Type 26

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Kromeriz, Oct 18, 2011.

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  1. I enjoyed the repartee on the future of the Royal Navy... so would appreciate thoughts on the Type 26, as according to this article the Royal Navy will actually replace them 1:1 with existing Type 23, albeit, they will take some of the kit off the Type 23 and refit it to the 26. Also noted below is the impact this will have on our naval shipbuilding ability. Finally, can it match the MEKO class for exports?

    Next month, senior Royal Navy officers are scheduled to decide on the capabilities of the new frigate that will be the fleet's backbone for the next 40 years and a keystone of British defense exports.

    No pressure, then, for members of the Royal Navy's Surface Combatant Program Board as they pore over results of more than 18 months' worth of assessment-phase work done on the Type 26 frigate by BAE Systems, BMT, the Defence Ministry and others.

    The First Sea Lord, Adm. Sir Mark Stanhope, says the Type 26, to be exported under the name Global Combat Ship, is his highest equipment priority.
    Reaching a design point on what is being touted as an affordable but capable warship will be good news for a service whose morale has taken a battering from years of declining surface ship numbers. The cuts culminated in the decision last year to ax the aircraft carrier Ark Royal, along with four Type 22 frigates and thousands of naval personnel, as part of Britain's budget-cutting strategic defense review.

    Next month's meeting, known as the Capability Decision Point, will likely approve a package of big-ticket items like the type of power plant, caliber of the main gun, crew size, weight and other requirements needed to settle on a core design.
    The capability package is expected to be on the desks of defense ministers and Treasury officials for approval in the first quarter of next year. That will be followed by two years of detailed design, then, in late 2013, the Main Gate decision to begin manufacturing.

    While the program board has a raft of core capability decisions to make, some bits of the design puzzle are already looking clear as a result of the reference design program managers have been using to allow capability trade-offs.

    The ships will likely come in at just over 5,000 tons; sport a silo of the to-be-developed MBDA Common Anti-Air Modular Missile; have a landing deck that can take anything up to a special forces Chinook helicopter; launch fixed- or rotary-wing UAVs; and allow stern access to a mission bay that can launch four rigid inflatable boats.
    Brian Johnson, who directs business development at BAE Surface Ships, said that while "no final decision had been taken, the crew size is expected to be fixed at about 130 compared with the 180 sailors typically needed to operate the Type 23."

    He said it was "probable the Navy would adopt the combined diesel electric or gas propulsion system (CODLOG)."
    In March 2010, BAE signed a 127 million pound ($200 million) deal to carry out the assessment phase.
    In an interview, the First Sea Lord said the multipurpose mission bay on the stern was part of the novel thinking being proposed to achieve an agile and versatile warship.
    "By having either towed array sonars or offboard vehicles or boats launched from a platform at the back that you can swing from one capability to another," Stanhope said.

    The warship program survived last October's strategic defense review that cut the Royal Navy's frigate and destroyer fleet to just 19: six new Type 45 anti-air destroyers and 13 Type 23s to be replaced by the Type 26.

    Commodore Simon Kings, the head of above-water capability at the MoD, said the program team is working with a per-ship price ceiling of just under 450 million pounds.
    Kings said industry and the MoD have managed to tailor the requirements to the budget but still come up with a modular, adaptable and capable warship.
    "We have got a sensible platform for the Royal Navy and stopped dreaming about an Aston Martin when we could only really afford a Ford," he said.
    Stanhope said the Navy had made capability sacrifices to fit the size of the platform as well as get it into the cost envelope.
    "For the Type 26 we are of the mind that there is a quality in quantity itself, and we don't want to price ourselves out of the quantity market by putting too much emphasis on quality of design. This is the balance," he said.

    The actual total amount to be spent is complicated by the fact that some of the equipment destined for the Type 26 will not be purchased new but instead be cross-decked from Type 23s being updated in a major sustainability program.
    That's likely to include reusing high-value items from equipment like the Artisan Type 997 radar destined for service on the Type 23 and the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier.

    Cross-decking capability reduces cost and risk. For much the same reason, it's possible the Royal Navy will use a version of the T45 destroyer's operations room on the frigates, Johnson said.

    The Capability Decision Point will also help resolve a key industrial issue: Which of BAE's three warship yards spread across England and Scotland will build the Type 26? BAE executives at the recent Defence & Sercurity Equipment International defense show in London confirmed that the current delivery timing of one a year envisaged by the MoD would require only one yard.

    The country's only major warship builder has its hands full leading the alliance constructing the two 65,000-ton aircraft carriers, but beyond the middle of the decade, when those activities run down, there will be a dearth of work from the Royal Navy outside the Type 26 to fill the yards.
    Unions and others have long feared BAE will move to close at least one of the yards unless it can find export or other work like the Navy's plans to recapitalize its mine-hunting, hydrographic and patrol ships starting in 2017 or 2018.

    As things stand, the Royal Navy is planning to replace its 13 Type 23s by acquiring a single class of warship split between eight anti-submarine warfare vessels and a further five general-purpose platforms.
    The two warships are essentially the same, although some of the vessels will have an anti-submarine module bolted on.
    The schedule envisions the MoD's approval of the business case for manufacture of the Type 26, known as Main Gate, in late 2013, formal go-ahead the following year with the first steel cut in 2016 and launch in 2018 or 2019, Johnson said.
    The first vessel, an ASW variant, should be commissioned around 2021, about 20 years after the Royal Navy received its last new frigate, the Type 23 HMS St Albans.

    It's not only the British Navy who will be watching what the Surface Combatant Programme Board does late next month. Several nations have been offered a berth on the program as partners to develop and locally build the Global Combat Ship variant using the Type 26's core design.
    The maritime program has been the focal point of a drive by the government and industry to reduce reliance on the aerospace sector.
    Brazil has been invited to become a partner, and Johnson said further invitations would go out soon.
    New Zealand and another, unknown, navy already have assigned personnel with the nearly 300-strong British design team to help build up expertise.
    Other nations who have held talks about partnering with the British include India, Malaysia, Australia and Turkey.

    U.K. To Outline Specs for Type 26 Frigate - Defense News
  2. erm...you DO know this is an Army site don't you?

    I like boats as much as the next chap but...

  3. Get 13? Hah!

    My moneys on 8, fitted for but not with all the promised toys like a decent gun and a land attack missile. And even IF it gets all the promised toys, it will still be significantly underarmed for air defence compared to pretty much any other FFG. No area defence SAM on a 6,000 ton FFG in 2020? FFS! Export potential? Bugger all squared.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. sounds perfect but standing by for bespoke equipment, lack of true multirole capability, daft tiny budgets, lack of forighn intreast and about half the ships originaly promised ala Type 45
  5. By 2020 it'll be the Royal Coastguard.....
    • Like Like x 1
  6. A2_Matelot

    A2_Matelot LE Book Reviewer

    My moneys on 15 and something else taking the delay to pay for them.
  7. If it's 15, it will because the design has been bastardized down to a small and fairly useless light frigate/corvette that replaces all the assorted OPV's too.

    Always best to keep in mind, we only have 6 T45's because MOD couldn't find a buyer for hulls 5&6.
  8. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

  9. Rodders, thanks for the insight, but Sunny has jumped in, and the last thread was very informative to a land lubber like me... personally, I wonder where all the money is coming from and what effect that will have on the total military budget... just a thought, but IF they really replace all of them, you can guess who is going to be paying!

    • Like Like x 1
  10. The money is allocated for these things in the great scheme of things, the only issues will be - (a) Will Their Lordships try once more to buy a Porsche on a Mondeo budget, (b), Will Big And Expansive once more fool MOD into thinking they can have Porsches on Mondeo money, and (c), Will we once more end up with Mondeos for Porsche money.
    • Like Like x 2
  11. In fairness, it sounds like the plan for the design is to be as modular as possible, so all the other Navies who buy it will be able to lord it over the RN's CAMM-equipped ships with their Aster/Standard boats.
  12. Indeed, and I find the fact that MOD still hadn't learn't the basic and very painful lesson of the Falklands, that's it's far more effective and easier, to shoot down the archer rather than the arrows baffling in the extreme. I'm sick to the back teeth listening to people bulling up how wonderful Sea Wolf was in the Falklands goalkeeping…
    HELLO MOD!!! That was because our tactics were utterly and fundamentally flawed and predicated on the assumption our ships WOULD always end up defending themselves in point defence mode because we were too stupid to fit our big war canoes with any offensive area air defence systems.
    We made the mistake with T22, same mistake with T23, and we're going to do exactly the same with T26, another large and purely defensive ship.
  13. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    TBF so did I, it was only when I added "Frigate" that it cropped up. Search engine be a bit hit and miss.

    Interesting addition to the discussion I must say. Cheers
  14. That seems the most likely outcome, if you ask me.