Friday, March 2, 2012

Type 26 update

Infinite thanks to The Mintcake Maker, who commenting on my latest article on frigates brought to my attention a video from BAE systems that, although released in January, prior to the IET conference on the 26, escaped my radars entirely. Am i ever glad that he did link the video to me!
I do want to take this chance to say once more than i welcome any kind of comment, feedback, suggestion and opinion, and i totally do encourage any reader to talk freely and share what he wants with me. It really makes me glad, and, like in this case, it can add a lot of new info and hints for debate to the mix.

Here is the video, peel your eyes open at around 01.15:

I think you'll have immediately noticed how differente these new images are, compared to the old and well known concept arts about the Type 26.

The old Type 26 renders showed this ship:

The new images, significantly shown in a video released in January 2012, after the Capability Decision Point, and thus almost certainly showing the current thinking lines, show a very different ship:

The changes are quite dramatic, and as The Mintcake Maker noted, the new superstructure does indeed look a bit like a stealth, modern Type 22. The feeling is there, when one looks at the image.
The lines of the new design look cleaner and, at least at first gaze, should prove far more stealthy than the previous concept. The CIWS Phalanx 1B aft has been re-positioned, and unsurprisingly it is now shown mounted atop the hangar, in center position. Many commenters, myself included, had been quick to notice that this installation is the one that makes the most sense and ensures the best overall coverage.

The missile fit has changed, too. Two small silos, probably numbering 4 cells each, are shown on each side of the CIWS Phalanx in B position. These are almost certainly quad-packed with CAMM missiles for point defence and, according to MBDA, potentially for surface-strike against fast and small targets.
Behind this "Self Defence" assembly of missiles and CIWS gun, a large number of missile cells can be seen. These are presumably Strike Lenght cells for offensive armament (from cruise missiles to, potentially, ASROC and Anti Ship missiles). I think i've counted two rows of 12 cells each, in the photo, but information about this point is murky, as is the quality of the image. Indicatively, the number of cells could go from a minimum of 16 (a single 8+8 Sylver launcher, in this case) to 24 (two 6+6 modules mounted side to side) to a maximum of 32 (two 8+8 modules mounted side to side).   

No Harpoon launchers can be seen in these images, even though i assume they could be fitted aft of the mast, between the radar tower and the funnel.
The alternative is a vertical-launch anti-ship missile (and, consequently, a replacement of Harpoon, which is both needed and desirable) or, much less attractive, the lack of anti-ship armament. I'm willing to rule this last option out: it would frankly be ridiculous to remove ASMs even from the frigates. I can accept that the main RN's anti-ship weapon is the submarine service, but this does not mean that we can/should do away with missiles on the (much more numerous) surface vessels.

The hangar seem to be single, and the volume of the superstructure suggests a large one is provided. As already reported a few times on this blog, it seems more and more likely that the Type 26 will have the same hangar of the Type 45 or an even larger one (note that the ship-boat spaces are positioned ahead of the hangar, which is potentially full-width as a consequence), which means 1 Merlin + drone(s) or up to 2 Wildcat helicopters.
The dog kennel mini-hangar, specific for drones, seems to have been abandoned, and this can only make me glad.
Such small "dog kennel" would rule out the possibility of ever operating 2 helicopters, while at the same time setting hard limitations to the size of UAVs to be developed and put in service. It felt, as soon as it was proposed, like a lose-lose solution. So the change is more than welcome.

Another surprise is the provvision, apparently, of no less than 3 davits. Stealth doors in the superstructure can be seen, identical to the boat spaces on the Type 45, arranged 2 on Starboard and 1 on Port side. This makes me wonder if the Flexible Mission bay under the flight deck has been sized down further during the latest updates. After all, with the capacity of the Flexible Deck being described as 4x 12-meters RHIBs, 3 more boats make for a really impressive number of hulls.
Not that this is a bad thing at all, but it makes me stop for a moment of thinking all the same.
I think it is highly unlikely, however, that the Flexible Deck has been abandoned entirely, because the Navy seemed really pretty keen on getting it, and because such a large, reconfigurable space is excellent for mission flexibility and for ensuring the vessel has plenty of growth margin for its service life, which by design will be no shorter than a long 30 years.

Wholly new is also the placement of the small caliber guns of the frigate: the two DS30M remotely-operated 30 mm guns are mounted high up on sponsons stretching out from the hangar's sides, and giving the guns unrivalled firing arches for excellent coverage.

Overall, this new design seems very promising, but it would be very great to hear some more details about the ship design. I hope that, soon, someone will provide us with some good info!

I've evidenced some things and made a few observations, using Paint. Click on the image to see in larger scale.
I've evidenced some things and made a few observations, using Paint. Click on the image to see in larger scale.

The new images shown in the video seem to be a direct evolution of an earlier image shown at DSEI last year, which can be considered a midway step towards this latest design.

This image shown at DSEI is far closer to the latest design visible in the video than the early concept arts. Image from NavyRecognition.  Click on photo to view larger

The image showed the DS30M guns shown far back, but located low at flight deck level, but the superstructure design is already moving towards the latest lines in a very evident way. CIWS are not shown in this graphic, but the missile silos ahead are taking the shape that they have in the video.

Assuming that the general information in the graphic is still valid, core crew will be 115 plus up to 20 men for the aviation flight, with accommodation for 130 + 36. The rear mission bay is present, but unfortunately no data on its sizes is provided. The large hangar is confirmed by the specification of an embarked wing of a Merlin HM2 plus UAV, which can only mean a pretty wide and deep space even if, of course, we do not know the indicative sizes considered for the rotary wing UAV. At DSEI the RN received a proposal for a Gazelle light helicopter conversion into a UAV, though, so we might easily be looking at something pretty significant.

The graphic also contains precious info about propulsion: CODLOG, with two electric engines, one per shaft, feed by 4 Diesel Generators for cruise and by a direct drive Gas turbine for max speed.
A configuration similar to that of the french FREMM. CODLAG is almost certainly feasible, but apparently not favored, undoubtedly due to cost. Almost certainly it will be an option for export orders.
The Gas turbine could be a WR21, as on Type 45 (which has 2), or a more powerful MT30, as on CVF (2 per each carrier). I'd be inclined to indicate the WR21 as likely fit, considering the 5400 tons of the Type 26 current concept, but it is essentially speculation. MT30, would a more future-proof solution due to the greater power output, which would support service-life growth in the weight of the vessel. 

As another bit of news, especially for who lives in Portsmouth or nearby:

the massive Lower Block 02 of HMS Queen Elizabeth is scheduled to leave BAE's yard in Portsmouth on May 25. Whoever has a chance to, should totally make sure to enjoy the majestic sight: if i could, i damn well would, after all!
The gigantic Block 02 will be carried by barge to Rosyth, and there will be a new "Beat the Block" initiative for charity as well, as the March edition of DESIDER reports.

Cyclists are invited to take part in Beat the Block 2, following the success of the
first event, from Glasgow round the coast of Scotland to Rosyth, last year.
The journey to Rosyth will involve 500 miles in five days and minimum sponsorship is
£250 per entry for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.
Places are limited, closing date for entries is 30 March. More info from


  1. Hi Gabs
    Re: Flexdeck
    Is that a RoRo door just visible on the starboard side under the flight deck? Something in the first of your two image captures. Maybe.

    Nice article, and good find MCM.

    1. It might be, but it is very hard to say with the little imagery and low quality at our disposal. Hopefully soon there'll be some better info available.

      Post Capability-Decision Point, BAE's website described the Flex Deck as capable of taking 12 containers or 4 12-meters boats. Hopefully this data is still valid: i think the mission bay is very important for the ship. A feature to protect.

  2. Gabriele

    You will have to pardon my ignorance concerning naval matters. As I have explained previously, I am more than somewhat of a landlubber, with a particular interest in the British Army.

    I am rather puzzled, because when a concept that preceded the Type-26 (I am talking about the Future Surface Combatant (FSC)), was being discussed some years ago, the emphasis seemed to on creating the ship biased towards anti-submarine warfare (I think) to complement the Type 45 air defence destroyers. Now, that bias has been replaced with what seems to be more of a wide capability against surface, air and underwater threats. The Type 26 appears to have become more of a general-purpose frigate/destroyer. You yourself have mentioned Phalanx and CAMM being fitted and space for surface weapons to be accommodated.

    My question is this. Where does the anti-submarine capability of the Type 26 lie? In fact, what kind of weaponry does the modern Royal Navy use against subs? It doesn’t have ASROC does it? What is the main anti-sub weapon used by surface vessels then? Do they use torpedoes? And do they still carry depth charges or have I seen too many old 1940s films?

  3. The main anti-submarine weapon is the modern and effective Stingray Mod 1 torpedo, 324 mm, deployed from the ship's tubes or, much more frequently, from helicopters, both Merlin and Wildcat.
    Of course, the Nimrod carried Stingray, before being killed.

    Depth charges are (i think) still around only for the helicopters, not for ship launch. They are used to hit subs in shallow waters where a torpedo wouldn't have space of maneuver.

    ASROC was never adopted, but then again, ASROC is only a rocket vector that carries a Stingray-equivalent torpedo to a drop point up to 22 km away from the ship.
    The italian MILAS, a similar weapon, carries a MU90 torpedo up to 35 km away.

    The sense is that the ASROC and MILAS give the ship the capability to make a quick launch on a submarine sonar contact at range, without having to launch an helicopter.
    It is more responsive and faster, and overcomes part of the range limitations of the torpedo by carrying it to the area in which the sonar contact is caught.

    The main antisubmarine weapon of a british frigate is the sonar Type 2087, which is capable to pick up a sub contact at great range.
    This contact is then engaged by torpedoes dropped by the ship's helicopter.
    If the helicopter is a Merlin, the helo can also hunt very effectively on its own with the FLASH sonar, hovering over the waters and dropping the sonar under the surface, listening for some time, then pulling it up and moving to another spot.

    Arguably, a MILAS system would be a great addition, since it would enable the ship to engage fleeting submarine contats at range in very short times of reaction, but it is not a vital bit of kit. The ability of carrying more than one helo is far more relavant.

    The torpedo tubes mounted on the ship are kind of a last resort weapon, since if the sub is so close to be engaged by the torpedoes of the frigate, there might well be a enemy torpedo already in the water.

    The ASW features of the Type 26 are the bow sonar, the design of hull and machinery to make the ship silent and as hard as possible for an enemy sub to detect, while enabling the towed sonar to work at its best.
    The fundamental bit of kit is the "tail", the towed sonar 2087. And then the helicopters.

    Of course, the RN submarines of the Astute class have an even more relevant role to play against enemy subs, and they use the Spearfish heavy torpedo, which can dash towards a target at 65 knots of speed, a feature introduced urgently during the cold war when the URSS had the ALFA SSNs, capable of more than 40 knots, which could literally outrun existing torpedoes of the time.

    This is a very quick resume and brief explanation.

    The fact that the Type 26 comes as a more capable package, full-spectrum, is an excellent news, believe me. The last "submarine hunter" design of the RN, properly said, was the Type 23. But a Type 23 much different than those we know. Wasn't it for the Falklands war and its lessons, the Type 23 was going to be built almost unarmed, with no Seawolf and very limited everything, as literally a sonar towing hull with an helicopter platform.

    And such a specialized "can't-do-anything-else" ship in the Navy of today is unthinkable.
    Even the Type 45, at the moment, is an abomination, as it pretty much can only shoot down airplanes and missiles.
    No anti-sub torpedo tubes, no anti-ship missiles.

    I'll be very happy if this is the Type 26 we get...!

  4. In other words, if we had money, a really perfect ASW C1 would be a large DDH (helicopter carrying destroyer) with no less than 4 Merlins aboard and a 2087 towed sonar, plus perhaps a MILAS complex.

    More conventional escorts would complete the force.
    But this is a fleet very hard to finance!

    Japan, which fears the Chinese growing submarine fleet, has a couple of large DDHs of this kind, with 4 deck spots and hangar for 10/11 helos.
    They are also building two more, larger than even HMS Ocean [and, interestingly, pretty much F35B-ready: watch out for the return of the japanese aircraft carrier in the coming years].

    Their concept of escort task group is a force of destroyers centered on a DDH loaded with helos, ASROC missiles, and an afloat HQ party.

    For the UK, such an approach is currently unaffordable and relatively unjustified due to the different political and geographic position.

  5. Wow! What a reply. It answers every question I could wish to ask. Brilliant. I'll go away and digest it now. Thanks.

  6. Glad to be of help. I'll add that the Japanese escort fleet concept is, anyway, a british idea: it is nothing but a modern day replication of the 1944/45 U-boat hunting squads of the Royal Navy, which were centered on one/two escort aircraft carriers and had some 6 or so destroyers, corvettes and sloops.
    The Japanese DDH Hyuga class are today's escort carriers.

    The 3 Invincible carriers themselves were ASW vessels at birth and in concept, meant to carry a lot of Sea King helos and a squadron of 5 to 6 Sea Harriers for self defence against, mainly, long-range recce airplanes of the URSS.

    I can also add that, if the UK needed to enhance the ASW capabilities of the fleet at short notice, the best investment to make would be an urgent order of FLASH dipping sonars for the Wildcat helicopters. They can readily take it, but i fear that, at entry in service, the Wildcat will not have a dipping sonar, unless a contract is finally placed sometime soon for it. I don't know if this is in the plans or not.

  7. Would it be a better idea to drop the DS30M 30 mm guns, replace with CT40(CTWS) cannon. As the Warrior, is to be fitted with this. Cost saving on ammo? And bolt version of the Thales's Lightweight Multirole Missile, like Sigma have done with the Seahawk naval gun system.

  8. Long term, it would make sense, and there have been some studies and perhaps even some small trial of concept about navalizing the CT40 gun... But it is not a priority, and with the DS30M and relative ammo in widespread use all over the fleet, in the short term a new change in guns and ammo would not generate any saving or efficiency, but only costs and issues.

    it would already be a great step forwards if the last old 20 mm small guns, present in particular on RFA ships, were removed from service and the DS30M / 30 mm ammo made the standard, fleet-wide.

  9. Hi Gabriele,
    Another pair of excellent articles,if this version as shown is anywhere near representative of the design then I would be more than happy.
    However,as the eternal pessimist when it comes to the British MOD I just hope that the strike length cells shown are actually built into any RN version and not just left as 'fitted for' as in T45.
    As we have still not been given any official info as yet,let us hope this CDG is somewhat near the real thing.

  10. "However,as the eternal pessimist when it comes to the British MOD I just hope that the strike length cells shown are actually built into any RN version and not just left as 'fitted for' as in T45."

    We share this fear and hope.
    I'm worried myself that the ships might be pushed in service without even the anti-ship missiles...
    And of course, the CIWS will be fitted for but not with, on this i've kind of no doubts.

  11. An excellent post, as ever.
    Some comments on the video:

    (1) There appears to be an additional block of VLS amidships, on the funnel block, to the port side of the exhaust ports. (The second battery of 24 CAMM?)
    (2) By my count, there are 24 of the larger (strike length?) VLS.
    (3) By my count, there are 12 of the smaller VLS on either side of the phalanx in the B possition, for a total of 24.

    (And yes, I am a different person to both "michael" and "MikeW".)

    1. Just realised what you mean.
      Yes the 12 cells on the funnel are quite small compared to the bank of 2*12 ones in the B position:- maybe less than 60cm a side or almost half the size- so not for a large missile.

  12. Some questions:

    Anti-ship capability:
    (1) Is the anti-ship (IR terminal guidance) version of the Vulcano ammunition available yet?
    (2) What is the range of the anti-ship vulcano ammunition from the OTO 127/64 LW? (120km?)
    (3) Give the above, and how infrequently ship-launched anti-ship missiles are used (never?), is there any point to fitting an anti-ship missile?
    (4) Has anyone qualified the Exocet MM30 in Sylver yet? Or is anyone due to have done so, by the 2020 timeframe?

    Power distribution:
    Do we have any details on the ability of this ship to opperate power-hungry equipment? (E.g. sustained 15 MW electrical.)

    Cruise missiles:
    I'm just not seeing much value in 16-24 long range rounds against land targets.
    Assuming a 50% kill ratio:
    16 VL exocet = 8 sunk ships, a large % of the enemy Order Of Battle.
    16 Aster-30 = 8 downed fighters, again a large % of the enemy OoB.
    16 cruise missiles = 8 destroyed SAM sites, or bridges, or bunkers. That doesn't sound very significant to me.

    So, unless it can reload its cruise-missile VLS at sea - which seems not to be the case - can someone please elaborate on why they think it is such a desireable capability?

  13. Hi Gabriele, have been reading your blog for a while and would like to say thanks.
    This new ship 'T26 lite' appears to be a significant improvement over the previous traditional design and it appears,to me, to be more like the FREMM frigate. Here are 10 things I really like about it:

    1) It can carry 2 x Wildcat each equipped with 2x7 round LMM, or one with LMM and 1 with Stingray, or 1 rotated on patrol for longer duration. This is a huge capability increase. How about 1 Wildcat + 1 Apache?

    2) The flex deck for up to 4 x 12m RIBS or Marines ORC (Offshore Raiding Craft).

    3) The flex deck used for other purposes.I think the first comment by Ant is right there is a RoRo door - would make sense.

    4) If the Flex Deck is in use then I can see why you still need standard boat storage on deck. So why 1 larger starboard and 2 on port side. My thoughts are the port side are for standard 12m RIBs and the larger starboard side is for - yes you guessed - the CB90! Of course you could max out with say 2 x CB90 in the Flex deck + 1 on top and still have 2 standard RIBs. This is a big increase in flexibility and capability. With enough crew and marines allows many hours of patrolling compared to the T23. Or serious raiding with say 40-60 marines.

    5)Any of the current 5" guns would be an improvement so either the Oto/Melara mentioned or the US (but now British owned/built) Mark 45 Mod4 62 calibre.

    6) Location of the 2 x CIWS is excellent, I don't think the T23 is fitted with any while the T22 had 1x Goalkeeper. The Phalanx fits front and rear whereas the Goalkeeper wouldn't since it needs to penetrate the deck. There are enough for all ships to have them there are 36 upgraded sets. See

    7) Fitment of 2 x DS30M automatic guns from the T23 again novel and good position. I expect these to be upgraded to the SIGMA version with a 7 round LMM added. Since we ordered 1000 of the LMM and we have about 70sets of the DS30 only need the missile holder. Would be great to see the T23/T26 fitted with this extra capability.

    8) CAMM and Aster30 missiles location. It seems to me that this 'T26 lite' will be 10m+ shorter than the early design so there is less space forward and less internal depth to take the 7m Sylver silo as on the FREMM. So what have they done? Built the missile silo's above deck! Makes sense.Put the cold launch CAMM up front since it is shorter and ship is narrower with Sylver cells behind but arranged width ways rather than length ways as on the T45 which has the space. This then provides an ideal deck to put the CIWS on top.

    9) Missile count. IF there are 24 x CAMM up front and 24 x A70 Sylver silos this is a total of 48 missiles compared to T23 with 32 Sea Wolf and the same as current T45. Full length means they can carry the Navy version of the Storm Shadow if needed. I think this is a good idea since we will only have 7 precious Astute and being able to launch say 14 cruise missiles from the T26 would be equivalent to the load on 1 Astute.If there is a second CAMM midships with another 24 that would be great, perfectly possible since they are cold launched and sensible if there isn't enough space up front.

    10) Don't forget the T26 will be fitted with CEC so the T45's can use the T26 missiles,smart stuff.

    Well that's my Top 10 for this new design I am impressed with the changes and would definitely like to see 16 built. (Please?)

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Two good spots Mike Wheatley.
    Agree: on high magnification, and at the right angle, I make:
    a) a set of six cell VLS either side of the B phalanx: twelve sells, quad packed would make 48 CAMM
    b) an extra set of 12 cell VLS to the port of the funnel (not sure these need be short at all though, quite the opposite it looks like a 7m cell would fit), which with the two rows of 12 behind the phalanx make 36 "other" VLS cells.
    Also there is a machine gun either side on the bridge sponsons, and an 8 chamber decoy dispenser depicted there too.
    Now feeling v.nerdy.

    Re: the asymmetric door arrangement
    Is the third door potentially for catapult launch of UCAVs rather than boats? May allow their launch without conflict with Merlin, but would still have to recover them to the flight-deck though I presume....?

    We haven't seen a stern view yet. I remember hearing BAE were not keen on a dock to keep the design simple (or compatible with easy 2070 sonar deployment) (or cheap), perhaps with a view to a wider sales market. Will be interesting to see.

  16. To me this ships seems more like the replacement for the Leander then the first BAE GCS ever was it looks smaller and more practical; coincidentally I remember around the middle of last year how the MOD ordered the price to be reduced some XX million pounds. I belive this is the result , while atheistically I loved the first T26 by BAE I would rather have a good ship actually designed and built. just my two cents.

    -philbob from America


  18. @All

    Thank you for the comments and for the observations too. I've tried looking again at the video, and i think i can agree on the fact that the CAMM cells blocks are likely 6 and 6, not 4 and 4.
    But i tried desperately to see the second missile silos in the funnel area, and i must admit i still do not spot it.

    Also, i can't believe that the RN will ever be able to finance so many missiles and launchers, so we should consider these more for export than for anything else, unfortunately.
    This at least is what i feel.


    True, the MOD has asked BAE to drive cost down to around 350 million pounds per hull, and the sizes of the ship have been driven down as a consequence, with 5400 tons now being indicated, down from well over 6000, near 7000 in some concepts.

    But personally, i find this new design shown here far more effective and attractive than the previous one. I think it introduces countless improvements and has many, many points of interest.
    If it also costs less, well. Cheer, it is awesome.


    I don't think the Navy and BAE would add a door for a UAV catapult, and it is highly unlikely than a serious UCAV could ever be launched with a similar arrangement.
    At most, you could fit a 15 meters EMKIT swinging outwards for launch and firing a 500 kg class drone... which would need to be able to land on the water to be recovered, or STOVL.
    I can't see it happening, sincerely. Far easier and more effective to take a retired Gazelle, turn it into a drone and park it in the hangar as proposed at DSEI!


    Of course i agree with you on the fact that not always would the Flex Deck carry four boats, and of course i'd want ship boats carried in the usual way in addition.
    But 2 i think would suffice.

    Of course your proposal is very attractive, and i wish to find out it is true, regarding two RHIBs davits and a single, larger davits for a Force Protection Craft / LCVP MK5 on the other side.

    Don't know how many hopes there are, but the idea is certainly attractive.

    "How about 1 Wildcat + 1 Apache?"

    The Apache is considerably wider due to the wings than a Wildcat. It is 17 meters long when rotor is folded, but it is wider than a Merlin folded, albeit not by much.
    So an Apache + drones would perhaps be feasible, other combinations, i fear no.

  19. @Mike Wheatley

    The reasons why the Navy, I and many others would want a larger stock of TLAMs and more launching platforms are several.

    - There are more surface ships than submarines, and there will pretty much always be ships in the area of a crisis during operations.

    - Submarine is better because undetectable, can launch against countries with serious defences (say, Sirya case, take off with TLAMs the Bastion anti-ship batteries and some SAMs. Then surface ships could come closer and finish the job.

    - Submarine is invisible. A surface ship parked outside the coast has a greater deterrence value, because they know it is out there. Modern gunboat diplomacy.

    - Ever since Bosnia, the RN submarines armed with TLAM have ended up being tied to TLAM role during a crisis [SSN(T) is the definition], and pretty much confined to a "box" of sea where they could be found, contacted and asked for a TLAM launch.
    This limits their flexibility, and keeps them away from other roles.
    In 1999 there were no enemy subs or ships to chase, but in a future crisis the SSN might have this threat to face, so it is either no TLAM or no freedom of action for the sub.

    These reasons in my view encourage the provvision of more TLAMs and launcher platforms.

    Regarding onboard power, we know little to this day about the propulsion choices, so i can't give an answer yet.

    The Vulcano IR will hit targets at some 70 Km. I think the first order by the Italian navy has been placed early this year.

    The GPS guided shell for coastal bombardment will go a good 120 km from the 127/64 LW.
    The addition on the shell of Semi-Active Laser terminal guidance is envisioned.

    I don't think there is a VL Exocet, nor a plan to design it. And i'd still want Navy warships to be able to engage other ships effectively, personally.
    Sea Skua won't be enough on a large warship, and assuming that enemy vessels will always find a SSN or airplane on their way before engaging a british surface vessel is irresponsible. I'd find it disturbing to abandon entirely the ASM.

    I hope i've replied to everyone. Again, thank you all, welcome to the new commenters, and please enjoy your stay here.
    I hope i'll hear from you all regularly in the future. Comments and contributions always welcome!

    1. I'm not so much questioning the point of putting a long-range anti-ship guided weapon on the type-26.
      Rather, I am saying that Vulcano ammunition turns the OTO-127/64 into the required long-range anti-ship guided weapon.

      To me, the Vulcano family is a game-changer, allowing the low end guided missile requirement to be fulfilled at much lower cost - and with a much larger magazine capacity.
      500-800 rounds of which 10% could be anti-ship rounds, vs. 8 anti-ship missiles?

      Okay, so the range is only 70km (+20% from the larger OTO-127?) but that compares well to the Exocets on the type-21's - and this is a secondary capability, that in practice doesn't get used.

      (As an aside, the RN generally uses its helicopters for longer range ASuW, e.g. in the Gulf, and the Falklands for that matter. Rules of Engagement generally require visual confirmation of the target, which in turn requires a helicopter to get close - or a recon/designator UAV in the future.)

  20. Lets hope they, don't fit Exocet. I would rather see Kongsberg NSM fitted.


  21. I think there are no risks whatsoever of seeing Exocet return on british ships anytime soon. The NSM would be a good solution, i'd support it myself, especially since it also comes in air launched variant, F35 ready...

  22. Re: But i tried desperately to see the second missile silos in the funnel area, and i must admit i still do not spot it.

    Its pretty borderline I agree, and anyway this is hardly a final design, but try at 1.23 and a fraction. You can see a raised area with 12 raised ridges as per the hinges of each VLS cell just as the view pans down. At the start of the video the area in question has been highlighted translucent blue in the same way as "B" cells, and at 1.21 it is clearly to the side of the funnel and not the inside of it, with a hint of the same 12 fold structure.
    Or maybe its just my eyes....

    Fair point about the UAV launch. Just trying to generate possibilities. I was sure I had seen a picture of a scan eagle being launched through such a door once, and they obviously wanted use of a fixed wing UAV as per your DSEI poster.

  23. I am surprised that this design makes the news now - I saw this being presented at the BAE stand at DSEi last September. My reaction was just like yours then - as in, wtf is this? I asked the guys there, and they said they had several designs available, including this, to discuss with their international prospects. I.e. this smaller, single superstructure hull was perceived as having a better shot at the international market.

  24. @Ant

    Thanks, i think i saw it now, and you very well might be right.

    As to the UAV launch, of course, all kind of suggestions can be made, and Scan Eagle seems to have left a good impression in the RN ever since it was trialed on a Type 23 in 2001.
    Its use is certainly a possibility of the design, but i don't think they would ever want the complication of a catapult in enclosed bay, when it is far simpler to store the relatively small catapult in the hangar and pull it out on deck for launch.
    It is supposed to be a cheap vessel, after all!


    Welcome, first of all, i think i never saw you here before. Glad you stopped by and left me a comment.

    To your helpful comment, i can only add my personal opinion: this design seems much better than the other one, full stop. Good for export, but also very good for the RN. The other one design, well. It does not entirely convince me, to say the least.

  25. As there was talk about making a AAW focused Type 26 this seems to be going out the window with this design the old BAE model's citadel looks like it could of handled the SAMPSON weight, this one doesn't look like it can. perhapes they have some new radar in the works. Again this ship very much reminds me of a modern Leander class and less like FREMM.


  26. The AAW Type 26 would be offered only for export. The Royal Navy does not need nor war an AAW Type 26, and there is no real evidence suggesting that this design cannot take a different radar.
    Perhaps not the SAMPSON, but its scaled down, single array version yes. SAMPSON is a big system meant for big destroyers: there is no point in trying to make a frigate that can take it.

    Especially until a foreign country does not ask for it, because the RN certainly won't.

  27. Turns out there was a scaled down Sampson called Specter.

    Philbob from the US

  28. Why not put the 30mm gins midships for a better arc of fire and more use in a littoral situation?

  29. Anti-ship missiles are a must. Lately, large western navies appear to specialise ships for anti-air work only and ASW ops the latter not so good (LCS looks horrible for ASW). They believe the anti-ship missile days are over. This of course is not the case with the European Navies who have boats with all kinds of armament.

    1. See this article for an update on the Anti-Ship missile situation:

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