Equip ALL Type 23 frigates with towed array sonars, and invent a new ASW helicopter

boulton
22nd October 2007, 16:35
Elsewhere on the www - amongst the "e-Petions" to Number 10 Downing Street, within the "International Affairs and Defence" section, is one that should be of interest and is crying out for your support:

"Equip ALL Type 23 frigates with towed array sonars, and invent a new ASW helicopter version"

benjidog
22nd October 2007, 20:25
Hi Boulton,

I would consider adding my name to this petition if I understood the background to this and how the equipment you mention would help.

I am sure that I am not alone in not understanding this request.

Regards,

Brian

boulton
22nd October 2007, 21:34
All the petitioners have the ability to explain the reasoning behind their petition. If I remember correctly, the chap who started this petition, states what I understand to be the case. As originally intended, the Type 23s were described as no more than tugs intended to tow the(ir) towed-array sonar in the North Atlantic, working in groups of four, each group supported by one of the new RFA Fort-class. It was the RFA that was originally intended to service the helicopters, and even provide the anti-aircraft defence for the whole group with its vertical launched SeaWolf. However, with the "outbreak of peace", and collapse of the Warsaw pact/Soviet Navy, the RN plans also changed. Only two of the new RFA Fort-class were built (one of which is now to be moth-balled), and the Type 23s have been deployed with some enhancements (their own SeaWolf, their own hanger/helicopter servicing facility, and Harpoon anti-ship missiles), but without the towed-array sonar for which they were orignally built. "Hap'ath of Tar" springs to mind, and seems appropriate.

Peter4447
22nd October 2007, 22:17
Without wishing to create waves over this, it is interesting to note that 3 of the frigates have already been earmarked for sale.

The class were intended initially to operate either the Lynx or the Merlin helicopters. They would, however, only have been able to refuel and rearm these, with the servicing being carried out on the Fort Class RFA's. As only 2 of these have been built, adding helicopters now would give the Frigates only a limited ASW capability.

Sadly, and although I am sure it is made with the very best intentions, I think this is one petition that the Government/MOD will quickly be able to ignore.

Peter4447(Thumb)

boulton
23rd October 2007, 11:40
Three Type 23s have already been disposed of - HMS Norfolk F230 (launched 1987), HMS Marlborough F233 (1989), and the somewhat younger HMS Grafton F80 (1994). Grafton had however run aground in Norway - and was to be found at the back of the “used car lot”. All three have gone to Chile.

I am unaware of any others being ear-marked for disposal.

With only thirteen Type 23s frigates left in service, it is all the more important to fully utilise and exploit the platforms that we have. It has come to the point where not being content with running down the number of serving ships, this Government is intent on emasculating those that remain at sea.

Last night on the BBC (Monday 22OCT07), a very young Russian pilot, said the RAF should be pleased the Russians could again afford to send their “Bear” aircraft to penetrate our UK air-space - as it would give the RAF pilots something to do.

How on earth (sorry, at sea), do we know how many submarines our “friend” President Putin has sent to stalk the North Atlantic, if we don’t go looking for the damn things.

Within the four “categories” in which I am interested, the e-Petitions to No 10, with the most signatures (DTG: 1130hrs 23OCT07), are,

Business and Industry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33,104 signatures
Economics and Finance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64,448 signatures
Government, Politics and Public Administration. . 34,022 signatures
International Affairs and Defence . . . . . . . . . . 22,359 signatures

It is suggested that if even a small proportion of the 16,787 SN membership sign-up and add their names to this e-Petition, the Government will be unable to ignore this petition on its radar.

We do not know if this cynical Government pays any attention at all to the e-Petitions. I do suspect that they are intended simply as a palliative, simply to placate the irate electorate into thinking they have done something, and that something might actually happen.

However, we can be certain that if we do nothing, then nothing will happen.

HarbourCam
2nd November 2007, 20:12
Boulton, you are correct in saying that Grafton ran aground but the real reason she was sold off is far more interesting than that. She was fully repaired after the little bump, most of the impact was taken by the sonar.

For some reason she always had a far more advanced stage of corrosion underwater than her sister ships. Many of her sea tubes has to be replaced and many heads were scratched in working out why. I have been told (by a reliable source, and yes I am a serving RN engineer) that her cathodic protection had been fitted incorrectly in the fact that the wiring was crossed over so the hull became one very large active anode rather than a cathode!

twogrumpy
2nd November 2007, 21:26
Interesting about the cathodic protection, think this missconnection has been done a number of times.
My log readings on the CP shot up one time, query came back from HQ as to the reason. Put in my report that I suspected that the high readings were caused by slight grounding up the Red Sea while taking avoiding action.
Now while this was common knowledge on board, the navigators had not taken the time to inform HQ..............the poo hit the fan & guess who was not the most popular person on board with the drivers.
twogrumpy
twogrumpy

Sarky Cut
4th November 2007, 11:42
Honesty is not always the best policy in these cases.

On a more serious side, the naval incident.

(a) Why was this not spotted in tests that are carried out regularly.

(b) In my experience the CP engineers that I have worked with on regular drydockings have always been of the highest calibre.

(c) When the Dart Canada/ Canadian Explorer was (winterised) it also had CP back fitted and the reading were taken regularly, after a while it was possible to calculate the position of the vessel by the reference value. If it was nearing the Gulf of St Lawrence the readings would go down as the water turned more brackish. Also there were points approaching the western contenental shelf where the upwellings caused the value to rise as the saltier water rose to the surface.
Considering the battering this ship took from the ice and spray the corrosion was minimal for the years she was put though this hard work. The paint system that was used in way of the ice belt stood up well to the hammering.

The same effect could be seen on the less metered tankers as they rounded the Cape. Leaving the Agulas Current the reading would go hay wire for a while as the mixing of waters threw the control system out of its limits as one part of the ship could be in different salinity to the other.

There was also a free standing portable meter that could be used to take readings about the ship where one conductor was held in the water close to the hull and the current could be measured. With all these checks carried out on a merchant man how is it on a naval vessel this was not picked up?

Even Cross Channel Ferries have logs taken daily of these readings. I know I was that person. The CP companies were there in a flash if the readings went out of range.

I would suspect that the earth strap/brush on the propshaft was not connected or missing allogether. A common fault on all the ships I have been on leaving refit yards.

I would suspect that the grade of the steel was different in this frigate and perhaps it was a "Friday Model".

HarbourCam
4th November 2007, 17:28
Sarky Cut, thanks for your comprehensive reply. I cannot give you any definite answers as I never served on board her and was meerly informed of the incident.

I do know that it is possible to connect the anodes the wrong way round. This would have an effect of increasing the potential around that anode more positive and therefore cause increased corrosion. On most of our systems we have two reference electrodes (one either side) that provide a means of testing and regulating the currents fed to the anodes. It might have been the case that only one or a pair of anodes were incorrectly wired and the others worked correctly. If this was done before setting the system to work the difference in potential may have been put down to the hull its self and not bad installation.

Weren't all the Type 23's "Friday Models"? The budget and design would say so! :)

Sarky Cut
4th November 2007, 18:03
If indeed the connections were made with wrong potential then standards have slipped in the RN since I was an apprentice in a Royal Dockyard.

I will agree that these things could have happened but I can not understand that it was never picked up. To the best of my recollection of these matters there was only one connection to the anode and one in the panel.

I would suspect that the wrong value of sacrificial anodes was fitted on the vessel.

I am not telling tales out of school but I was on a tanker in a well known company when I asked an innocent question about was it new policy to coat the Condensor Anodes with epoxcy to protect them from salt water.. The response was such to think that I had stolen the Crown Jewels.

These were the days when the crew held palm fronds over supers and the C.E. was a god.

I was also on an Italian built tanker where after much effort and sweat the entire sootblower system would work automatically from switch on automatic drain to final blow of economisers. This worked successfully much to the joy of the watchkeeping engineers until the 2/E was changed.

The boilers being a bit sooty for him and being a highly thought of high flyer decided instead of the usual brushing down and sweeping up the dust decided to follow the example of the drivers and wash it down with a fire hose.

Needless to say he was not the most popular "engineer" for the next six months, Pyrotenax was in short supply on the ship as were the seals and anything to do with the control system.

When the above can happen on a well run tanker with a hightly skilled and trained crew nothing ever surprised me at sea.

boulton
10th November 2007, 11:57
Elsewhere on the www - amongst the "e-Petions" to Number 10 Downing Street, within the "International Affairs and Defence" section, is one that should be of interest and is crying out for your support:

"Equip ALL Type 23 frigates with towed array sonars, and invent a new ASW helicopter version"

Just realised now to make it easier for others to contribute!!

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/sonars/

As I subsequently mentioned after posting the original above,

"We do not know if this cynical Government pays any attention at all to the e-Petitions. I do suspect that they are intended simply as a palliative, simply to placate the irate electorate into thinking they have done something, and that something might actually happen.

However, we can be certain that if we do nothing, then nothing will happen".

Them as "govern" get paid more than any of us. Make them work for it!!

blobbybluey
10th November 2007, 12:35
why not save money ,and scrap them all is it r.n job to go chasing around the carribean doing the u.s.a dirty buisness , no m.n anymore why have an r.n simple .

boulton
10th November 2007, 14:27
Why not save money, and scrap them all? Is it the RN’s job to go chasing around the Caribbean doing the USA’s dirty business? No MN anymore! Why have an RN? Simple .


Blobbybluey, unfortunately life is not simple. That is what keeps so many of us engaged on this www-site, and so many “talking heads” producing hot air on the TV and in Parliament.

We have responsibilities to our dependencies in the Caribbean. Fact. Not negotiable. (Not here anyway). A great deal of the drugs that transit the Caribbean end up in the UK. Fact. Whilst we have a RN ship in the area, it would be a dereliction of our responsibilities, and irresponsible non-utilisation of our capabilities, if we did not try to apprehend the drug runners. It is damn good training anyway, detecting, identifying, and intercepting the “go fast” boats and light aircraft - acquiring skills that can be usefully employed elsewhere. If we can engage the USA (and any other governments) in the task, we should be grateful.

I will be the first to suggest that a frigate/destroyer, with or without sonar, is not necessarily the most appropriate ship to be patrolling the Caribbean - certainly not HMS Ocean! But, that is the subject of another thread that is gestating in my head, and which I have yet to post.

The UK may no longer have a merchant navy. (The reason for that is not the subject of this thread). However, whilst 90% of our trade is moved by sea, we should accept some responsibility for the sea lanes; and the goods in transit, whilst they use those sea lanes.

The purpose of this thread is to encourage the Government to fully utilise the remaining ships that comprise our Royal Navy. With so few ships, platforms, now at sea they should be fully capable of meeting any challenge - and not be emasculated as seems to be the intention of the government.

As originally conceived, the Type 23s were intended to patrol the North Atlantic in groups of four - supported by one of their RFA “mother ships”. (Fort Victoria A387, or Fort George A388).

As subsequently built, the Type 23s are capable of independent deployment anywhere in the world. Equipped with sonar, they would be able to acquire now, the skills we will all expect them to utilise if/when the world becomes less certain - than some complacent individuals would have us believe it actually is.

blobbybluey
10th November 2007, 23:32
simple answer again i wasnt aware we still had dependants in the carribean,surely you dont mean the commonwealth ,as for stopping drugs coming into this country,for the cost of a frigate and crew ,we could employ several thousand more customs men to flood the aiports,and ports of the country which at the moment only stop abot 2% of all drugs coming in the country. we dont need to control the sea lanes around our coast our american cousins can do that ,the only reason for a navy would be a return to empire building gunboat diplomacy days surely you dont mean that?

boulton
11th November 2007, 17:20
simple answer again i wasnt aware we still had dependants in the carribean,surely you dont mean the commonwealth ,as for stopping drugs coming into this country,for the cost of a frigate and crew ,we could employ several thousand more customs men to flood the aiports,and ports of the country which at the moment only stop abot 2% of all drugs coming in the country. we dont need to control the sea lanes around our coast our american cousins can do that ,the only reason for a navy would be a return to empire building gunboat diplomacy days surely you dont mean that?

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.

Peter4447
11th November 2007, 20:16
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.

Andrew

You began this thread to discuss the RN's Type 23 Frigates and it has become the subject of several very interesting and informative posts. It moved, however, slightly off-thread when you raised the issue of drug running, an emotive subject which should concern each and everyone of us.

Blobbybluey has expressed his views over this with great clarity and although they clearly run counter to your own views, he is fully entitled to state his beliefs on an open forum.

In view of this perhaps you would like to reconsider your last posting of 'Yeah, Yeah, Yeah' and grant him the courtesy of a proper reply to the question he has posed about increasing the number of HM Customs Officers at the expense of fewer RN warships.

Thank you
Peter
Moderating Team

blobbybluey
11th November 2007, 20:20
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.
is that an informed answe ,or a beatles song?(H)

boulton
12th November 2007, 00:24
Andrew

You began this thread to discuss the RN's Type 23 Frigates and it has become the subject of several very interesting and informative posts. It moved, however, slightly off-thread when you raised the issue of drug running, an emotive subject which should concern each and everyone of us.

Blobbybluey has expressed his views over this with great clarity and although they clearly run counter to your own views, he is fully entitled to state his beliefs on an open forum.

In view of this perhaps you would like to reconsider your last posting of 'Yeah, Yeah, Yeah' and grant him the courtesy of a proper reply to the question he has posed about increasing the number of HM Customs Officers at the expense of fewer RN warships.

Thank you
Peter
Moderating Team

I have no knowledge of, or any particular interest in, the salary pay scales of HM Custom’s personnel. But, if they are accepted as being similar to those of the 185-250 crew of a RN Frigate/Destroyer; and, the scrap value £100,000-00 of a RN Frigate/Destroyer were to pay a year's salary of a further 4-5 HM Customs officers, I do not consider it a serious suggestion that the resultant increasing in manning would,

“employ several thousand more customs men to flood the aiports,and ports of the country which at the moment only stop abot 2% of all drugs coming in the country”

After this unnecessary distraction, might it please be possible to bring the thread back on course? The original intention of the thread has shown results (where suggested), and thankfully found support with other SM members.

jbryce
12th November 2007, 20:29
Have signed the petition
http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/sonars/

boulton
12th November 2007, 20:38
Originally posted by boulton:

Elsewhere on the www - amongst the "e-Petions" to Number 10 Downing Street, within the "International Affairs and Defence" section, is one that should be of interest and is crying out for support:

"Equip ALL Type 23 frigates with towed array sonars, and invent a new ASW helicopter version"

For those who wish to contribute . . . .

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/sonars/

As I subsequently mentioned after posting the original above,

"We do not know if this cynical Government pays any attention at all to the e-Petitions. I do suspect that they are intended simply as a palliative, simply to placate the irate electorate into thinking they have done something, and that something might actually happen.

However, we can be certain that if we do nothing, then nothing will happen".

jbryce
13th November 2007, 18:29
I have posted details of the petition on another site and the total is into double figures, please support it. I believe it is a similar situation to the Army not having the best/right equipment to operate with.