck down, and both are in the far east!

As boffin said the survivability monkeys were left unsupervised and someone had a good idea and wouldn't let their baby die.

It reminds me of the story that when the requirements were being drawn up for Nimrod MRA4 someone decided that the cockpit controls had to be waterproof, in case the cockpit was full of water! There was also a story (on PPRuNe) for some knobber trying to see if dipping sonar could be fitted.

Anyway - this may be of interest regarding naval support vessels: Navies seek to boost auxiliary power
 
The issue with these ships (FSS) is that they're wildly different from most of the auxiliaries in that article. They're going to be solid stores ships because combining the quantity of ammo you need with any sort of decent fuel offload capability makes for a horrific arrangement challenge and a massive ship. You only buy one of these to support a strike carrier - and that means only the US and China have their own.

They've already had a bit of a shock when they got the tender responses back in terms of what meeting the requirement means in terms of dimensions, displacement and cost. What they haven't figured out (yet) is that a large part of that number is incurred through some of the margins, environmental operating temps and survivability features they've asked for, plus a wishlist of compartments (and sizes) straight out of the "luxury liners monthly" catalogue....

The ship can't get much smaller dimensionally because of the configuration of QEC and its RAS positions. The capacities can't reduce too much or you end up with a titular capability to support your new super carriers - and don't forget, the ships have to look after the rest of the SurFlot as well, plus support LitM, so it isn't all about QEC either. Nor are the 6te RAS systems particularly expensive - not even in the top three systems costs.

People forget that prior to QEC, the largest ships built in the UK were Fort George and Fort Vic, over twenty-five years ago. Those ships were bigger than LPH, bigger than CVS - bigger in fact than anything built since RFA Regent and Resource in the 60s - and they didn't have anything like the capacity required today. Every thirty years or so, if you want to operate at range from UK, you need to build some big auxiliaries - and they cost money.
 

Yokel

LE
I wonder if the root cause of current woes is the ten or more years in which everyone seemed to accept that everything in future would be land based - and logistics would either go by land or air?

Since when was FSS meant to support LitM? How? Troop carriage? Aviation capability?
 
I wonder if the root cause of current woes is the ten or more years in which everyone seemed to accept that everything in future would be land based - and logistics would either go by land or air?

I don't think anyone ever thought or accepted that. However, until the arrival of QEC it was always a can that could be kicked down the road. Now it can't and it will need money - just when people want more money for their pet projects.

Since when was FSS meant to support LitM? How? Troop carriage? Aviation capability?

Since always. LitM still needs Logs - although given the direction of travel for the RM, that's a bit of the requirement that might have some flex. Won't change the price of fish much though.
 
FSS is to support the Fleet - not just CSG. It might be helpful if CSG remembered that from time to time.

Look at the size of the USNS Fast Replenishment Fleet to understand what we should be buying.

Lewis & Clarke Class cargo ships are 45,000 tonnes; the oilers (Kaiser class) are just over 42,000 tonnes full load.

You go to far away places, if need a lot of support.
 
Ring up the Yanks, buy 3 more Lewis & Clarks, job jobbed.

Afraid not. Last one delivered over eight years ago. NASSCO far too busy with USN tankers now. Plus while nice ships a couple of things "apparently" prevent them from RAS-ing QEC.

ETA : At ~$600M US a pop back then, that's well north of £500M each now.
 
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. . . . . The ship can't get much smaller dimensionally because of the configuration of QEC and its RAS positions. The capacities can't reduce too much or you end up with a titular capability to support your new super carriers - and don't forget, the ships have to look after the rest of the SurFlot as well, plus support LitM, so it isn't all about QEC either. Nor are the 6te RAS systems particularly expensive - not even in the top three systems costs.

People forget that prior to QEC, the largest ships built in the UK were Fort George and Fort Vic, over twenty-five years ago. Those ships were bigger than LPH, bigger than CVS - bigger in fact than anything built since RFA Regent and Resource in the 60s - and they didn't have anything like the capacity required today. Every thirty years or so, if you want to operate at range from UK, you need to build some big auxiliaries - and they cost money.
For information/comparison . . . .

 
Afraid not. Last one delivered over eight years ago. NASSCO far too busy with USN tankers now. Plus while nice ships a couple of things "apparently" prevent them from RAS-ing QEC.

ETA : At ~$600M US a pop back then, that's well north of £500M each now.

I can remember a previous RFA Commodore pointing at them saying ‘happy if you buy me these’.

whoever builds the solid stores ships, they won’t be cheap, carry oodles of warship weapons Abd stores - need warship levels of build and Protection.

As fur the Lewis & Clark’s, a proven and succesful design, I’m sure a deal to license the design could be done Rather than reinventing the same wheel and carrying all the risk, and will assuredly mean such a lower risk option will never be considered.
 
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Yokel

LE
I can remember a previous RFA Commodore pointing at them saying ‘happy if you buy me these’.

whoever builds the solid stores ships, they won’t be cheap, carry oodles of warship weapons Abd stores - need warship levels of build and Protection.

As fur the Lewis & Clark’s, a proven and succesful design, I’m sure a deal to license the design could be done Rather than reinventing the same wheel and carrying all the risk, and will assuredly mean such a lower risk option will never be considered.

A licence to build them in British yards or South Korean ones? Licencing a design for building by a third party might not find favour with American politicians.

Do we still have the capacity? Why do people like Norway get their tankers built in South Korea?

Would we be able to pay the unit price? What can we get for what we can pay?
 
I can remember a previous RFA Commodore pointing at them saying ‘happy if you buy me these’.

In one sense, yes, designed and built to support a strike carrier. However, not MARPOL compliant among other troublesome things. Also has a particular feature which scares various people in RN and MoD.

whoever builds the solid stores ships, they won’t be cheap, carry oodles of warship weapons Abd stores - need warship levels of build and Protection.

Yes - and no. Capacity needs to be big - we've got used to doing minimal RAS(S) via vertrep, no corporate memory of RAS(A) and also seem to have forgotten that a naval pagga expends weapons - and other stuff that needs replacing. Where they've gone overboard are some of the margins in the specification.

As fur the Lewis & Clark’s, a proven and succesful design, I’m sure a deal to license the design could be done Rather than reinventing the same wheel and carrying all the risk, and will assuredly mean such a lower risk option will never be considered.

It would have to be FMS (with all that entails). Plus there's plenty of risk in certification - particularly if you also start considering UK ammo, use cases, systems, equipment items etc. There are two - possibly three - UK designs submitted for the competition. All that's needed is for MoD to cease faffing, amend the commercial T&Cs that caused huge amounts of trouble and crack on.

Trouble is, Tracy Island - and part of DE&S - seem to have got the idea that the RAS system is a cost driver and that the ship is oversized capacity-wise. Neither are true. They've also been told that the UK can built them easily. Which is a stretch of the truth at present to put it mildly.
 
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A licence to build them in British yards or South Korean ones? Licencing a design for building by a third party might not find favour with American politicians.

Do we still have the capacity? Why do people like Norway get their tankers built in South Korea?

Would we be able to pay the unit price? What can we get for what we can pay?

1. As above FMS required.
2. Capacity is an issue. Technical and fabrication. Norway don't get their tankers built in RoK, they get one off log support ships (very different from a tanker) built there. And don't get their designer to do the safety case properly. Allegedly.
3. Depends on other pet projects on the Tracy Island wishlist.
 

Yokel

LE
I was replying to PhotEx and his 'buy American - as easy as popping down the car showroom' posts.

I knew the Norwegians had issues with an auxiliary of some sort built in South Korea - and had snags with build quality. When I mentioned them on the Commercial Shipbuilding in the UK thread, he (PhotEx) suggested that they should have got them built at a Chinese yard. Hmmmmm!

Corporate memory - memories from Operation Corporate? How much RAS(A) was needed in the Gulf or by the CVS in the Adriatic?
 
Corporate memory - memories from Operation Corporate? How much RAS(A) was needed in the Gulf or by the CVS in the Adriatic?

Both operations well over twenty years ago (Granby) and not conducted with huge amounts of naval weapons expended (and/or ditched prior to recovery). So corporate memory faded to say the least. If anyone still serving was on Corporate, I'd be very surprised. Can't be more than a handful left in now, if that.

The cumulative number of solid RAS (any variety) by jackstay since the noughties is surprisingly low.
 
I was replying to PhotEx and his 'buy American - as easy as popping down the car showroom' posts.

I knew the Norwegians had issues with an auxiliary of some sort built in South Korea - and had snags with build quality. When I mentioned them on the Commercial Shipbuilding in the UK thread, he (PhotEx) suggested that they should have got them built at a Chinese yard. Hmmmmm!

Corporate memory - memories from Operation Corporate? How much RAS(A) was needed in the Gulf or by the CVS in the Adriatic?


I think you will find the Chinese yards have a solid reputation for designing and delibery a very broad range of specialised ships now.

Made in China no longer means cheap and nasty
 

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