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#21 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 1158 AM

I think so, they are kind of regarded as swing role. In WW1 they were even putting US Coast guard cutters under navy control as 'USS'.My Great uncle was killed on one.

https://en.wikipedia...SS_Tampa_(1912)


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 16 September 2017 - 1158 AM.


#22 Yama

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 1429 PM

Is it too late to dust off the old Oliver Hazard Perry blueprints?

 

OHP was tailor-designed around weapons and sensor systems employed by the ship. It was very efficient design, but ill suited for updates.



#23 Chris Werb

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 1819 PM

Stuart, I'm guessing that the reasons we don't buy nuclear submarines from abroad are as follows:

 

1. It's not entirely clear anyone would sell us nuclear powered vessels. However, we are utterly dependent on US made and serviced missiles for our SSBNs and SSNs.

 

2. NW England is an economically depressed area, and BAe systems leaving would not help the economy there.

 

3. National prestige.

 

Any future war is going to be a come as you are affair - I just don't see our fighting some kind of protracted conventional war at sea with anyone else, so we don't need the capacity to churn out more warships on demand (it would need to be a very long war indeed for any orders placed at the outset to be fulfilled during hostilities). If we don't think it necessary to have an indigenous production capacity for things as basic as rifles, pistols and hand grenades, I find it difficult to make an argument for building warships here. Likewise, if our shipyards are uneconomic, why should they be subsidised over any other industry?



#24 Chris Werb

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 1827 PM

Not to derail the thread completely, but we came within a hair's breadth of adopting the FAL over the M14. IIRC, .

 

Some relatively recent examples of non-NIH in US military procurement.

 

M9 handgun

M320 handgun

H&K USP

H&K MP5

Mk 16 rifle

Mk 17 rifle

M320 40mm UGL

M27 SAW

M249 LMG

M240GPMG

M252 81mm mortar

M120/121 120mm mortar

M119 105mm howitzer

M777 155mm howitzer

Ribbon Bridge

Short Sherpa transport aircraft

HH-65 rescue helicopter

UH-?? Lakota helicopter

Hurricane class patrol vessel

57mm Bofors naval gun

76mm Oto Melera naval gun



#25 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 0327 AM

Stuart, I'm guessing that the reasons we don't buy nuclear submarines from abroad are as follows:

 

1. It's not entirely clear anyone would sell us nuclear powered vessels. However, we are utterly dependent on US made and serviced missiles for our SSBNs and SSNs.

 

2. NW England is an economically depressed area, and BAe systems leaving would not help the economy there.

 

3. National prestige.

 

Any future war is going to be a come as you are affair - I just don't see our fighting some kind of protracted conventional war at sea with anyone else, so we don't need the capacity to churn out more warships on demand (it would need to be a very long war indeed for any orders placed at the outset to be fulfilled during hostilities). If we don't think it necessary to have an indigenous production capacity for things as basic as rifles, pistols and hand grenades, I find it difficult to make an argument for building warships here. Likewise, if our shipyards are uneconomic, why should they be subsidised over any other industry?

1 Well we get Trident from abroad. We get very considerable help (including help in testing, and from what ive read, design assistance for WE177) in nuclear weapons. About the only part of the chain we arguably do things ourselves is in boats, and its the one thing anyone else would sell us. If we couldnt buy an SSBN, we would as like be completely capable of building a close cycle engined boat. Which would not be ideal, but it would work.

2 Yep. And for myself, im not seeing this as a bad thing. After all, London gets all the economic subsidy it wants via investment in transport and IT. Yet somehow ideologically it becomes unacceptable when its done outside the M25, im not sure why.

3 Again yes. And I cannot see this as a bad thing.

 

There is a 4.

 

4. We have recently been though a very divisive independence campaign by Scotland. The ideal that Britain as a whole does not work for Scotland any-more was spread ad nauseum by the SNP. We have one last military shipyard on the Clyde. Its a comparatively easy effort to take the wind out of the SNP's sails by generating orders the yard can fulfill. So if it costs a bit more, so what? If its one more nail that binds Scotland to the UK, then its surely has to be worth doing.

 

If our shipyards are uneconomic, its simply because they have not been invested in. Since the 1950s as far as civilian yards are concerned. For example, my father was astonished to learn the Russians were building their ships in construction hangars as long as the 1890's, whereas we belatedly only discovered it in the 1980s. The reason why they have not been invested in is because they are judged not worth investing in. Its a self fulfilling argument that never seems  to apply other industries in this country, like financial services. And yet shipyards and the associated industries employed far more people in their heyday.

 

As far as conflict length, we have talked this over before. The problem is, before WW1 we thought it would not be a protracted affair. Before WW2 we thought it would not be a protracted affair. During the cold war we assumed it would all be over in a week (and we stored ammunition based on that perception) when the Soviets quite clearly envisaged it could be a protracted affair. I was reading last night a CIA report dated 1978 where the soviets conceded they might have to close the sea lanes in a protracted war, something that the 1981 defence review viewed as unlikely in the extreme. We have in the west become addicted to the idea of the short war being the norm, when you look back even into recent history, its really not true. Even the Falklands campaign lasted several months, far longer than the Governments perception that we could sail down there and finish the war inside 2 weeks. :D

Yes, I cannot see a struggle against Russia, should it come, taking that long. And yet, we do have friends in Asia, and China is clearly on the rise. In those circumstances it strikes me as a pretty good idea, in an uncertain future, to actually retain capablities for ourselves. If Asia suddenly had a run on shipbuilding, who would we get to build our warships? Everyone else would be in something of the same boat.

 

 

There are all sorts of good reasons why maintaining an indigenous capablity is a good idea, it makes sense whether you are a socialist, a jingoist, a militarist or frankly think displaying that the country is open for business by sailing a state of the art aircraft carrier into a friends port. We used to understand these reasons, and we forgot them though an addiction to pure monetarism as an ideology. Whether you think Brexit is a good idea or not, it quite clearly means doing things ourselves, and going to asia to buy our military capabilities off the peg doesn't strike me as a good starting point.

.Look, I dont expect to get any converts to this way of thinking, I really dont.  Its very old fashioned thinking.  I need not point out that some of the new thinking over the past 2 decades has been found wanting, so clearly this wants a reappraisal. Some things are worth more than just the money you save, isnt that somewhat self evident looking at how de-industrialised the nation now is?


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 17 September 2017 - 0530 AM.


#26 Chris Werb

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 0712 AM

Stuart, I think we can agree to differ :)



#27 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 0739 AM

Absolutely. Its not an opinion I expect anyone will share, short of some dead Victorians. :)



#28 Dawes

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 0921 AM

I believe US and UK Trident subs share (or will share) a "Common Missile Compartment" and probably some supporting equipment/systems. Are the missiles themselves identical?



#29 Chris Werb

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 0953 AM

Except for the warhead and (presumably) the warhead bus, yes. They're actually drawn from a common pool of missiles maintained in the US.



#30 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 1024 AM

The missile compartment ive read is identical to the US one, except the UK one will be shorter. I think we are coming down to 12 missiles from 16 IIRC, and of course the Americans tend to have rather more.  The fittings are apparently identical, and we are for once taking the lead for the Americans on the design implementation work.

 

I think a shorter boat might just make the boats harder to detect. Both from the air via wake detection from radar (which seems to be surprisingly possible in some weather conditions), and various systems such as the Soviets used for wake detection fitted on submarines, which seemed to be quite successful. Whether its worth the loss of missiles Ill let other judge. I seem to recall we had not filled the Trident bus with warheads, due to desire to not exceed the amount of warheads Polaris carried, im not sure if there is any spare capacity there for us to use or not. As far as the missiles, they all seem to come from a common pool. The only real difference seems to be the warheads we put in the bus and how many.

 

There is some good coverage over the Trident programme, and the design work for Resolution, Vanguard and Dreadnought class submarines in this if you are interested. Also some surprising information on the British Atomic weapons as they now stand. Not a lot, just surprising they mentioned anything about it at all. :)

https://www.amazon.c...the silent deep


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 17 September 2017 - 1026 AM.


#31 Dawes

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 1204 PM

Supposedly, the US/UK Common Missile Compartment features a "quad pack" arrangement. Not sure how that is supposed to work.



#32 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 1237 PM

Not sure. If I hear any more about it Ill post it up.

 

In related news,

http://www.express.c...f-war-falklands

 

UK military that of a 'THIRD WORLD nation' despite spending billions, says ex-navy chief THE GOVERNMENT needs to urgently overhaul armed forces spending because our “fantastic men and women” have been left with the military capability of a “Third World nation”, a decorated former Royal Navy chief declared.

 

Admiral Sir George Zambellas, who retired in April 2016, believes money desperately needs to be pumped into the military because - the navy especially - has been “hollowed out”.

He said: “You have a choice now. You either put more money in or you stop doing serious things and disappear into a Third World nation, security-wise, even though we are spending billions on defence.

“There is a suggestion that there are lots more efficiencies to be made. There are not.

“I have been helping deliver efficiencies for my 37 years in the navy. We have reached the bottom of the efficiency barrel and we all know that because the navy is so hollowed out.

 

 

And here is the bit that made me laugh.

 

A senior MoD source responded to the accusations and said that “many of the challenges the navy faces today can be traced back to the decisions of the first sea lord”.

They added: “His criticisms come from someone who lives in a glasshouse.

The Admiral also criticised the nuclear submarine fleet and pointed out that such a small fleet could leave the country lacking firepower.

He said: “You tell me whether you think that one or two working submarines is a good answer. I don’t and I used to run the navy.”

 

 

So basically he runs the navy as best he can on an inadequate budget, and they blame him for the problem? How completely British. :)



#33 Dawes

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 1343 PM

Did the UK ever look into designing their own home-grown SLBM? Obviously it would have been a serious financial burden, but it seems that the design talent was there.



#34 shep854

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 1611 PM

Absolutely. Its not an opinion I expect anyone will share, short of some dead Victorians. :)

OR...we could add a 51st star...



#35 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 0211 AM

If I keeps our shipyards open and people in work, im all for it. No, seriously I am.  The older I get, the more self evident it is there is (or certainly used to be) an Anglosphere. The political left never seem to get this, and the political right dont get that its not an exercise in free riding, its a need to play a part.

 

Ok, ill leave the politics in the FFZ, but I honestly think that. Whether its actually politically achievable is another matter.

 

 

Did the UK ever look into designing their own home-grown SLBM? Obviously it would have been a serious financial burden, but it seems that the design talent was there.

We put most of our resources into two projects, Skybolt, which as you know was the an air launched IRBM we could hang on our V bombers, and Blue Streak. Blue Streak turned out to be a dud because being liquid fuelled, it took ages to prepare to launch. We developed a silo project to mount it in which was still reckoned (us being so close to the Russians comparatively) to be ineffective, though the Americans bought the plans and used them as part of their Titan project. Blue Streak as we know was sold to the French as a satellite launching system, which they developed a little further and called 'Ariane'.

 

When Skybolt fell over, Britain had a problem. It could either develop Skybolt on its own, which the US Government promised to assist in. It could build a Blue Steel Mk2 (which had been cancelled to buy Skybolt). Or it could carry on with Blue steel, which was already proving a bit of a nightmare to keep in service. There was really no opportunity to develop a SLBM on our own, and have it in service by the late 1960's when Skybolt and the associated V bomber fleet would find it increasingly difficult to penetrate Soviet air defences. The ideal solution would have been Blue Streak, already canned. So the only alternative was to buy a missile off the shelf. To cut a long story short, there seemed to be much lobbying by the navy to get Polaris, particularly by Mountbatten. Partly because it was the gold plated solution, partly because it would cement ties with the US, mainly I suspect because they realised it would make the Navy the most important service again. And it did, albeit at a great cost, even with the incredibly favourable terms we were getting it from Kennedy.

 

 

Bear in mind it took the french from 1963, when they ordered redoutable, to 1971 to get a SLBM in the water. We probably could have done it, if we could have afforded it, and if we didnt mind waiting several years between the obsolescence of the V force and a SLBM replacement.

 

So the sort answer is, no, not that I know of. I dont believe its mentioned in Silent Deep. If the thought ever arose, it was stopped dead by the Polaris offer. We did however experiment with encapsulated weapons launched by Torpedo Tube. We were experimenting with the idea as early as the mid60s, so if Harpoon hadnt come along, maybe we would ahve built something like that ourselves. Knowing the Treasury, probably not.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 18 September 2017 - 0212 AM.


#36 Chris Werb

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 1741 PM

I'm not sure how Blue Streak would have been a solution, let alone an ideal one.



#37 Adam_S

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 1844 PM

Here's one for Stuart.

 

The Blue Streak ended up being used as the first stage for the Europa rocket which was a sort of predecessor to the Ariane. The British pulled out and the Ariane ended up being built with French engines instead.



#38 James1978

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 2142 PM

Supposedly, the US/UK Common Missile Compartment features a "quad pack" arrangement. Not sure how that is supposed to work.

Hull modules. I believe that each missile compartment module will have four missile tubes. The USN boats will use four modules, while the RN boats will use three modules.



#39 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 0201 AM

I'm not sure how Blue Streak would have been a solution, let alone an ideal one.

 

Ideal solution from the few options that were left. If nothing else, it was a damn sight better then Blue Steel which took a half hour to fuel whilst the aircraft and missile were sat on a ramp. At least Blue Streak had an associated silo system, which from the inaccuracy of the first generation Soviet IRBM's would have created a degree of survivability. Pretty bad news for the rest of the home counties of course, but then that was a risk they were already running from the V force dispersal scheme.

 

 

Im not sure how viable it would have been to adapt to a SLBM if we went to drastic extremes like the Soviets did with the Hotels and Golfs. As a temporary lashup it might have worked if they went in for surface launching. Or for that matter, use a surface ship to launch it from, like the Italians were going to do with Polaris with the Giuseppe Garibaldi.

 

Ill be honest, Ive little idea of what they would have chosen in the 1960s. I did buy a Parliamentary inquiry into nuclear options to replace Polaris, and the MOD looked at everything from ALCM to equip the remaining Vulcans, or even as an alternative to SLBM, a very Gerry Anderstonese seabed crawler that could drive about the deep and launch its missiles from the shallows. At no point did it look as if we had an alternative to Trident however. We had already made something of an acceptance of it when we asked Jimmy Carter about it in 1978, which he accepted. From that point on the only choice really was in what verison of Trident we wanted. And I suspect that was also true of the 1960s, we already had our heart set on Polaris, and didnt really have an realistic alternatives lined up. Thank God for Supermac is all im going to say about that. That unimpressive man turned out to be one of the finest and shrewdest negotiators we ever had.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 19 September 2017 - 0204 AM.


#40 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 0211 AM

Here's one for Stuart.

 

The Blue Streak ended up being used as the first stage for the Europa rocket which was a sort of predecessor to the Ariane. The British pulled out and the Ariane ended up being built with French engines instead.

 

The story I heard is we sold the project over to the French lock stock and barrel, but ive no idea of the accuracy of that. The French were clearly up to building a first stage themselves.  I do know we pulled the plug because we needed to free up funds to complete Concorde.

 

As it happens, there is still a satellite up there that we managed to build and launch ourselves, so the project was a success, albeit somewhat under exploited.

https://en.wikipedia...ero_(satellite)






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