• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

Alternatives to Type 45 for RN

uk 75

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2006
Messages
2,317
Reaction score
954
Apart from the easy answer: build one that works properly?
The Type 45 as we know from contributions to this site had a long gestation period.
Had the NATO NF90 frigate of the1980s produced a result, the RN's share were intended to replace the T42.
After the Cold War, the RN with France and Italy plodded along with Project Horizon. Meanwhile Spain and Norway designed and built their own ships based on AEGIS.
At the end of the 90s the Horizon nations went their own way. None could afford very many of the design. France and Italy built 2 each. The RN even with a much reduced armament fit could only manage 6.
So nearly 40 years after the first sketches we have replaced T42.
Could we have done it better?
How many DDG51s could the RN have got for the money? 14?
Should the UK have built a simpler national design in the 90s,?
 

Hobbes

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 9, 2008
Messages
809
Reaction score
181
The Dutch navy built 4 LCF for E 500 M each (about half the cost of the T45). They have a comparable sensor fit, and a Mk 41 VLS for Standard and ESSM.
 

Hood

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
1,712
Reaction score
934
It had always surprised me that the Thatcher governments had never tried to get hold of AEGIS from the Reagan Administration with a similar deal to that the Japanese attained.
There would have been a strong desire to maintain GEC-Marconi's lead in radar systems (MESAR etc. was ongoing) but its surprising that an offer wasn't made or sought. Ditching Sea Dart would have been difficult, but in the end Sea Dart had to be replaced by a European programme anyway and so there would have been less practical objection to jumping to the Standard-series of missiles at that point.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,798
Reaction score
550
Could we have done it better?
How many DDG51s could the RN have got for the money? 14?
Should the UK have built a simpler national design in the 90s,?
Soon short order.
Yes.

Not unless you accept the higher personnel requirements of a DDG51, stripping other ships to achieve this.

Yes. In effect Horizon project team was moved to France and the French not only progressively muscled out other states people in the project office but started lowering Horizon requirements so French equipment would meet them. Consequently French kit started to become the defined standard, at the expense of not just other nations but at the cost of performance.

UK left (in disgust) having sought a T42 successor since the 1970's.
 
Last edited:

uk 75

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2006
Messages
2,317
Reaction score
954
I suppose the drift after 1991 is understandable. The T42s are pretty good ships and there is no enemy fleet in being to drive their replacement.
Working with France or the US is a difficult balance but the UK does seem naive in never learning that they will always play for their own side first. But there are advantages to pooling effort.
 

Volkodav

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Mar 28, 2014
Messages
228
Reaction score
142
Well there was the proposed AEGIS/SPY3/Mk41, Type 45 derivative proposed for the Australian Air Warfare Destroyer Project in the early 2000s.

Also an engineer I knew on the AWD project also showed me an early Type 45 arrangement that was basically a Horizon with Mk-8 4.5" gun forward instead of the pair of Oto 76mms.

Also there was an article I read in Naval Forces magazine in the early 90s (or late 80s) that had a sketch of a proposed 175m future DDG for the RN with large VLS fore and aft, large hangar for Merlin and notional PAR on a LO angled superstructure. Sort of looked like a stealthier, lower, anglicised Spruance, or something similar in profile to Russia's current frigates / corvettes.

Finally, a BIW bloke working on AWD, told me about options they had offered to the USN to reduce crew size, increase reliability and reduce cost of ownership on new build Burkes. From simple stuff like replacing pneumatic starting on the GT generators with electric, to hybrid electric propulsion. Lots of legacy systems on those ships, even the new build ones, that require much more maintenance than more modern options.

Almost forgot, there was a series of airwarfare Type 23 derivatives proposed. I have sketches somewhere, possibly on my old desk top PC that's in a box in the shed (I think).
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,798
Reaction score
550
I suppose the drift after 1991 is understandable. The T42s are pretty good ships and there is no enemy fleet in being to drive their replacement.
Working with France or the US is a difficult balance but the UK does seem naive in never learning that they will always play for their own side first. But there are advantages to pooling effort.
I think if anything it all went wrong when the last 4 Type 23s were not built to an improved stretched standard. As this would be the basis for yet further evolution of the design and potentially offer a cheaper quicker alternative to staying on with FUN, FUNI, FUNGI and Horizon.
Stuck as that became with the WR.21 and US designed intercooler system.

But then I think a Marine Spey successor of the same size would be a good idea.....

I might go further and suggest that the potential of GWS.27 with AESA would also offer up an alternative way forward. Though it would end up needing a new missile.
That ASRAAM could have been developed as a SAM as well much earlier than Ceptor, and that ASAM-1 (AMRAAM with a 10" motor for SAMs) coupled with Norways NSAMS effort might have offered another alternative.
But then Active Skyflash might also have helped that scenario along.

I might even go back further and point out that it's not Sea Dart itself (though it has issues) but the guidance radar that limits it as a system.
And that if we look at SAM.72 we can see the potential to develop to near Aster levels of performance.

So there were options.
 

starviking

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2006
Messages
1,018
Reaction score
97
At the end of the 90s the Horizon nations went their own way. None could afford very many of the design. France and Italy built 2 each. The RN even with a much reduced armament fit could only manage 6.
How was the Type 45’s armament fit much reduced compared to Horizon?
 

uk 75

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2006
Messages
2,317
Reaction score
954
bad phrasing, I meant compared with the French and Italian versions
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,798
Reaction score
550
On the flipside PAAMS-UK is the most potent of system fits which comes down to the performance of the Sampson AESA.
 

Purpletrouble

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Sep 16, 2019
Messages
292
Reaction score
205
they carry SSMs and point defence systems
Don’t T45 with Harpoon and Phalanx? Yes a few years but simple costs - could easily have bought more and added so the design isn’t at question, the RN would have done likewise with Horizons?

I’m not sold on Aster, ramjets seem a much better long range anti air missile basis, as with Meteor. ASRAAM as current MBDA work illustrates has a lot of US content so porting it to further compete with US (naval) products (ie ESSM) I suspect did or would be feared to run foul of the US.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,798
Reaction score
550
Thing with a ramjet is they can be unlit by cutting off sufficient airflow, unlit by sheer lack of air above operational altitudes and tend to be optimised for certain speeds.
Factor in the acceleration and light up phase and it's restrictions and it's not a clear cut business.

Ceptor as part of FLAADS is not the same as ESSM.
 

Purpletrouble

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Sep 16, 2019
Messages
292
Reaction score
205
Yet Meteor is superlative. Granted the min range isn’t an issue and has the launch KE without needing a booster.

Ramjets work to 100k ft? What are we shooting down above that?

zen I was very much thinking of your comments on another thread about how the missile needs manoeivrebility at the terminal end to counter to target yet a rocket is gliding and a ramjet is still powered - a key advantage of Meteor vs AMRAAM. Aster has pifpaf but is it still doing that all the way?

FLAADS, or rather a NASRAAM does sit in the same general ball park as ESSM, bearing in mind it is the seeker head and guidance that AIUI has most US content, and so an earlier Navalaised ASRAAM is going to hit that issue even if the details evolve to Ceptor now. I’m speculating tbh, but am well aware of how ITAR has been used, and how it deters ideas once US content is identified.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,798
Reaction score
550
Ramjets are optimised for certain conditions. So the maximum altitude is not a given.
To fully utilise the envelope, one needs variable inlets, exhaust nozzles and even different burner positions available. Plus excess capacity for acceleration.
In my own Theoretical musings I concluded that to retain ramjet burning under hard manoeuvres one might need to squirt pure oxygen into the mix to counter the pressure/oxygen drop that can occur. Milliseconds only mind.

Certainly the UK had appropriate seeker efforts going back to GWS.27 and Active Skyflash, so an earlier ARH seeker was possible.

Currently much is being made of dual pulse rockets.
And there is always hybrid motors, utilising solid fuel and liquid reactant, which certainly able to shut off and restart.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,798
Reaction score
550
Point on FLAADS this lifts out of PAAMS but is designed for open architecture. Hence why it's sensor agnostic and has been reasonably easy to integrate with Patriot.
So this is not NSAMS, or US sourced, but part of Team Complex Weapons effort.

Any sensor able to deliver target data is applicable. In theory if you can type it in fast enough giving a rough and ready guide for the system, it would still stand a reasonable chance of success.

It's also not the same as ESSM in a host of ways. Most obviously using a Cold Launch system for the missile.
A missile which is smaller, lighter and less expensive than ESSM.
And which is certainly bi-service and potentially tri-service in future iterations.

Strictly FLAADS achieves for the RN and Army the air defense they've been looking for since the 70's...if not earlier if we look back to Popsy and Mopsy.

For the RN this is closer to SAM.72, for the Army GAST.1210 and the true successor to Thunderbird, which whatever the deployments, Rapier is not.

It could be argued that with the abandonment of domestic PT.428, and the latter failure of Mauler it wasn't until Sea Wolf that either service got something it wanted.

I'm not sure ITAR issues hold ASRAAM back, the US left this effort for yet more Sidewinders, and the Germans for a domestic solution. France never joined having it's own effort in MICA.
 

Purpletrouble

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Sep 16, 2019
Messages
292
Reaction score
205
ITAR is why MBDA is doing a huge effort to produce a US content free ASRAAM as this has been a massive issue.

NASRAAM (which I made up) does compete directly against ESSM, hence my theory that US ITAR is linked to why it wasn’t navalised earlier - in answer to a comment from someone else.
 
  • Like
Reactions: zen

Purpletrouble

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Sep 16, 2019
Messages
292
Reaction score
205
Ramjets are optimised for certain conditions. So the maximum altitude is not a given.
To fully utilise the envelope, one needs variable inlets, exhaust nozzles and even different burner positions available. Plus excess capacity for acceleration.
In my own Theoretical musings I concluded that to retain ramjet burning under hard manoeuvres one might need to squirt pure oxygen into the mix to counter the pressure/oxygen drop that can occur. Milliseconds only mind.

Certainly the UK had appropriate seeker efforts going back to GWS.27 and Active Skyflash, so an earlier ARH seeker was possible.

Currently much is being made of dual pulse rockets.
And there is always hybrid motors, utilising solid fuel and liquid reactant, which certainly able to shut off and restart.
So, and this is not an area I’m knowledgeable about, how does Meteor fit in there as, AFAIK a superlative AAM? presumably various altitudes and pitched because it has power all the way and thus can manoeuvre with the target at the end.

A navalised Meteor would seem a good thing?
 

Hood

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
1,712
Reaction score
934
In my what-if RN AU over at Shipbucket I paired up a Meteor on an Aster-30 booster as an area-defence weapon.

I toyed with replacing Aster-15 and Aster-30 with CAMM-ER but not really sure how feasible that was and dropped that idea. But it made a nice pairing with my Sea Meteor (if with a big gap in the middle of the max range bracket).
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,798
Reaction score
550
So a pure rocket AMM at the sort of engagement ranges involved flies up above the target and then coasts/dives down onto it.
Every manoeuvre eats into energy, and gravity helps with recovering some of it.
While a ramjet can take a more direct course and has more energy in the terminal phase.
Depending on various factors of course.

So yes Meteor has some benefits for a medium range capability even as a SAM. But it would need more booster to get it from Zero velocity to ramjet burning speeds.
 

Purpletrouble

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Sep 16, 2019
Messages
292
Reaction score
205
So yes it needs a booster, but other than that, it seems a good basis for a Medium/Long Range SAM? At the very least the layout offers scope for something?
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,798
Reaction score
550
So yes it needs a booster, but other than that, it seems a good basis for a Medium/Long Range SAM? At the very least the layout offers scope for something?
Definitely.
But is it worth it now?
Unless this is tri-service and has export potential.....and who would buy it when you can get ESSM, Standard, Aster/PAAMS, Buk, S300, S400, S500???? And whatever Turkey, South Korea and China are producing ?
 
Top