Monday, November 23, 2015

SDSR 2015 - What does it say, what does it imply - UPDATES

As was to be expected, plenty of questions remain without an answer at this time, but what we know is:

This is the maximum level of detail provided. And it clearly is not much.

Royal Air Force

In manpower terms, the SDSR seems to suggest that the RAF will gain around 300 personnel. That is because the document says that Royal Navy and RAF together will grow by 700, and 400 are expected to be for the Navy.

MPA: P-8 Poseidon purchase. 9 will be acquired, to be based in RAF Lossiemouth. At least three will be delivered quickly, within the current Parliament. The official MOD release affirms the importance of having a proper, ASW- capable aircraft armed with torpedoes and missiles. No detail yet on whether US torpedoes will be acquired or if integration of Stingray will be sought.

Overland surveillance capability is openly mentioned and thought to be in direct connection with eventually replacing Sentinel R1 in providing wide area surveillance and GMTI targeting.

Sentinel R1: will be operated into the early 2020s (was 2018). Around 2022, the P-8 Poseidon should acquire the capability to employ the AAS radar for overland surveillance, and this might be the reason. 

UPDATE: Gareth Jennings of Jane's gives the new OSD as 2021. A RAF article says that 4, not 5, will be extended. Typo or correct information? 

Shadow R1: this secretive asset will be extended out to at least 2030. The graphic showing the “Joint Force 2025” reports 8 Shadow R1: at the moment there is no telling if it is a mistake or an indication of further purchases. Only 5 are in service at the moment: a sixth aircraft was purchased but not fitted with the mission kit in the end and remains in use as a training aid. An expansion of the fleet would thus be a considerable U-turn in its own right. 

UPDATE:  Gareth Jennings of Jane's reports that the MOD has confirmed that 2 extra Shadow R1 are to be procured and that the sixth will now receive the mission suite, giving a fleet of 8.

Sentry:  the AWACS fleet will be extended to 2035, the current NATO out of service date for the type. It is to be assumed that funding will be made available to adopt the same kind of Mid Life Upgrade that NATO is carrying out to achieve that date, but no detail is provided. 

UPDATE:  Gareth Jennings of Jane's reports that the MOD expects to launch the upgrade programme for Sentry in 2020. The number of crews will also be increased, from 9 to 12 in 2021.

Rivet Joint: will operate out to 2035.

Typhoon: the Tranche 1 aircraft will be retained and this will enable the formation of 2 more squadrons, for a total of 7. Basing and timeframe is not detailed yet. Since the manpower increase to the RAF is limited to around 300 men, the only possibility is that the two additional Typhoon squadrons will only come on the back of disbanding Tornado GR4 units. This passage is however complicated by the fact that Tornado remains engaged in operations and cannot be withdrawn, while Typhoon will take several more years to become ready to employ Storm Shadow (August 2018) and Brimstone (in 2019 at the earliest).

F-35: the biggest surprise is the reaffirmation of a procurement plan for a full 138 aircraft in the long term. There is no variant mentioned, keeping the door open to purchase of the F-35A later on. By 2023, 42 aircraft will have been put into service, supporting the formation of the 2 squadrons already planned, 617 RAF and 809 NAS. We also know that an OCU is planned from 2019 in Marham and 17(R) Sqn will carry on in Edwards AFB, USA, as the Operational Evaluation Unit.  

Protector: at least 20, to replace the current 10 Reaper around 2020.

C-130J: another big surprise is that more than half of the Hercules fleet is no longer expected to go out of service in 2022. They will continue out to 2030, probably in 47 Sqn and with a heavy focus on Special Forces support. Whether the increase in funding for the Special Forces also covers addition of weaponry to the Hercules (on the lines of what, for example, French special forces are planning) is not known. They will be “upgraded and extended” to support a “range of operations” out to 2030.
It is possible that the 14 Hercules retained will all be of the -30 variant, with the stretched fuselage and greater cargo space.

A400M and Voyager: numbers unchanged. One Voyager will be refitted with a VVIP compartment allowing secure transport of ministers and of the royal family over long distances.

FCAS and Complex Weapons: again, no details, but the promise is to continue working on FCAS with France and progressing collaboration on Complex Weapons as well. Important decisions are expected already in December regarding the shape of the FCAS unmanned aircraft, while there is expectation for Storm Shadow mid-life upgrade and launch of Future Cruise and Anti-Ship Weapon work during 2016.

Royal Navy

Manpower: an increase of around 400 men.

Carriers: both will enter service and both will be crewed. The document mentions that one of the two will receive enhancements specifically thought for better supporting the amphibious assault mission, since HMS Ocean will retire without a dedicate replacement.
This opens the possibility that we will see both at sea together, covering different roles. But a more realistic settlement would still appear to refit the “amphibious” bits to the other as well, at the first major refit period, to allow each ship to act in both roles and, indeed, in a mixed role. The assured availability is for only one carrier at a time, after all.

Frigates: BAE was unable to keep the Type 26’s cost down, and sure enough the axe hit home. The Type 26 building phase is being further delayed and the first ship will only enter service around 2025 now. Only 8, all in ASW configuration, will be built.

The MOD is reverting to the “C1 and C2” approach it abandoned at the beginning of the Type 26 project, and is now seeking the design for a smaller and cheaper frigate to be built in at least 5 examples, and ideally more, after the Type 26 production ends. The target remains for 13 frigates, of which 8 ASW and 5 GP, with the hope of possibly building more of the GP ones by virtue of them being cheaper.

In the old days, C1 was to deliver 10 “high-end” ASW frigates and C2 was to deliver 8 cheaper general purpose frigates.

A shipbuilding strategy detailing dates and targets will be crafted in 2016. At the moment, it is hard to express a judgment of the decision: much will depend on the shape of the “light frigate”, which is, anyway, years away into the future. The Type 26 procurement was always going to be a long-term affair, and plenty of questions will remain with us for years to come. For all we know, by the time the first series of 8 is almost complete, a decision will have been made to build more of the same to complete the replacement of the Type 23s.

Type 45 BMD: studies and "investigation" about the capability of the Type 45s to detect, track and one day counter ballistic missiles will continue. The UK remains involved in the NATO BMD projects and will "invest in a land-based BMD radar". Not clear if it refers to RAF Fylingdales, to a whole new installation or a NATO project outside of the UK entirely. 

OPVs: a further two OPVs (almost certainly other River Batch 2s) will be ordered to keep the yards busy as Type 26 is delayed.
The Royal Navy is to have “up to 6 OPVs”. Initially, we have to assume that they will be the 3 new River Batch 2s plus two of the existing River Batch 1s plus HMS Clyde in the Falklands.
In a few years time, the 2 River batch 1 would be replaced by the two new OPVs to be ordered.
HMS Clyde could continue to serve as, unlike the 3 Batch 1s in UK waters, she has a flight deck.
Depending on her fate, the Royal Navy will have 5 or 6 OPVs.

There is no detail about perhaps forward basing 2 of the OPVs abroad, as I continue to suggest, but it is a possibility. Use of the OPVs to support british interests “abroad” gets a mention.

MCM: there is no mention of cuts, but only 12 MCM vessels appear in the graphic showing “Joint Force 2025”. This suggests a reduction of 3 vessels from the current fleet, with the Sandowns being most exposed due to the Hunt having an open stern area which is more readily converted to a mothership arrangement in support of the new MHC unmanned vehicles expected to be procured over the coming years.

MARS Fleet Solid Support Ship: the SDSR promises that three new Solid Support vessels will be procured to add to the six fleet tankers (2 Waves and the 4 new Tides). Plenty of questions remain on the capabilities that these ships will have and the timeframe for their purchase as well as about where they will be built. The news is to be welcomed, but now begins the sentry duty, scanning the horizon for finding the details.



Manpower: unchanged.

Structure: the two new “Strike Brigades” represent the upgrade of one of the Adaptable Force brigades planned so far and the downgrade of one of the three armoured infantry brigades.
Beyond the fancy “strike” title, the very few words offered by the SDSR suggest that these will be medium-weight, mechanized brigades equipped with the Ajax tracked vehicle and with the Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV), an 8x8 to be procured in the coming years. Once, we called it FRES Utility Vehicle.
The time needed to procure the MIV is the most evident cause for the long time expected to be required to bring these brigades into operation: they are planned to be ready only by 2025, and even that seems ambitious.

Once again, the SDSR provides no detail about the changes connected.

One hypothesis is that one Challenger 2 regiment will be re-roled to become a fourth cavalry regiment on Ajax, so that each armoured and each mechanized brigade has its own recce formation.

The number of armoured infantry battalions could in theory remain the same, but spread on only two brigades, each comprising also a single tank regiment. The Warrior CSP remains in the plan, as is the Challenger 2 LEP and, hopefully, ABSV.

The MIV was initially about equipping 3 mechanised battalions in the armoured infantry brigades, but could now be about re-equipping a total of 6 battalions, if all the infantry units in the new medium brigades are to be mounted on 8x8.

6 infantry brigades will remain in the Adaptable Force, but “a number” of infantry battalions will be reconfigured for counter-terrorism and defence engagement and mentoring roles. What this likely means is that several battalions will become even smaller, which is a necessity if the mechanized battalions (each requiring more than 700 men) are doubled and if the combat support and combat service support units in the mechanized brigades are to be reinforced.

The Ajax order is not expected to change, but an impact is likely in Challenger 2 and AS90 numbers, potentially even GMLRS as the three heavy artillery regiments will probably become two, and we have no indication of what the “strike” brigades will have in terms of artillery support. Warrior numbers could be severely affected depending on the new shape of the remaining armoured infantry brigades.

Apache: the procurement of upgraded (Block III) capability is confirmed, as are 4 frontline squadrons. Training formations are not counted in the graphic, so there is no certainty about the OCU and the Conversion to Role squadrons, but hopefully there is no change to the plans. 

Nuclear deterrent

Four replacement SSBNs are to be procured. The number of missiles and warheads remains unchanged from the SDSR 2010. The entry in service of the four new submarines will now begin in the “early 2030s”, so a bit later than the 2028 which was the plan until it became evident that HMS Vanguard needs one last nuclear core refueling.

The cost estimate, including inflation, has been revised upwards by six billion, to 31. A large contingency fund of 10 billion is also reserved to absorb any cost growth emerging during the life of the programme. 

The programme will be delivered with staged investments, and will be overseen by a new team within the MOD, headed by an experienced commercial specialist. 

Special Forces 

Despite much noise being made about new equipment for the SF, the SDSR provides no details. Part of the “extra” money for Special Forces is most likely employed to keep the C-130js going. There is mention of investment in high altitude unmanned platforms which are expected to be the Zephyr drone. The purchase of 3 such unmanned air vehicles should soon be authorized, but they will initially be mostly for testing as the Zephyr still has to overcome a big problem: it has a tiny payload available for sensors. Flying at 70.000 feet for 3 months is great, but is only useful if the right payload can be put on the UAV.

Another interesting phrase is “we will upgrade our helicopters and transport aircraft so they can deploy further and faster”. This could mean anything. 9 C-130s have been recently fitted with under-wing fuel tanks, but on the helicopters front the way forwards is less clear.
The Special Forces need to replace the Lynx AH9A used by 657 AAC squadron and if we wanted we could speculate about adding air refueling capability for helicopters using the C-130s. It is unlikely, though. We will have to wait for actual developments.


In August 2022, the current Skynet service provision contract will end, and Airbus will hand back to the MOD the full ownership of the ground and space infrastructure, including the constellation of communication satellites.

The way forwards from there is still uncertain. Decisions have yet to be made, but collaboration with France could prove pivotal going forwards.
As from early November news reports, the MOD seems determined to work its way out of the Private Financing Approach. A new satellite, expected to be launched in 2021 / 2022 will extend the life of the current system and begin opening up new and up-to-date capabilities, to be further increased later on with a second. 

A review about the way forwards should be completed next year, though.

Civil servants and defence estate

A major 30% reduction is announced, bringing the total down to 41.000 by the end of this parliament.

A 30% in the built defence estate is also envisioned, releasing vast areas back to civilian use.

The impact of these two cuts is difficult to evaluate at this stage.

A final comment

Until not long ago, defence was facing an abyss: had the 2% of GDP spending target not been confirmed, the armed forces today would have been hit by a dramatically different and far less pleasing review.
Today we have reasons to be quite happy: there are several good news, some expected and others which no one dared to hope for.

But, as was expected, plenty of questions remain. It is also worth remembering that projects stretching in the very long term, such as Type 26, F-35 (beyond 2023 and the first 48 and two squadrons) and indeed the running on of C-130J are promises, not certainties. Much can change in the many years that have yet to come and pass.

What matters is that the MPA hole is finally being plugged, and with the right aircraft. The carriers will enter service and a plan is in place for the initial two squadrons for them; the need to think about amphibious assault capability for the carriers is recognized; extra OPVs will be kept (and hopefully used abroad to ease the workload of actual frigates); the vital ISTAR assets of the RAF are getting air in their lungs and the MARS Solid Support Ship is finally on the radar.
This is a huge, huge improvement. The fact that we are no longer staring at a six squadrons RAF in 2020 is also to be welcomed with enormous relief.

I’m particularly worried by the Army’s position, and I am immensely curious to learn about the impact of the “strike brigades” on the force structure and on heavy, tracked armour capability.
The new structure will also require a rethink of the force generation cycle, since the burden of readiness is now shared by two couples of brigades instead of 3 plus 3-out-of-7-to deploy-2.
Now begins a new quest for details.


  1. Far, far better than we could have hoped for Gabriele.

    ISTAR assets retained and P8 in addition, fast jet squadron numbers increased slightly, extra hercs. I'm delighted I must admit.

    Like you worried by the 2 strike brigades and how they impact the 3 heavy brigades. Really would not want to see Challenger and AS90, MLRS, Exactor artillery regiments down to 2 regiments each. Maybe 1 strike brigade with light gun and the other with AS90??

    Otherwise, questions now over 5 artillery regiments ( 3 as90, 2 Light gun ) into 4 brigades.
    Same to be said for 5 each of RE, RLC, RAMC, REME battalions and regiments.
    Could there be a deployable brigade still left in the adaptable forces 6 brigades?
    In effect we down from 7 deployable brigades ( 1,12,20 armoured, 7, 51 Infantry, 16 AA, 3cdo to 6. Really confused by this.

    I also noted 3 Watchkeeper batteries in the infographic. I understood there were 6 total, combining Watchkeeper and Desert hawk, split between reaction and adaptable 5 brigades and 16AA.

    1. For Afghanistan needs, there were 5 all-singing and all-dancing UAV batteries which all had Hermes 450, DH III and T-Hawk. New structure probably will focus some batteries on DH III and others on Watchkeeper for a more rational peacetime organisation.

      A fifth deployable brigade remains a necessity unless the Army is to lose the ability to sustain an enduring deployment abroad. Hopefully it stays. From six infantry brigades, i expect some effect.

  2. I am curious what the Hell 77 Brigade (Counter Hybrid Warfare) is to do. Last I checked hybrid warfare is the latest buzzword for describing a proxy war. So what are they going to do?

    1. I don't think they'll change much from now. The brigade picked up all the "weird pieces": media operations, Psyops, civil-military cooperation, security assistance, defence cultural unit etcetera.

  3. Notice that the graphic on the OPV states 'up to' rather than an outright number. This means they could scrap all the old vessels. It's not clear enough. I really hate it when weasel words like this are used.

  4. Thanks so much for your analysis Gabriele, I don't think it gets said enough :)
    Fingers crossed for aar for the p-8's although no mention of adding a boom capability on voyagers...

  5. Gabriele
    Good job, and thanks for analysis and thought both before and during this round of review. I personally am delighted to see the P8 being confirmed. Beyond that I feel sea blindness and the requirement to support defence industry is the driver here. The new OPV are a way to keep the yards running whilst decisions to make "Lighter" frigates is debated and design staff are gamefully employed. I fear for Albion or Bulwark as they may be required to take a hit to cover for manpower issues. I also see new equipment that is trumpeted about being rather old in the tooth when it actually gets into service en-masse.
    Needless to say, cuts I think are minimal, but the Elephant in the Room has still to be fed, and I am unsure whether it will be responsible for the demise of the Conventional force.

  6. Wouldn't a Type 26 minus sonar, a downgraded engine (just diesel no turbine) and some other equipment downgraded be a nice simple solution for a 'light frigate'?

    But that would be a logical and cheap thing to do. And procurement is never logical or cheap.

    1. Plus only carry one helicopter instead of potentially two to reduce the hangar size and have 8 Mk 41 launchers instead of 24.

      All reductions in capability that could make it smaller and have fewer crew.

  7. With the Type 26 decision, we seem to be following the example of the French Navy after their defence review last year. They have reduced the purchase of FREMM frigates to 8, which will be followed by a class of 5 light frigates from 2023.
    Similarly, the French army is converting to a twin brigade structure-2 heavy, 2 medium, 2 light -so perhaps they have a readiness rotation which might be worth studying it the British army has to abandon the new 3 year system of rotation.

  8. The two Armoured Infantry Brigades could have 2 Armoured Regiments each if the reserve Wessex Yeomanry was allowed to operate some Challengers in emergencies plus 1 Armoured Cavalry and 3 Warrior Infantry Battalions each.

    The two Striker Brigades could have 4 Cavalry Regiments (2 Armoured, 2 Light) and 3 MIV Infantry Battalions each.

    Without any change in Battalion/Regiment structure that would leave 19 regular Infantry Battalions for the six remaining Infantry Brigades.

    1. Meant to say Strike Brigades could have 2 Cavalry Regiments (1 Armoured, 1 Light) and 3 MIV Infantry Battalions each.

  9. Hi Gabriele,

    Thanks for your comments on the SDSR. As always your articles are so well done.

    Some points post SDSR I would like to ask:

    1. RN.
    As it seems there will only be 8 Type 26, and maybe some sort of corvette, numbers unknown.
    That would leave the RN with just 14 proper escorts. With in my view only 7 out at sea. Does that make the RN able to deploy just one task group?

    2. Army.
    Now to have 5 deployable brigades, and able to deploy an armoured division. (3 brigades).
    At total of 11 brigades, each having 3 battalions 33 battalions?
    How many battalions will have warrior? As the it seems the whole division can deploy (at least 3 brigades) and there is not enough warriors for 6 battalions I think only 4?
    I also note that the document that Chinooks squadrons are listed as just 3?
    I would like your view on the above, and how you think the RA, RE and RSigs will change to make this 5 deployable brigade army will work. I would assume that the strike brigades will only have the light gun, with the 2 armoured brigades having the AS90? I assume both the 2 armoured, 2 Strike and 16 AA will have artillery, engineer and signals element, and the armoured and strike brigades will have either MBT or light recce vehicles?
    I can't see the strike brigades having MBT, as they are 'fast reaction' does that mean we will be down to just 2 MBT regiments?

    3. RAF.
    Good news on the MPA and the extra Typhoons.
    Looks like the F35 will be the sole aircraft of the future with a 138 to be ordered. I guess that will make 8 or 9 operational squadrons?
    I have to raise the RAF Regiment. The Army are guarding RAF Akrotiri, From were the RAF are flying operational sorties from. The RAF Regiment are in the UK. Please can someone tell me what there role is?


    1. RN:
      The confirmed order for the first 8 type-26's will take us up to 2030 - 2035 or later, during which time the type-23s will reduce from 13 to 5. The number of "proper escorts" will remain at 19, as per their explicit goal.
      Beyond that is simply outside the scope of this SDSR.
      But since the stated goal is "to replace the remaining escorts and eventually increase their number", that would mean "at least 5" then. But it's a meaningless estimate, since it is outside the scope of this SDSR.

    2. The Royal Navy's situation, for now, does not really change. The last batch of 5 (or more) frigates is so far away in time that too many things can change on the way. They might end up being 13 Type 26, they might end up becoming fewer or more. There's no way to tell.

      The immediate change is a delay to the start of building the new frigates, and entry in service of the first kicked back towards 2025 rather than 2022. In the meanwhile, 2 new OPVs will be built, which arguably means the Royal Navy will have a minimum of five and a maximum of six (depending on the fate of HMS Clyde. That means one or two more than today).

      Chinook squadrons are correct, there are only 3. The training squadrons are not listed in the graphic, so 28(R) is not counted. That leaves 7, 27 and 18, no change from now.

      I cannot give answers about the army until we are provided with more details. I guess a new force generation cycle will be needed, based on 3 couples of brigades alternating into readiness: 2 armoured (in and out of readiness); 2 mechanized (in and out) and 2 infantry (in and out, sourced from the six adaptable force brigades left).

      I would guess that one tank regiment will convert to Ajax, to give each armoured and strike brigade a Cavalry regiment. It should be doable within the 589 vehicles on order.
      The remaining tank regiments hopefully will be larger.

      Armoured Infantry battalions could well remain 6, 3 per armoured brigade. But ABSV is needed to complement Warrior CSP if they are to work properly.

      I expect supports to keep the rule of the 5, because otherwise the army loses the ability to support enduring deployments beyond 24 months.

    3. Thanks for the reply Gabriele and Mike.
      I agree about the type 26 programme goes outside this SDSR.
      But what worries me, is that we will end up with 8 type 26 and a number of OPV's filling the gap left.
      But own view on the Armoured and strike brigades, is that will be revised to an armoured division with one of each. The vehicles for these being kept in Germany for one of each type, the rest in the UK for training. (Apart from BATUS).
      With 16 AA providing an airmobile battle group to support this division. Back to a sort of cold war scenario.
      But we will have to wait and see.
      As for most of the SDSR, I think plenty will change and many details are yet to be printed in black and white.
      What's happening to the fox hounds and mastiff's?
      I assume that the adaptable battalions and brigades will be little more than 2 or 3 under strength infantry battalions.

    4. With regards to your RN comments:

      To me, even seven fully equipped "high-end" escorts sounds like a rather ambitious number to put to sea in the event of a task force in our current state. Getting enough crews trained to do that with our sailor numbers sounds like a stretched task, especially if we intend to train crews to man both of the QE carriers. The extra 400 sailors in this SDSR helps but does not fix the problem.

      We were never going to get more than 8 ASW T-26's in the first place, and I think it was always presumed that these would be ordered in a batch prior to the remaining 5 frigates. I think there is a bit of necessary worry about the frigate numbers. Will hopefully see more Type 26's ordered with strike length VLS etc instead of a glorafied OPV labelled as a "light frigate" by government, but as others have said, that's something that will probably be decided in the next two SDSR's

  10. Thanks for(as ever) a great overview. Extra Shadows confirmed with all 8 operational.

    1. Seen and updated. I think more updates are likely in the coming days and weeks.

  11. Gaby

    A fine analysis.

    Just one point, which you might consider of minority interest. What is happening to the BAe 146s in service (I'm not quite sure whether we have CCs Mk 2s or Mk 3s or a combination of the two)? They have performed very well in deployments. Will they be kept? The information from SDSR so far has not even mentioned them.

    1. They should stay, for all we know. But detail, as you see, is scarse.

  12. Dear Gabriele

    Thanks a lot for good round-up.

    About the additional 2 OPVs, I hope they have a Wildcat-capable hanger, maybe telescopic.

    Most of the OPV tasks are performed WITHOUT a helicopter. For exmaple, the RNZN Protector class OPV did not carry any helicopter in their patrol tasking to date, to my knowledge (even they have ah hanger).

    On the other hand, some hazard management opetrations and re-supply mission, as well as a limited case for anti-smuggler operation will be beter done with a helicopter.

    Thus, total of 3 OPVs without hanger and 2 with is very reasonable balance for me.

    I hope your telescopic hanger idea be realized in these 2 OPVs (though I agree it is not hopeful).

    Donald of Tokyo

  13. Will be interested in the CS/CSS units for these "new" brigades.
    The current Armoured ones seem to have a greater RLC support element held in 101 Logistic Brigade, in 1 Close Support and 1 Theatre Support Regiment per Brigade.
    Where's the brigade coming over from the adaptable force has but 1 RLC regiment in its supports held in 102 Logistic Brigade.

    If the new Strike Brigades need but 1 RLC regiment we have 1 spare left over?
    Spread this to add to supports of 16AA perhaps?

  14. Slightly surprised that SDSR 2015 makes no mention of replacement of MCMV and Survey Ships. I guess that it is because they are not going to be replaced until after 2025. However could it be that the light frigate design could also be used to replace MCMV and Survey Ships? That could mean that some time after 2025 the RN ends up with a fleet of 5 light frigate (general purpose) + 12 light frigate (MCMV) + 2 light frigate (Survey) and maybe one or two more. Any thoughts?

    1. New ships for the MCM mission are not expected before 2028. Until then it is expected that the unmanned vehicles will be carried and deployed by modified Hunt minesweepers (as they have an "open" stern which can be more easily reconfigured than the 'built-up' stern of the Sandowns).

    2. Thanks for the information but I was speculating on what kind of ship will eventually replace the Hunts and Sandown and whether the new "type 27" light frigate would be a candidate.

    3. I would think no, definitely won't be the same kind of ship.

      And the "Light Frigate" won't be that light, by the way: apparently the talk is 5k tons. Royal Navy made clear that it won't be a "corvette" or a glorified OPV, but a capable warship despite the tradeoffs.

    4. Then they will be falling into the same trap AGAIN!!!! Surely the sensible option here would be to keep 14 high end models and then go for a low end light frigate in the 3500 - 4000 ton range that can meet the final 5 replacements, the MCM, the ocean patrol and the survey vessel replacement requirements with the same hull? There is clear potential for 14-16 hulls there.....

  15. To now answer your question MikeW, because there are lots of other things happening that are not mentioned in the SDSR. I will not list them all but in relation to CBRN, Land Command take complete control of all CBRN assets. So its goodbye to the Defence CBRN Wing and all its equipment will be taken over by the Army. The Army will also have the complete capibility lead for all services. So RAF Regiment personnel will be kicked out of all CBRN Project leads and replaced by Army personnel.

    1. In two years time, according to a comment i saw on ARRSE... quite quickly, in other words. Anything not embargoed that you can share?

  16. @Cbrn Guru

    Many thanks for your reply.

    I think that the sensible decision has been taken. It will provide cohesion in the control of CBRN assets. Furthermore, I would have thought that, post-SDSR, the RAF would have enough to be getting on with, manpower-wise!

    I would echo Gabriele's question to you. I would be particularly interested in anything new about kit but I expect that is classified at the moment, isn't it?

    Also a recent item I read suggested that CBRN assets would be held at a state of constant readiness to go, to accompany any possible deployment if necessary, but I suppose again that is not commentable on.

    Many thanks once again.


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