back to article UK's Royal Navy accepts missile-blasting missile as Gulf clouds gather

A Royal Navy frigate is to sail to the Far East while carrying the newly accepted Sea Ceptor anti-missile missile system. Type 23 frigate HMS Argyll will sail to the Pacific Ocean later this year, defence secretary Gavin Williamson announced this morning. Argyll's sister ship, HMS Montrose, has just become the third RN warship …

  1. Wellyboot Silver badge

    How fast is 'fast moving'

    Was it a mach 3+ manoeuvring sea skimming target or just several hundred mph worth of old aircraft at 10,000ft.

    If it was the former then hurrah for the RNs new whizz bang

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: How fast is 'fast moving'

      I don't know why you were downvoted, it's a very important question.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: why you were downvoted

        I think some people like to randomly click downvote or occasionally lose glasses, or misread post or article. Sometimes I click even on wrong post or wrong option. There is no short lived "cancel vote" option like the edit. OTOH, some systems don't allow any grace period for edits.

        1. handleoclast

          Re: why you were downvoted

          There is no short lived "cancel vote" option like the edit.

          Indeed. Meaning that if you accidentally up/downvote an article (or change your mind after a little thought) you can't cancel your vote to give it a neutral rating, you have to either leave it as-is or vote the opposite way. This is particularly galling if you up/downvoted an article then change your mind after reading a later article: the first article may not merit an opposite vote, merely an abstention.

          Some systems, such as youtube, treat vote buttons as toggles. Click once and you upvote (or downvote); click twice and you revert to no vote. All three options of upvote, downvote, and abstain are always available.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: How fast is 'fast moving'

      No it was not.

      We have not yet bought any from the two sellers which export them (Russia and India) and we have not managed to steal one from the third country claiming to have some - China.

      So first of all no, it was not tested.

      Second, you would be surprised how narrow the straights of Ormuz and several other Gulf chokepoints are. They are narrow enough to be fully within range of a low cost coastal missile launcher. So if the situation there get hot, all it takes for Iran would be to buy a couple of 9A52 Tornadoes or even worse - license them. An AA frigate will run out of munitions trying to counter a coastal salvo with one of these about half-way into the salvo. From there on it is a dead AA frigate.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: How fast is 'fast moving'

        Putting any single ship in range of a bigger/better shore battery has been recognized as 'terminally-stupid' by sailors for a very long time.

        There are plenty of other fleet weapons to make any shore battery disappear.

        1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: How fast is 'fast moving'

          Putting any single ship in range of a bigger/better shore battery

          Oh, nobody disagreed with that. I was simply pointing out that no amount of weaponry short of making most of south-eastern Iran a glass lake can keep the straights of Ormuz open if they decide to close them. So the "advertised" use case is actually a load of bollocks. As usual - we do not expect anything less from the ex-fireplace salesman.

      2. HarryBl

        Re: How fast is 'fast moving'

        "Second, you would be surprised how narrow the straights of Ormuz and several other Gulf chokepoints are. "

        Strait of Hormuz...

      3. Rudeboy

        Re: How fast is 'fast moving'

        It hasn't been tested against supersonic threats....but....

        The US produces the Coyote target which mimics supersonic threats. The UK has bought these. There are other options as well. The UK's Sea Dart missile for example is a supersonic ramjet and has been used for targets as have the US Talos and Terrier. They all had an secondary anti ship role where they were directed on a straight line to a target. Given their size they're actually harder targets...

        Back in the day SeaWolf was trialled on intercepting 4.5 inch shells, which are a far harder tarrget than a Sunburn.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How fast is 'fast moving'

      Actually, there is a target drone that's designed to simulate the likes of Sunburn and Brahmos

      https://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/gqm163-ssst-a-tricky-coyote-to-match-wits-with-defenses-03155/

      It's just rather expensive, so not used that often. We should also bear in mind that Sea Ceptor is derived from Asraam, which as an air to air missile is designed to intercept supersonic targets anyway...no comment on the difficulty of doing so a few metres above sea level!

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: How fast is 'fast moving'

        Actually, there is a target drone that's designed to simulate the likes of Sunburn and Brahmos

        Good catch. That is still not its designated target though - Sunburn/Brahmos class missile.

        And the answer to that is still no. Not a single one of the UK/USA anti-missile weapons has had any testing against its proper potential adversaries.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: [None] of the UK/USA anti-missile weapons has had [proper] testing against [...] adversaries.

          So what do you want us to do ... start a war?

          1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

            Re: [None] of the UK/USA anti-missile weapons has had [proper] testing against [...] adversaries.

            So what do you want us to do ... start a war?

            No. Go shopping. As one of the old Kosturica films said: "What cannot be bought with money can be bought with a lot a of money".

            To be more specific - do not sabotage Russian weapon sales to NATO countries. It is actually in the western weapon's manufacturers FAVOR - we get to test stuff against their gear while they do not (or at the very least they get LESS information than we do).

            However, instead of that what do we do - idiocies. Like the most recent one with S400 and Turkey.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: [None] of the UK/USA anti-missile weapons has had [proper] testing against [...] adversaries.

              It is actually in the western weapon's manufacturers FAVOR

              How? Western weapons makers don't sell a single weapon on the basis of proven capability. They sell on the basis of economic nationalism, offset procurement, bribery, or simple lies. So there's no advantage to them of knowing the capabilities of Uncle Vlad's latest toys, whereas there will be a (perceived) loss of a sale. Indeed, if capability were in the slightest bit relevant, then the military would be able to choose their own weapons without the bungling incompetence, dishonesty and waste of civil servants and politicians. - all in some parallel universe, of course.

              All that the Western weapons makers care about is selling more over-priced crap to gormless defence buyers. Actually, what they care about more is getting defence research contracts - no risk, guaranteed payment, and you don't even have to organise tricky stuff like design and manufacturing.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How fast is 'fast moving'

          Actually, Aster has been tested using this target.

          https://www.naval-technology.com/news/newsfrench-navy-frigate-successfully-intercepts-supersonic-sea-skimming-missile/

          Of course, I would like us to conduct several tests as well, but....

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: How fast is 'fast moving'

            Of course, I would like us to conduct several tests as well, but....

            Using the French Navy as targets? That didn't work out too well during WW2 (well - not for the French anyway..And it gave De Gaulle *even* more to complain about. Which led to Churchills famous comment about "the biggest cross I have to carry is the Cross of Lorraine".)

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Coat

        Note the target is called the "Coyote"

        Because if it was called "Road runner," they'd never catch it.

        Beep, beep.

        1. herman Silver badge

          Re: Note the target is called the "Coyote"

          "Note the target is called the "Coyote"

          Because if it was called "Road runner," they'd never catch it.

          Beep, beep."

          Err... while the Coyote never catches anything.

          Maybe the MOD should rather get a some of those Acme Holes to make anything fall into.

          1. John Miles

            Re: Err... while the Coyote never catches anything.

            He did once - youtube - Coyote catches Road Runner

            1. Potemkine! Silver badge

              Re: Err... while the Coyote never catches anything.

              Coyote did it even twice

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Note the target is called the "Coyote"

            Maybe the MOD should rather get a some of those Acme Holes to make anything fall into.

            They already have one, at Abbey Wood, near Bristol. People, talent, ideas, equipment, money, entire defence budgets (not to mention thousands of morons) have been poured into it. Only the morons have emerged.

            Physicists have theorised that the "immunity" of morons is a self defence mechanism, because too many peabrained civil servants in the same place could create a singularity due to their combined denseness.

            1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: Note the target is called the "Coyote"

              too many peabrained civil servants in the same place could create a singularity due to their combined denseness.

              I suspect that you've come across one of the little-known theraputic uses of MoD tea[1]. Stops the stupid from congealing into critcal mass..

              [1] Because, being the last resort of failed senior officers, nothing else would be drunk. After all, coffee is an invention of those dastardly French[2]..

              [2] Yes, yes, it comes from places much warmer than France. But it was the French who popularised those new-fangled 'coffee houses' in the 18th century..

          3. Sanguma Bronze badge

            Re: Note the target is called the "Coyote"

            Acme Holes? So that was it! I spent my troubled teen years wondering why Wile E. Coyote kept buying stuff from Acne Corp ...

            1. Danny 14

              Re: Note the target is called the "Coyote"

              hypersonic missiles are fast but also have harder times striking targets. I would imagine a mach 10 low level missile will not be the most manoeuvering thing and wouldnt take much to knock off course. a cloud of "stuff" in its path wouldnt do the control surfaces much good and the path of the missile wouldnt be any harder to calculate. The deviation of a slower missile leaves a much longer target correction time.

    4. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: How fast is 'fast moving'

      Or of course a Mach 10 hypersonic missile?

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: How fast is 'fast moving'

        Or of course a Mach 10 hypersonic missile?

        That one is still mostly an advert.

        I would be more worried about the non-export "hunting pack" mode of all Russian anti-ship missiles starting from the ancient Basalt, going to Granit and the more resent Onix/Sunburn.

        So in addition to "has it been fired at a supersonic sea skimming target" there is the question of "has it been fired at a group of those trying to take out a target cooperatively".

        That one is a definitive confirmed and documented NO.

  2. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Judging by the volcanic cloud on the horizon

    The photo shows that clapped-out Russian carrier lurking in the background. I have to wonder if it is visible from its smoke plume before it appears on radar.

    And what the hell are they burning to make so much soot?

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: Judging by the volcanic cloud on the horizon

      Good old fashioned steam turbines and as its an old soviet design the burners can probably use anything flamable and liquid enough to be pumped through.

      The (surface)radar / smoke question will be a close call in some weather conditions :)

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Judging by the volcanic cloud on the horizon

        Fortunately since Russia "is vitally important to keeping the lights on at home thanks to its gas exports to Britain" the Royal Navy will deploy its new warships to protect the aged Russian carriers

        1. The Frog People Believe

          Re: Judging by the volcanic cloud on the horizon

          We get 1% of our energy supplies from Russia. I'm a little bit embarrassed for you ...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Judging by the volcanic cloud on the horizon

            We get 1% of our energy supplies from Russia. I'm a little bit embarrassed for you ...

            In the narrowest sense you're right. But thanks to years of government policy tieing our gas and electricity grids to European ones "because its a good idea and will lower prices",. And there's the minor problem that the EU is totally dependant upon Russian gas in winter, and if that stopped our gas supplies would dry up too (we're a net importer) and the costs of electricity and gas would go through the roof.

            There's been several instances where all of the EU has come within days of running out gas in cold winter periods. Even Germany who have massive gas storage reserves. The UK (with essentially no gas storage) would get hit hardest and probably first, even if not a single molecule of Russian gas had been used in the UK.

    2. Brian Morrison

      Re: Judging by the volcanic cloud on the horizon

      >And what the hell are they burning to make so much soot?

      FFO, furnace fuel oil.

      Often thick enough that the fuel tanks are heated to allow it to flow better.

    3. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

      Re: Judging by the volcanic cloud on the horizon

      That's the Soviet smoke screen being deployed so you can't see their old biplanes charging towards you until it's too late.

    4. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Judging by the volcanic cloud on the horizon

      And what the hell are they burning to make so much soot?

      Whatever they are, most likely they will not be next time it is out at sea. It is in dry dock for a full refurb of the power unit and one of the options is to use one of the next gen small reactors instead. Same as most of their fleet by the way. They have a total of 2 active large displacement capital ships in the North Fleet, 1 in the Pacific and zero in the Baltic and Black sea fleets. Everything else is in for repairs.

      By the way hat's off to El Reg that it did not take the bait and try to reproduce the Fear-The-Bear spin which our best beloved ex-fireplace salesman put when presenting the news to the other media. It is not supported by facts at present. In 3-4 years time when they refurb the fleet - maybe. But not before then.

    5. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Judging by the volcanic cloud on the horizon

      And what the hell are they burning to make so much soot?

      The corpses of honest journalists and the living flesh of oligarchs who turned on Putin.

      1. Lomax

        Re: What the hell are they burning

        Gays.

    6. hplasm
      Devil

      Re: Judging by the volcanic cloud on the horizon

      "And what the hell are they burning to make so much soot?"

      US Dollars.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Judging by the volcanic cloud on the horizon

        What's Russia got to do with any of this?

        If you want to do Russia instead of doing a good old "Danzig is ours" show on somewhat sitting-duck Iran with those RN boats, you have got other trouble coming.

        A couple of Kalibrs into the side would fix this up good and it's off to the showers.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Judging by the volcanic cloud on the horizon

          A couple of Kalibrs into the side would fix this up good and it's off to the showers.

          If they can run a steam turbine on alcohol free pretend lager, hats off to the Ruskies.

    7. JLV

      Re: Judging by the volcanic cloud on the horizon

      whoa, good catch

      1. Baldrickk Silver badge

        Re:

        and as its an old soviet design the burners can probably use anything flamable and liquid enough to be pumped through.

        Spoilt vodka then?

        1. JLV

          Re: Re:

          >Spoilt vodka then?

          There is no such thing as spoilt vodka, comrade. All is good to drink for real men, up to and including tank transmission fluid.

          http://www.russianiron.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=12931

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One question...

    " replaced by the Type 26 and the Type 31e, the former dedicated to escorting the new aircraft carriers "

    Will these new ships have no weapons to perfectly accompany the aircraftless carriers?

    Are we going to realise to late these missiles can't be fired from the new ships due a design issue and we need to spend 10x the price on some soon to be almost nearly ready, but not quite yet, flawed US system?

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: One question...

      We don't know. It'll be another ten years before the first of these even starts sea trials. Let's hope the carriers haven't been sunk before then.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One question...

      Are we going to realise to late these missiles can't be fired from the new ships due a design issue

      I'm confident they can be fired, but as Voland's notes above, the missile hasn't been tested against a realistic target, and the control system+missiles haven't been tried against multiple targets (nor I might add whilst subject to combat conditions and attempted ECM).

      I suspect that the inevitable "doh! didn't think of that" issue will be that by the time we have the T26 & 31, Sea Ceptor will be outmoded for the likely threats. Another decade of development of anti-ship missiles should produce some really bang-whizz stuff (because its supersonic, you hear the bang first, y'see). Or it may turn out that a decade of additional development make other technologies make anti-ship missiles less relevant - for example supercavitation torpedoes.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: One question...

        for example supercavitation torpedoes.

        Which IRAN has licensed from Russia and was testing in the Hormuz area more than 5 years ago. Just as an added icing on the cake of the Gulf and guarding the gas supply from Qatar being a use case for any of these ships.

    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: One question...

      Will these new ships have no weapons to perfectly accompany the aircraftless carriers?

      No, no, of course not. They'll have some very, very advanced weapons systems that the MoD have paid huge amounts of money for! After all, BAe wouldn't sell duff stuff to the MoD, would it?

      Which, of course, won't actually work. Or require advance permission from the US to use, permission to be applied for about 6 months before use, in triplicate, written on the backs of cheques for embarassingly large sums of money.

      Oh - and any rumour that the new ships will require pedalo stations below water in order to move are purely unfounded.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    South China Sea? What?

    What vital interests require us to sail warships to the South China Sea?

    Is this just more willy waving at the tax payer's expense by a navy with more admirals than ships?

    1. batfink Silver badge

      Re: South China Sea? What?

      Protecting the vitally important sources of tonic you know, old chap.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: South China Sea? What?

        Protecting the vitally important sources of tonic you know, old chap.

        Tonic?! The Navy doesn't put tonic in its gin, that's an effete civil service habit.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: South China Sea? What?

          The Navy doesn't put tonic in its gin, that's an effete civil service habit

          s/civil service/Army/* g

          After all, the Navy has never let the chance to cock a snook at theose jonny-come-latelies in the junior services go a-begging..

    2. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: South China Sea? What?

      2 easy reasons spring to mind

      Protecting trade shipping routes - Our new shiney isn't flown over from China.

      Helping with recruiting - Paid for trips to Farawayland with it's interesting beer and local customs beats chuffing around the North Atlantic any day.

      but mainly as per Batfink :)

      I'm sure the RN would willingly accept lots more ships if they were offered.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: South China Sea? What?

        "Protecting trade shipping routes - Our new shiney isn't flown over from China."

        We buy the shiny stuff from China, it's in their interests to keep those sea lanes clear and safe for shipping.

        1. Wellyboot Silver badge

          Re: South China Sea? What?

          >>We buy the shiny stuff from China, it's in their interests to keep those sea lanes clear and safe for shipping.<<

          Only if they've not been paid yet.

      2. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: South China Sea? What?

        So our great navy has to protect the South China [sic] Sea from Chinese aggression, in case the Chinese navy should cut off the flow of Chinese exports to the UK.

        I think I see.

        1. James 51
          Pirate

          Re: South China Sea? What?

          @ArchTech China is not going to stop its own exports but other countries in the area that acutally have the ecnomoic rights that China wants to exploit are another matter:

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-43507448

    3. James 51
      Childcatcher

      Re: South China Sea? What?

      The lights and heating won't go off if access to the South China Sea was somehow cut off but it contains important shipping lanes, mineral wealth and China's imperialist aggression (not to mention environmental vandalism) is threatening to destabilise the region. We’re sending freedom of navigation missions mostly as a favour to the US.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: South China Sea? What?

        Britain is sending warships to Asia to protect it from Chinese imperialist aggregation?

        Presumably by forcing them to die laughing

    4. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: South China Sea? What?

      Seriously? Four downvotes???

      It's getting so you can tell the common sense comments on The Reg by the number of downvotes they get.

      1. ArrZarr Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: South China Sea? What?

        Just as much as you can tell the common sense of the commentor by the number of superfluous question marks?

      2. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: South China Sea? What?

        It's working again.

      3. Adam 52 Silver badge

        Re: South China Sea? What?

        "common sense comments on The Reg by the number of downvotes"

        Every so often, here and on other Internet forums, there's a topic on which I've genuinely got an informed opinion (in that it's on a subject I have substantial personal experience of or have a degree level qualification in). My posts on those subjects tend to attract the most downvotes.

        1. veti Silver badge

          Re: South China Sea? What?

          I suspect, to take part in the RIMPAC exercises together with a whole bunch of Pacific countries, including the US but also Canada, Australia, NZ, Brunei, Chile, India...

          Not that the UK has any very convincing strategic interests in the area itself, but with Brexit coming up this is no time to distance itself from old allies.

          Interestingly, France, Germany and even Denmark also participated in the most recent exercises, in 2016.

          What worries me more is why an article ostensibly about a vessel sailing to the Far East keeps referring to the Gulf. Is the author just not very good at geography, or what?

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: South China Sea? What?

            There are lots of Gulfs, you never know which one you might want to use as an excuse for a war.

            1. Sanguma Bronze badge

              Re: South China Sea? What?

              There are lots of Gulfs

              Gulf of Mexico? Gulf of Tonkin?

              1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                Re: South China Sea? What?

                Gulf of Mexico? Gulf of Tonkin?

                Gulf of Incomprehension?

                Been there. Just go to the Uncanny Valley and turn left.

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: South China Sea? What?

          My posts on those subjects tend to attract the most downvotes

          Well, if the message is correct then maybe the method of delivery is at fault..

          1. Archtech Silver badge

            Re: South China Sea? What?

            Ah, I see. You feel certain people need taking down a peg or two.

            How very English. (I'm Scottish, so I tend to just say what I think).

      4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: South China Sea? What?

        tell the common sense comments on The Reg by the number of downvotes

        Me, I generally look at the posting name, then downvote..

  5. The Frog People Believe

    Anti-missile missile at home?

    I was just thinking the other day, does the UK actually have any land-based anti-missile capabilities? I see all sorts of modern militaries sporting them on their soil, but as far as I'm aware we only have navy-based anti-missile capabilities.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Anti-missile missile at home?

      Other questions you might ask:

      Does the UK have any air-launched anti-ship capability?

      Does the UK have any airborne anti-submarine capability?

      Does the UK have any surface-launched anti-ship capability?

      Does the UK have any land-based anti-aircraft capability?

      If you answered only against boats from helicopters, only from short-range ship-borne helicopters, only virtually obsolescent Harpoons, and only short-range point defence missiles, then congratulations. But it's OK because we will soon be able to deploy a single very nice aircraft carrier, as long as the entire RN combatant fleet's available to protect it, for the vital defence task of... uh...

      1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Anti-missile missile at home?

        But it's OK because we will soon be able to deploy a single very nice aircraft carrier, as long as the entire RN combatant fleet's available to protect it, for the vital defence task of... uh...

        Of hosting cocktail parties. An aircraft carrier without any aeroplanes isn't much good for anything else.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Anti-missile missile at home?

          Of hosting cocktail parties.

          Ah - the "soft power" approach. Let's face it, after that amount of cocktails, you'd be soft too. Brewers Droop, just without the beer.

    2. RancidRodent

      Re: Anti-missile missile at home?

      Don't worry - Rapier is still in service! Although to be fair, the missile system this article discusses is also land-based - the British army are currently under training to deploy the land-lubber variant - not that it has a chance in hell of hitting any modern hypersonic missile... Nor would Russia's current S-400 or future S-500 both of which are significantly better than CAMM(s) (Sea Ceptor and Land Ceptor.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Anti-missile missile at home?

        Well, CAMM is supposed to be a "intercept to the radar horizon for low level aircraft" type of missile, while S400 is much bigger and more expensive. Comparing Patriot or Aster30 to S400 is more reasonable.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    What worries me....

    do we have any anti-missile-missile missiles?

    1. Potemkine! Silver badge

      Re: What worries me....

      Talking about this...

      approximative translation: "I sell missiles, anti-missiles, anti-anti missiles, anti-anti-anti missiles, anti-anti-anti-anti missiles ... etc ...

      And there are still imbeciles for buying missiles!

    2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: What worries me....

      "

      do we have any anti-missile-missile missiles?

      "

      We did, but unfortunately it shot itself down.

      1. RancidRodent

        Re: What worries me....

        "do we have any anti-missile-missile missiles?"

        Actually this is something us Brits can do some flag-waving over - we achieved the world's first downing of a missile by a missile in actual combat when HMS Gloucester engaged an Iraqi Silkworm heading for USS Missouri, the US made Phalanx CIWS "goalkeeper" system aboard USS Jarret lost track of the lumbering sub-sonic missile and engaged her sister ship's chaff instead, luckily, sparing the US Navies blushes, an antique Brit Type 42 destroyer with trusty Sea Dart on board was part of the escort and the rest - as they say - really was history (in the making). Gloucester of course carried Phalanx as well - but the skipper probably understood how well it works and chose Sea Dart for the engagement.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: What worries me....

          an antique Brit Type 42 destroyer

          We're British. We do "antique" pretty well..

        2. Wellyboot Silver badge

          Re: What worries me....

          Antique? This was 1991, Gloucester had only been in the water 9 years.

          As for Missouri, well you can't beat big iron in a gun fight :)

        3. N2 Silver badge

          Re: What worries me....

          "do we have any anti-missile-missile missiles?"

          Actually this is something us Brits can do some flag-waving over -

          And Avenger shot down an Excocet with its Mk 8 gun, they missed the second which was engaed by ships staff with small arms as it flew past.

  7. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Urgency

    Let's push for hydrogen-powered vehicles now, and let make Gulf clouds irrelevant

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Urgency

      Let's push for hydrogen-powered vehicles now

      Where will you get the additional energy to produce the hydrogen from?

      1. Uffish

        Re: additional energy

        Giant waterwheels operated by falling rain.

        There, I've solved your problem for you, you just have to do some technical work or something and hey presto, we will be self sufficient in energy.

        1. keith_w Bronze badge
          Happy

          Re: additional energy

          Technically, this is precisely how hydro-electric power is generated. The water used to turn the giant electric making water wheels, aka turbines, originally fell as rain at the beginning of its land based journey to the afore mentioned giant water wheels, and then fell again from the temporary fallen rain holding facility to turn those self-same giant electricity producing water wheels. Have a wonderful Friday.

      2. Potemkine! Silver badge

        Re: Urgency

        Harvested energy, for instance.

        First hydrogen station in France with ‘green’ onsite production

        Producing hydrogen is much a better way to store electricity than batteries. Also, hydrogen-powered cars have a much better range than electric ones using batteries.

  8. RancidRodent

    We're wasting money fighting a previous war - as usual.

    Given the arrival into service of hypersonic anti ship missiles such as the Chinese DF-21D, aircraft carriers are nothing more than targets. There is nothing that will stop one of these missiles - nothing. Even if you manage to hit it (you won't) the speed of the incoming fragments will obliterate you anyway. I was warning about this well over ten years ago when we first started wasting money on the the Lizzie-class targets - er, aircraft carriers.

    1. Joe Harrison

      Re: We're wasting money fighting a previous war - as usual.

      Aircraft carriers are not meant for actual warfare against people with hypersonic missiles. They are meant for putting the frighteners on small nations who get uppity.

      1. RancidRodent

        Re: We're wasting money fighting a previous war - as usual.

        Given the projected cost of DF21D, even small uppity nations will be able to afford them!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: We're wasting money fighting a previous war - as usual.

          DF21D is a ballistic missile even in its anti-ship configuration. In the terminal stages it will be essentially a straight line, and I very much doubt that anything that big will be moving at hypersonic speeds in the lower atmosphere.

          There are hypersonic anti-ship missiles that might be the threat you suggest, I think the example you've picked is a different beast altogether.

    2. RancidRodent

      Re: We're wasting money fighting a previous war - as usual.

      The "thumbs downs" have started already - go and have a bath and think about the physics involved in trying to hit something coming at you at over 2 miles per second, you require sufficient reaction time to track the object, defeat gravity to get the interceptor in the air and then gain enough velocity to actually hit it - ie find itself in the same air space as the lump of pain doing 7,500+ miles per hour. If you think these problems are easily sumountable - then by all means thumbs-down away - or you could try, for once in your life, to face reality. Our carriers are white elephants.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: We're wasting money fighting a previous war - as usual.

        find itself in the same air space as the lump of pain doing 7,500+

        Lots and lots of small ball-bearings. That way, what hits you will (hopefully) be lots of small fragments rather than lumps of metal. Sure, it'll give your superstructure (and anyone foolish enough to be standing in the way) a really, really bad day but shouldn't be a shipkiller.

    3. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: We're wasting money fighting a previous war - as usual.

      >> There is nothing that will stop one of these missiles - nothing. <<

      No weapon is invincible for very long.

      This is a re-run of the 1960's soviet mach-4 ASMs leading to the F14/Phoenix system.

      Ultimately as Voland pointed out earlier, it will come down to a numbers game.

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Re: We're wasting money fighting a previous war - as usual.

        Down votes probably from people who realise your argument seems to be 'western weapons systems are all flaky bits of rubbish that won't work against the flawless wonder weapons of Russia and China'. Which considering the Russian Navy took an ocean going tug with it to the Mediterranean doesn't quite hold up.

        As a counter at least one readily available tactic against a hyper-sonic missile is to take out whatever is doing the targeting.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
          Go

          Re: We're wasting money fighting a previous war - as usual.

          As a counter at least one readily available tactic against a hyper-sonic missile is to take out whatever is doing the targeting.

          What if the missile is auto-targeting?

          Philosoraptor.jpg

          1. SkippyBing Silver badge

            Re: We're wasting money fighting a previous war - as usual.

            'What if the missile is auto-targeting?'

            At some point in the kill chain something has to find the target, track it, identify it, and then launch the missile. That gives you plenty of opportunities to break the chain, it doesn't guarantee you will but it does bring the probility of a hit down considerably.

        2. RancidRodent

          Re: We're wasting money fighting a previous war - as usual.

          "Down votes probably from people who realise your argument seems to be 'western weapons systems are all flaky bits of rubbish that won't work against the flawless wonder weapons of Russia and China'"

          Not at all, western weapons are excellent - easily the best before we gave our microprocessor technology away in order to mass-manufacture cheap DVD players - we did this roughly 60 years after Stalin said "only a fool would give away their secrets" in shocked response to the Labour party giving him the jet engine - a formidable piece of kit the RAF had to face over the skies of Korea in their obsolete propeller planes. There is a point however, where weapons become too sophisticated - so much so it takes three years to build them and five years to teach someone to operate them. The wests' reliance on technology and the arrogance about its superiority is its downfall. The Russians and the Chinese go for big numbers - which in the heat of war, invariably wins. A good example of arrogance is the stealth programme - anyone with even basic understanding of the subject knew the game was up ten years ago, DSP technology (signal return oversampling) means that even the tiniest RADAR return can be tracked, so we spend billions developing planes with flawed aerodynamics to achieved stealth - stealth that is no longer, er, stealthy. What's going to more damage to your enemy? One F35 or Ten Gripens? I know what my money would be on - and given today's nambly-pamby rules of engagement, where you'd have to eyeball your enemy before fighting - if your "stealth" plane finds itself in the same airspace as something that's actually designed to be a plane first and foremost - boy you're in trouble! And that why Eurofighter - accidentally - turned out to be really rather good.

          1. disgruntled yank Silver badge

            Re: We're wasting money fighting a previous war - as usual.

            Why did Stalin need the Labour party to give him the jet engine when his armies had grabbed such a large part of Germany's industrial plant? There weren't any jets there?

            As for China, I'm sure they're better now, but back in the 1970s an incursion into Vietnam did not go well.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: We're wasting money fighting a previous war - as usual.

              Why did Stalin need the Labour party to give him the jet engine when his armies had grabbed such a large part of Germany's industrial plant? There weren't any jets there?

              Most of the production and development of German jets was done in what became West Germany, on top of which, although German jet airframes (primarily the Me262) were better than the British equivalent (the Gloster Meteor), the Junkers Jumo 004 engine was inferior to the contemporary Rolls Royce Derwent.

              The Soviets certainly got their hands on examples of the Jumo 004, and even made a few versions for themselves, but it wasn't until the notorious traitor Stafford Cripps and his Labour party quislings "sold" a block of Rolls Royce Nene engines to the Soviet Union that they had a decent engine. Reciprocating this generous move, they copied the Nene in almost every detail and put it in the MiG 15 (and variants in other aircraft. If that arsehole Corbyn gets elected, we can expect similar Labour party stupidity.

            2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: We're wasting money fighting a previous war - as usual.

              armies had grabbed such a large part of Germany's industrial plant? There weren't any jets there?

              There were (the Germans had at least 3 jet-powered designs) but the engines were nowhere near as good or efficient as the Gloucester Meteor engines.

              Which jumped the Soviets at least 5 years forward in development.

      2. RancidRodent

        Re: We're wasting money fighting a previous war - as usual.

        "Ultimately as Voland pointed out earlier, it will come down to a numbers game."

        But the west have given up on numbers in exchange for (assumed) technological superiority. Russia and China can and do shoot down satellites, what happens to the west's network centric warfare when all the military and communication satellites are dust?

      3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: We're wasting money fighting a previous war - as usual.

        it will come down to a numbers game

        As it always was. The technological disparity means the low-tech side needs lots more resoures (bullets, missiles, people etc etc) to throw at you but those things are a lot cheaper than what you are trying to defend.

        Most 3rd-world dictators won't lose too much sleep about 4000 of his soldiers dying in order to take down a 20-billion-pound aircraft carrier. After all, he has all the resources of his country to play with and anyone making a fuss will find themselves in the front of the human wave attacks..

        (Much as happened with the Soviet Penal Battalions in WW2. They got sent in first (often unarmed) in order to soak up bullets/mines so that the actual trained and armed soldiers coming up behind them survived. And if your highly-trained and equipped Wehrmacht runs out of bullets while facing an enemy who still has lots of them then there's only one outcome.)

  9. SkippyBing Silver badge

    Sea Wolf

    The other issue with Sea Wolf, which is still impressive to see launched as it goes supersonic within its own length, is that you can only target as many aircraft as you have fire control radars normally two. With Sea Ceptor (stupid name) it only needs target indication, which can be done by a surveillance radar, and then guides itself to the target so it's much harder to saturate the defences.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Sea Wolf

      goes supersonic within its own length

      Really? Within 6 feet?

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Re: Sea Wolf

        ’Really? Within 6 feet?’

        Certainly with the original style launcher,it was literally blink and you're looking at a cloud of smoke. It may have been by the time it reached the side of the ship but I think that was Sea Dart.

      2. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: Sea Wolf

        Could someone who knows basic physics inform us how many G that would necessitate? (Use exponential notation if required).

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Sea Wolf

      The down side is "how many and how fast can you fire them?" followed by "how fast can you reload the launchers and do you have enough in stores to sustain the defense?"

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Re: Sea Wolf

        'The down side is "how many and how fast can you fire them?" followed by "how fast can you reload the launchers and do you have enough in stores to sustain the defense?"'

        As they're launched directly from the magazine, ie each launch tube is storage for the missile in it, there's very little slowing down the launch process. On the flip side there's no reloads held on-board, once the tubes are empty that's it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sea Wolf

          On the flip side there's no reloads held on-board, once the tubes are empty that's it.

          And thus any adversary capable of basic reasoning and simple maths knows that all they need to do is either fire more attack missiles than the "cassette" of tubes holds, or they use a much cheaper tactic of decoy attacks using lower cost missiles whose primary purpose is to drain down the escort vessels' weaponry. Although not the main offensive weapons, those "decoys" would still be credible threats, even if they were subsonic and antiquated technology, like a reconditioned Exocet,. It costs what, £1bn to build a type 45, and it carries 48 missiles. If credible decoy/expendable attack missiles cost £100k, then the Type 45 is "out" after the enemy has expended £4.8m, leaving £200k for the missile that will sink it.

          A further issue for the air defence frigates is that they have to decide at loading the mix of long and short range missiles to load. If they get that wrong then even having missiles left may not be much use if they're sub-optimal for the incoming target.

          1. SkippyBing Silver badge

            Re: Sea Wolf

            'And thus any adversary capable of basic reasoning and simple maths knows that all they need to do is either fire more attack missiles than the "cassette" of tubes holds'

            This is true, although it's worth noting the T23 still carries about an order of magnitude more missiles than any ship fired during the Falklands Conflict. The issue being to fire missiles at a ship you have to find it first, and I mean the actual ship rather than the clouds of chaff it fired as soon as it detected your radar searching for it. So although your plan is legitimate it still requires getting a way down the kill chain.

            Thinking about it, at the moment I suspect the T23 and T45 are the only class of RN escort that have anti-air missile systems that haven't been fired in anger, all the previous classes having something that was used in the Falklands or Gulf 1.

  10. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Meanwhile, in the US: After fiscal debt for warcrap, technical debt for warcrap

    Fragile: Pentagon report raises alarm that US industry can’t support war for much longer

    The Annual Industrial Capabilities report, published by the Pentagon’s Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy, warns that reliance on foreign-sourced materials combined with “twenty years of intermittent conflict,” have put a strain on US manufacturers of weapons, parts and ammunition.

    “While US national defense demands for materials are seldom unmet, there exist risks to their supply now and risks are anticipated in the foreseeable future,” the report says, describing the two broad trends as the scarcity of materials used in new technologies and the US’ growing reliance on foreign supply sources.

    “We may be too far down the path to resurrect an authentic munitions industrial base,” Mackenzie Eaglen of the American Enterprise Institute told Defense News, commenting on the report. “So then the question becomes: Now what?”

    Gee, I dunno. One could just, you know, stop?

  11. YARR

    Seawolf's major shortcoming was that it was a line-of-sight system, restricting its practical range to around seven or eight nautical miles

    but in the confines of the Gulf where your ships are permanently shadowed by fast boats, Seawolf is all you need.

    Sea Ceptor - Developed by EU defence conglomerate MBDA

    MBDA's website says they're "European". Let's hope it's not dependent on Galileo or we're screwed.

    think about the physics involved in trying to hit something coming at you at over 2 miles per second

    Maybe we should have built submaries that can dive very quickly?

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      'MBDA's website says they're "European". Let's hope it's not dependent on Galileo or we're screwed.'

      All it needs to know is a range and bearing to fly out on until it activates it's radar. You'd be actively complicating things by adding GPS.

      In fact most military systems that use GPS aren't dependent on it as the military are probably the most paranoid about it not working. So you get to spend all your time practising the reversionary modes instead. Yay.

  12. scrubber

    Defence

    So our most advanced "defence" ship is permanently in the gulf?

    Orwell is so proud of us.

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Defence

      I'm pretty sure they're called warships.

      1. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: Defence

        You remind me of the old joke about the guy who asks the waiter what's in the bowl he has just served. "It's bean soup, Sir". "I don't care what it's been - what is it now?"

        In this case, obviously, "I don't care what they're called - what are they really?"

        (I would have put in some extra question marks but the bitterness lingers).

    2. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: Defence

      Thanks! Best comment I've seen this month... easily.

  13. scrubber

    UK

    Do we have any actual defensive duties?

    Who the heck is looking round Spain and France to attack us?

    Can we rename the department from defense to offense?

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: UK

      Who the heck is looking round Spain and France to attack us?

      It's an (unwritten) article of the (unwritten) English Constitution that the French are *always* looking to invade us.

      Or is it that we are always looking to invade them? Can't remember..

      1. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: UK

        Traditionally we have taken it in turns. But since Napoleon they seem to have gone off that game.

    2. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: UK

      The really funny thing is how German politicians are screaming and roaring about the need to spend more on their submarines and jet fighters, when their country has recently been invaded by over a million rather hostile, alien people - whom the politicians welcomed with open arms.

      I wonder if the ancient Romans had the same kind of visual affliction?

      "Oh no, those aren't Goths, Vandals and Huns! They are probably just Northern and Eastern European tourists. How wonderful - just think of all the money they will spend to boost our economy!"

  14. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Ceptor?

    I gather that the Sea Ceptor can be equipped with sea copters, but is that really a reason for such an odd name?

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