The Brexit Defence Review - The Royal Navy First

The Brexit Defence Review - The Royal Navy First

Since the Spanish Armada, the Royal Navy has been Britain’s first line of defence and offence. Today is no different, and yet the RN  has been run down by two decades of defence cuts to within an inch of its effective life. Simultaneously, there is currently a revolution in naval affairs taking place in the expanding navies of the world that represents a significant rising threat to Britain's national security. So, the question has to be asked; is the Royal Navy ready to enable the aspirations and imperatives of a new Global Britain? Alarmingly the answer is a resounding no. Although it possesses a sound framework with many of the best in class weapon platforms, it has numerous shortfalls in many supporting aspects such as its weapons. Additionally, it is currently just too small a force to protect our nation's maritime and littoral interests by projecting power abroad that will enable Global Britain to maximise its growth. On top of all of these challenges  is an environment in which navel warfare is undergoing the biggest revolution driven by the rise of Germany since the 1900-1914 period. Today the drivers of a new arms race are a belligerent Russia and the rising Chinese aspiration and manifestation to become the next great global Sea Power.

Vital to an expansion of the Royal Navy is the development of a greater awareness of the senior service within the population as our first line of defense.This would involve more television programs and newspaper articles and most importantly in an increase of awareness within the Political class to champion its cause.

The immediate imperative is to ensure that the Royal Navy makes the most of its current ships and maximises their effectiveness and deployment. That includes the re-powering of the Type 45 destroyers and to ensure the RN has enough qualified personnel to man its ships, as well as enough spares and weapons so that it is able to deter a major conflict. In designing the future force structure, it is important to define the role of the RN  over the next decade.

  1. The defence of Britain’s island shore
  2. The control of all adjacent waters extending across the North Atlantic and down into the South Atlantic
  3. The ability to project submarine power into the Russian Nuclear bastions of the North
  4. The ability to maintain the global sea lanes
  5. The ability to project maritime landing forces

Our review will look at:

  1. Network and systems defence
  2. Maritime Air Defence
  3. Sub sea defence
  4. Offensive capabilities.
  5. Amphibious capabilities

1.0 Network and Systems Defence.

The complexity of naval warfare has increased exponentially with the integration of complex information networks to manage the full spectrum of sophisticated  sensors required to control the  battlefield space. In addition, the command and control systems required to operate and target modern missiles adds another layer of complexity. Whilst increasing the effectiveness of weapons platforms, such networks come with great dependency, such that if disabled a whole battle fleet would swiftly become both useless and vulnerable. In the cold war, the risks came from the detonation of high altitude nuclear weapons optimise to produce an electromagnetic pulse that would fry all unhardened electronics within range. However, under the unspoken code of nuclear weapons use at the time , this would have resulted in  an almost immediate nuclear response and escalation. Today however the use of chemical weapons in Syria and the UK has blurred the cold war all-out  response to the use of weapons of mass destruction, and it is possible to conceive an EMP nuclear weapon that could be used in isolation to disable a battle fleet. Thus all systems need to be hardened against EMPs and also be able to withstand the conventional enemy electronic countermeasures designed to interfere with electronic networks. This, of course, includes protection against  a cyber incursion into a fleet Command, control, and communications (C3) networks. This is a hidden battlespace of secret technology, whose only presence on warships are new ariel suits, and yet it is a critical war-winning capability.

2.0 Maritime Air Defense

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Ship

2.1 Anti Ship Missiles

The first stage of effective air defence is to not be seen at all by the enemy. Hence stealth is a critical component of defence. The USN Zumwalts are 18,000-tonne ships with the radar cross section of a small vessel even at  short range. Although RN ships have been designed with stealth in mind, they still have a long way to go to reach these levels. However Active Cancellation technology of both radar and sonar detection is a key development area.

The second stage of effective air defence is to deploy powerful  radar systems to provide early warning of an incoming attack. Today the RN benefits from its two new carriers and T45, T23 and T26 escort ships from some exceptionally capable new radars. The high-resolution Artisan 3D (Type 997) radar has a range of over 100 nm. Whilst the carrier’s and T45s  (Type 1046) S1850M long-range air search radar can detect aircraft out to 200 nm. The large size of the QEC allows the ray domes  to be mounted high above the waterline, extending the range at which sea-skimmers can be detected. This observed horizon is further enhanced by the addition of the first active line of defence in the form of the F-35B Lightning, flown from the carriers. Which carry  exceptional sensors that can be networked with other aircraft to monitor  large areas, feeding data back to the carriers and their escorts shortening respond times. A potential weakness, however, is the un-refueled combat radius of the F-35B (which without drop tanks that compromise stealth and handling) at approximately 500 nm. A further addition  to the sensor net is provided by the Searchwater radars of Crowsnest helicopters which have an approximate maximum range of 150 nm and that has the range to operate up to 450 nm away from its carriers with sorties on station lasting up to 4.5 hrs. As the range of anti-ship missiles increases, the combat radius and endurance of the  limited number of aircraft on the carrier that can be deployed against potential launch platforms become critical to ensure an effective outer sensor perimeter is maintained.

The genesis of this RN  anti-air advantage was that having fought through the Falklands war, the RN  learned the vulnerability of modern warships to sea-skimming Exocets. After significant casualties and a very narrow victory against a courageous air force of limited capability the Royal Navy, after decades of failing to recognise how vulnerable their ships were to air attack, finally  resolved to never be in such a position again. The result was the design of the world-class air defence destroyer known as the Type 45, armed with the PAAMs and SEA Viper system. These impressive ships are so capable that the USN carrier groups, already defended by their own very capable AGIS equipped destroyers and cruisers, prefer to sail into harm's way alongside a Type 45.

The recent introduction of the new sea captor to the current type 23s and future type 26s and 31s has further upgraded the RN anti-air capabilities. This missile has a much  greater and longer range than the  old point defence seawolf system and thus has introduced a secondary  area defence capability to the longer-range cover provided by the six Type 45s. Both the Sea Viper and Sea Ceptor systems are optimise to cope with saturation attacks both having active seeker heads that are updated with target information during their flight path. Both systems  are capable of shooting down current generation sea-skimming missiles. Notably, western designers have been developing more stealthy and sophisticated missiles whilst Russia and  China seek greater speed. Whichever side can combine both will have an unstoppable weapon. However, before that point is reached, the impending deployment of hypersonic sea-skimming and high altitude attack systems in development in Russia and China will push even the RNs current  air defence systems to their limits, especially when facing saturation attacks. The Russian scramjet-powered Zircon anti-ship missile under test has an estimated  speed of 6000mph (Mach 8) which will make it a tough target to stop, reducing response times by a factor of 8 over the old Exocet missiles.

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Missile

The only solution will be to extend a multi-layered defence further away from the carrier groups out to 500 nm.

  1. Outer layer 500 nm radius ; F35s (only after the in-air refueling gap is closed)  and drone battery ships (described below)  that extend the engagement range giving more time to respond as the outer layer of defence at 500Nm.
  2. Midlayer; 250 nm Type 45s  and drone battery ships (to yet be designed)
  3. Inner layer 50 nm Type ABM  45s  type 23s and 26s and drone battery ships
  4. Point defence Type 45s, 23s/26s and Carriers point defence

Of course, to achieve this the RN will need more ships and new and modified designs, which we will outline below.The other major problem is saturation attacks and  the limited number of missiles currently carried on RN ships. At present, each type 45 only carries 48 sea Viper Missiles in its vertical launch silos and Type 23 and 26s, only has a similar number of sea  Ceptors which would not last more than a few minutes if fired in rapid sequence,if facing a saturation attack. Thus RN warships have to carry much larger missile batteries which can be reloaded at sea. Thus the  missile capacity increase needs to be enlarged by a factor of five to have any chance of sustainable defence with cells that are reloadable at sea. This should be further enhanced by the concept of distributable lethality where all ships of the fleet can carry Sea Ceptor and CWIS for self-defence, but in addition, the larger support ships should carry other air and surface missiles that can be launched and controlled by escorting warships. Our proposal for stealthy drone battery ships would add to this distributed lethality, by placing them on the outer edges of defence screens where they could launch soon after a missile detection, cutting down the intercept time compared with missiles launched from the centre of a carrier group. This would allow time for a second and even a third interception in the case of evasion of the attacking missile.

Additionally, under the threat of such saturation assaults as a last resort,  it would make sense that the current 4.5-inch gun soon to be replaced by the new 5-inch gun that should have the capability to shoot down missiles at the edge of its range until the long-awaited rail guns come into service. The current inner last-ditch  layer of defence is provided by Phalanx CIWS, but again its is notable that there do not seem to be enough of them on any given ship to allow for mechanical failure during an attack from multiple targets approaching from the same quarter. The obvious answer prior to effective lasers being deployed would be to add a bigger version of The Phalanx CIWS with a larger calibre gun upgrade from the 20 mm to 40 or even 50 mm that would extend the range of engagement out from the current 20 mm systems reaching 2.2miles, where even if a missile is hit its kinetic energy could carry it on to damage the target.

These are the hard-kill options for defeating incoming missiles, but in addition, there are soft options such as floating radar decoys and electronic and cyber countermeasures, all of which need time to react and so the further out the detection range the more  probable they might be successful. A last-ditch resort is to sacrifice a less critical vessel for a more valuable one, such as was the case in the Atlantic Conyeror in the Falklands, but at a time when fleet sizes are so small such redundancy, as it was in the Atlantic Conyeors case is a loss not easily sustained.

These area denial weapons will all be controlled from space. Thus space has become the high ground of the new battlefield just as I predicted in Breaking The Code of History. Thus anti-satellite missiles will become part of the defensive/offensive armoury, which will, in turn, be countered by thousands of redundant microsatellites to ensure space networks are survivable. In time missiles will be mounted on space weapons platforms shortening reaction and travel times, and thus the militarisation of space is inevitable.Thus once as planes made ships vulnerable now space weapons do also.

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Missile

Carriers started World War Two with a ‘basic’ AA armament. With the advent of kamikaze attacks, this armament progressed to ‘bristling’ with AA guns. Today the two RN carriers have only CWIS defense, and yet they carry the long-range S1850M radar on the forward tower that equips the Type 45s, meaning they can track up to 1000 targets well over 250NM away. The super high location of this radar compared to that of those on the type 45s gives it the longest eyes in the fleet. These systems should be upgraded to the ABM version with an air defence range out to 480km. This is supported by  the powerful medium-range Artisan radar on top of the aft island, from where it can see objects as far as 200 kilometres away, or as close as 200 meters. Artisan is gradually becoming the standard ‘eyes’ of the Royal Navy’s frigates – fitted to each Type 23 warship as it undergoes a major overhaul, it can track up to 800 potential targets simultaneously (including a tennis ball travelling at Mach 3 fifteen miles away) and cut through radio ‘clutter’ generated by the equivalent of 10,000 mobile phones. This makes it ideally suited to be paired with the Sea Ceptor system and give  each carrier a powerful air defence system of its own. This is critical to the carrier's self-sufficiency after fleet attrition in combat and because simultaneously it increases the number of missiles carried in the fleet and even more so if they can be reloaded at sea from teh ship magazines. Additionally, an escort’s point defence ‘goalkeeping’ mission requires the escort to stay in close touch with the carrier and its arcs of fire may be restricted by the carrier or other ships. Lastly, there will be situations where the   frigates may need to operate at some distance away from the carrier in order to deploy towed array sonar to listen for submarines, undisturbed by the self-generated noise of the CSG.The Type 45 can also provide point defence using its shorter range Aster 15 missiles but the number of ships and available missiles is again the problem. The nations’ flagship may have upwards of 1,600 souls on board, cost at least £3 billion to construct and carry an air group potentially worth another £2 billion. Shortcuts in the protection of these expensive assets for modest savings do not seem to make sense, especially with the proliferation of ever-faster anti-ship missiles that place surface fleets at risk. Fitting a large number of Sea Ceptor cells to the QEC would not be especially difficult and this omission has everything to do with saving money and nothing to do with tactical wisdom.

2.2 Ballistic Anti-ship Missile Defence

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Ballistic missile

The current  arms races inspired by rising powers involve revolutions in military affairs  that seek to create new weapons and tactics of warfare that will overcome the Hegemonic power. In short, we are seeing the Chinese out-innovate the western powers seeking a decisive  advantage. The clearest example of which is the innovative use of land launched ballistic missiles to hit US carriers, and thus deny them access to the south China sea. The first such missile was the Dong Feng 21D anti-ship missile with a 932 mile, or 1500 km for you Americans, range (above). The arrival of this missile system immediately meant that USN strike planes with an effective combat radius of 640 nm could be hit on the decks of their carriers without retaliation. The result was carrier strike groups  had their operating zones pushed back beyond the 2 dash line.

The Chinese ballistic anti-ship weapons system is reliant on a resilient tracking and targeting system using satellites and stealthy drones that can follow a target and then direct the missiles warheads onto a moving target. Initially, the CEP (circular error Probability= radius within which 50% of warheads will land) is currently estimated to be  large, and hence it was only suitable for large targets like carriers. However, like all technology, we should soon expect the CEP  to narrow quickly to allow much smaller warships  such as Frigates to be effectively targeted and destroyed. With an estimated cost of $25 m per missile versus $5 Bn per carrier with its planes, it is easy to see many hundreds of missiles being fired simultaneously  against a single carrier to overwhelm its defences.

Now imagine the Chinese make four further advanced steps.

  1. They extend their resilient tracking and targeting to have global coverage with thousands of miniature tracking satellites with multiple redundancies.
  2. They produce many longer-range ballistic missiles as per the current trend with the next in the series the Dong Feng 26 with a 2175 mile range (3500km).
  3. They add these missiles to their larger warships to extend their coverage
  4. They reduce the CEP so that they can hit frigates and corvettes.
  5. They add hypersonic glide warheads to these missiles they will both be highly manoeuvrable and very hard to combat.
  6. In the time it is not hard to envisage ballistic missiles that are fired into space targeting a large area of ocean and from high in space, they are able to find their targets before launching their hypersonic payload independent of sensor networks.

Taking these developments into the near future, the result would be that the PLN could hit any ship in any ocean down to the size of a Corvette and no longer would a ship be safe outside a theatre of operations. Instead, it would be vulnerable in its own ports and coastal waters  thousands of miles away from the enemy. To counter this threat the  USN has modified some of its destroyers and Cruisers to carry SM3s for terminal ballistic missile interception and SM6s for a mid-course interception. In the case of hypersonic ballistic warheads, mid-course interception would be the high probability option for an interception. Even when laser weapons become available atmospheric conditions would interfere with high altitude interception, such that the only option will be to mount lasers on the fleets  F35 Bs operating at 50,000 ft as top cover with their 25 Megawatts lift fan providing the power to the laser enabling it to kill incoming warheads high up in the clear atmosphere where the laser's power is not attenuated. In time carrier groups may require a laser-equipped laser satellite to clear a path through the surveillance networks that control the enemy’s area denials systems.

However  today the Royal Navy has no such defence, a glaring vulnerability as the weapons become more numerous and capable. Especially as the Type 45s could be easily adapted to the ABM role if they had a suitable missile onboard. One is available but it requires Britain to  participate in the aster block 1 NT with France and Italy  post haste. Or for Mark 41 missile silos to be added forward so that SM3 s and SM6 s can be carried aboard. The arrival of Ballistic missiles able to hit ships at ultra-long ranges means that Britain will need many more T 45 s than it has currently, twelve more at a minimum and possibly eighteen as every warship and merchant ship will need their protection. These new ships should include a more powerful version of the S1850m passive long-range radar currently being tested that  has a greater search radius, capable of detecting ballistic missiles and has a tracking range of 2000 km for ballistic missile defence and 480 km for air defence. Whilst committing to such an order the design should be lengthened to carry up to 500 VLs, greater power generation capability for next-generation  energy weapons, enhanced surface stealth and should be  soundproofed to ASW standards as discussed below. Simultaneously the development of high-intensity lasers and rail guns for fleet defence has to to be a very high development priority.

2.3 Sub-Surface warfare.

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Submarine

In today's navel armouries, submarines are the most potent of surface ship killers, and with recent advances in stealth technology, they have become even deadlier. Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) during the cold war was a great strength of the RN, but it has been allowed to lose its edge over the past few decades. This is coincident with Russia building its submarine forces in both capability and numbers to represent a significant threat to British interests.

The best antidote to a submarine is another submarine, and Britain owns along with the America Virginia class the very best hunter Killer submarine in the form of the Astute class, which favours stealth over speed. But numbers are an issue with only seven on order and the last ships late for delivery. If we assume a maximum of 4 may be able to put to sea at once, it would be difficult to ensure there are enough submarines in the right place at the right time. Although once engaged, the submarine usually has the edge over the surface ship, the torpedoes are much shorter range than most sea-skimming missiles. The RN Spearfish has a maximum range of around 30 nautical miles and can manage only around 3-4 times the speed of a typical warship. To be effective, the submarine must detect and locate the ship, penetrate the anti-submarine screen and get relatively close to its target. In reality, there should be twelve in the Astute class to meet the increasing commitments in carrier protection (giving at least two subs per group rather than the current single sub proposed), delousing our nuclear deterrent and hunting enemy subs. In addition, the nuclear boats should once more be supplemented by a fleet of 12 relatively cheap air-independent subs who could operate closer to home to secure the continental shelve and shallow choke points.

Next in the ASW armoury is the new P-8A Poseidon replacements for the cancelled Nimrod maritime  patrol aircraft that have a powerful sub-hunting capability and will be welcomed back. They are supplemented by a fleet of highly capable maritime Merlin Mk2 ASW helicopters based around the ships of the fleet. These are able to investigate ships' sonar contacts and prosecute the target with torpedoes. Meanwhile out of the new 13 Type 26 frigates, only eight will be optimise sub hunters. This cost-cutting measure is potentially disastrous as eight hulls are just not enough when facing a resurgent Russian threat. Rather all 13 should be of the sub-hunting variation leaving the Type 31 as the general-purpose frigate. The sub-hunting Type 26 version differs from the general-purpose variant due to its sound insulation measures making it a very quiet ship hard for a sub to locate.

The Type 45 and 26 escorts all have bow-mounted sonars but detection ranges in both passive and active modes are considerably less than that of the towed array, by which time a submarine could be close enough to have achieved a firing position. Unfortunately, despite the quiet electric motors that propel the Type 45, the QEC and the supporting Tide-class RFAs, they all have noisy diesel engines and auxiliary machinery bolted directly to their hulls. Without dampening measures, this radiates noise and vibration into the water which interferes with defensive sonars and aides enemy submarines in locating the CSG. With the unit costs of the type 45s and type 26s well over £1bn, it seems crazy to leave them so exposed to noise location for the sake of a relatively small percentage saving. Retrospectively quieting this noise is a major priority for survival.

Meanwhile, although the Type 45 operates an active sonar and two ASW helicopters with anti-submarine torpedos, it does not have any shipboard stingray anti-sub torpedos. This is a glaring flaw in weather where a helicopter cannot fly, or in the case of a surprise attack? Additionally one has to ask why the type 45s do not operate their own 2087 towed array sonar to give them all around combat power. With respect to RN ships killing subs out of attack range both the type 45 and 26 should but do not,carry the American RUM-139 ASROC rocket-propelled torpedo (a stingray replacing the US Mk 46 torpedo)  launched from an Mk41 VLS with a range out to 22 Km in seconds.

The idea of anti-torpedo torpedoes (ATT), which aim to translate missile defence technology into undersea warfare is a game-changer. This is because submarines, with the exception of Russia’s Oscars that fire a barrage of sea-skimming kalibire surface attack missiles, all use torpedos to kill their targets. To counter them RN ships currently deploy decoy systems. However, the development of an anti-torpedo torpedo in the days of anti-missile technology with an auto-launch system on detection has to be a game-changer and cannot be technically too challenging. Such a new defence system would require submarines to deploy surface to surface missiles at long ranges.The Germans have been testing a system called SeaSpider and the Russians are fielding the Paket-E/NK weapon, a dual-use torpedo that can be fired against submarines and incoming torpedoes. Meanwhile, the RNs soft kill Surface Ship Torpedo Defence (SSTD) system entered into service with the Royal Navy in 2004 should be evolved with urgency into a hard kill system that directs ATTs.

Lastly, the interaction of small 1000 tonne AI-controlled submarines, linked to large manned RN subs, will make subsurface defense and attacks and more complex and lethal in capability.

 

3.0 Offensive capabilities

The USN and RN have neglected a critical component of naval warfare which is their offensive capabilities. Perhaps because control of the seas has been taken for granted and in the past three decades the navy has adapted to land support operations as opposed to sea control. This omission needs to be corrected very swiftly.

Network and Systems Defence. The ability to take down enemy networks and systems is a critical offensive capability that needs constant updating. However, it is an area shrouded in secrecy so it is hard to evaluate this capability.

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Ship

 

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Missiles Launchers  One of the key problems is the RNs is the divergence from the standardise US Mark 41 into launches for European specific missiles limiting the munitions RN ships can carry.When selecting vertical launch systems, The RN is in a complicated position. Type 45 carries the French Sylver A50 VLS silo for its Sea Viper missiles. It has the space available to retro-fit either larger Sylver 70 cells and/or add an additional 16 Mk 41 cells. The commonality of equipment is always desirable and more economical so this creates a dilemma about whether to invest further in the Sylver system and its more limited munitions options or invest in the ubiquitous American Mk 41 to give these powerful ships an all-around combat capability. The Mk 41 has been continually developed and is the primary weapons system for the majority of the US navy’s surface fleet. It is in use by 13 navies with over 12,000 cells fitted to ships worldwide. The largest ‘strike-length’ cells allow warships to carry a diverse range of missiles and its addition to the Type 26 appears to open up many exciting options for the armament of the new frigate. Indeed as the Sea Ceptor can be quad packed into MK41 Launch cell the question has to be asked as to why the Sea Ceptors have been loaded into their own single cells when they could have been quad loaded into Mark 41 cells with all the flexibility that provides.? Similarly, if the Sea Viper missiles could be loaded into mark 41 cells it would make sense to do so and refit only one cell system into the T45s.

Short-range Anti Ship Missiles The RNs ability to strike small and fast enemy ships is now very good with the sea venom helicopter launched missile, just as that threat seems to be a very secondary one.

Long-range Anti Ship Missiles The RN s ability to strike enemy ships at long range has been neglected because the currently deployed Harpoon is completely out ranged by Russian and Chinese missiles. Making our ships extremely venerable. The only solution is the swift  development and deployment of a new vertical launched heavyweight long-range anti-ship missile before the Anglo-French Perseus hypersonic Missile arrives in a decade's time. The most capable off  the shelf system immediately available is the Swedish built Saab RBS15 Mk3, which is subsonic but highly stealthy and hard to defeat with a 160 nm range.The other lesser option is the Norwegian Naval Strike Missile with a 100 nm range and a small 125Kg warhead. At 410 lbs total weight it is the smallest of the options by some margin. Although more accurate, it has about half the hitting power of the Harpoon it might replace. It has been in service since 2012 and successfully exported to several navies, notably bought by the USN for its Littoral Combat Ships. Anti Submarine Missiles and Torpedos. All T45, 26 s, and 31s should carry torpedos and in time ATT s. In addition to the mark 41 launches, they should all call ASROC anti-submarine Missiles to extend engagement ranges.

F35B launched Anti-ship  Missiles The failure to deploy a long-range anti-ship missile also extends to the F35B and the need to restore an important capability the RN lost with the demise of the Sea Harrier and the Sea Eagle missile combination. There are various candidates but as yet none has been fully integrated or tested with the F-35. There is an air-launched version of the Norwegian Naval Strike Missile which is being designed to fit in the internal bays of an F-35A or F35C, but unfortunately, it will not fit into the slightly smaller F35-B weapon bay. Larger munitions can be still be carried on external pylons at the expense of aircraft stealth, which is perhaps less critical if launching a long way from the target. This failure needs almost immediate rectification if the RN is to be able to protect itself and control the seas its sails upon. The range of the RN s F35B s needs to be extended beyond 500 nm with the urgent introduction of in-air refuelling. The US is working on a drone called stingray to solve this issue, however, it is catapult launched which is a solution currently not available on the RN Carriers. Meanwhile, Britain should consider the use of long-range super stealthy aircraft like B2 or a future drone version to act in the role  of long-range maritime force projection armed with air-launched long range hypersonic anti-ship missiles.

Anti-ship Ballistic Missile The Chinese have designed a completely new war of controlling the seas by threatening ships  with long-range ballistic missile attacks. In time these weapons will control the seas. The question has to be asked will Britain also develop such a capability to keep up with the threats? Included in this future capability will be the ability to bring down the enemy's observation and guidance  satellites over an RN fleet.

4.0 Amphibious capabilities

The RN has managed to maintain a reasonable sized amphibious capability that represents an important strike capability. However, the introduction of long-range area denial weapons and increased anti-ship capabilities and ranges  means that establishing a bridgehead in a contested environment needs a new development of delivery craft such as V22 s and a new class of fast stealthy medium-sized fast landing hovercraft craft with ranges in excess of 300 nm. The US marine corps have a similar problem and as such cooperation would seem the most cost-effective route. This might include the development of the first fully stealth carrier group, as  the need for smaller stealthy littoral carriers in high-risk areas to support landing zones to counter the ever-increasing range of surface to surface anti-ship missiles.

5.0 Summary of General points on RN Development.

The Royal Navy urgently needs money and development to be effective in the next decade as the likelihood of a new global conflict increases significantly.In addition to my summary points in A NEW MODEL FOR BRITAIN'S DEFENCE FORCES

  1. Ensure the current fleet is fully operative and effectively manned.
  2. Stealth technology should be applied to all ships of the fleet; acoustic visual and electronic stealth measures.
  3. Build 12-18 upgraded ABM capable Type 45 s equipped with an anti-ballistic missile version of the Sea viper or SM-6 missiles
  4. Build a new class of medium-sized stealthy drone battery ships to operate on the outer layers of the fleet’s defence
  5. Enact policy of distributed lethality through all fleet and auxiliary ships.
  6. Build a more powerful CWIS, and increase the number on each ship.
  7. Deploy laser and rails gun technologies asap
  8. Need to deploy and  in-air refuelling capability to extend teh range of the F35 B
  9. Give the Carriers their own air defence capability, either Aster 15 or Sea Ceptor and upgrades to ABM defence asap.
  10. Deploy Sea Ceptor in quad packed Mk41 launchers in the type 26 s and 31 s
  11. Modify the Sylvester launcher to Compatibility with  Mk41 launchers.
  12. Develop long-range surface to surface and air to surface missiles
  13. Deploy anti-sub RUM-139 ASROC rocket-propelled torpedo (a stingray replacing the US Mk 46 torpedo
  14. Build 5 more astute subs
  15. Build 12 air-independent subs/and or-
  16. Build a class of 1000 tonne drone subs to supplement operations.
  17. Deploy an effective anti-torpedo system fleet-wide.

 

 

Further Reading

How 'death ray' laser weapons could lead to a new era in warfare

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The shopping list make sense but what is the cost .Given the fact that th UK is a 'Welfare State' rather than a 'Warfare State' quite a lot will not get past the check-out unless there are savings elsewhere. Perhaps it is now time to push the Navy at the expense of the Army. The Airforce is difficult but given that UK is an island the Navy and Air Force makes sense. Let's see what the next papers bring.