Probabley my fault for explaining badly as usual.
In short I am suggesting the maximisation of the T26 hull with the expanded dimensions that the Hunter program has unlocked.
The big unknown is how many VLS cells RN actually require on the T83. How many Strike length Mk41 cells can the T26 hull actually contain without major structural alterations?
The current forward VLS silo on the T26 contains 24x Mk41 Strike plus 24x CAMM in mushrooms. The Hunter has 32x Mk41 cells.
The amidships T26 VLS silo contains 24x CAMM in mushrooms.
If the increase in dimensions to the hull allows an upgraded Sampson that is suitable for RN’s requirements then slotting in the additional VLS is the final hurdle.
I am not suggesting it would be easy but a reconfiguration of the forward VLS silo plus the removal of the Mk45 could provide enough space for 72x or 96x Mk41 cells. BAE have already stated that the removal of the Mk45 would enable another 32x Mk41 cells. Combined with Hunters 32x that equates to 64x Mk41 cells in the forward silo without major adaption. Is that enough?
If the amidships silo switched from mushrooms to 24x VLS that would allow 48x CAMM and 24x CAMM MR could be added.
So effectively without too much redesign a T83 based on T26B2 with 64x Mk41 Strike VLS plus 24x amidships VLS (replacing the current mushrooms) could carry:
• 2x 57mm plus 2x 40mm or 4x 40mm
• 48x Aster 30
• 48x CAMM
• 24x CAMM ER/MR
• 16x FCASW
• 16x NSM
• Sampson Mk2
• Full ASW capability
• Full mission area retained
Is this enough for RN? If another 24x or 36x Mk41 cells are required can BAE slot them in? The space is available but only BAE will know if the stability data adds up.
By keeping redesign to a minimum RN may squeeze a few more escorts out of the budget. If the T83 budget is £10bn then this is a massive opportunity to grow the fleet if discipline is maintained.
4x 200m Crusiers - £2.5bn unit
6x 175m Destroyers - £1.6bn unit
8x 150m AAW/ASW Destroyers - £1.25bn
IMO the 8x Destroyer option is worth considering even if individually the escorts are less capable. At £1.25bn it’s effectively a T26 plus 50%.
For example taking the basic 64x strike cell plus 24x CAMM VLS based on the T26B2, four such T83 escorting the CSG could contain:
• 64x FCASW
• 192x Aster 30
• 192x CAMM
• 96x CAMM ER/MR
• 64x NSM
• 4x Sampson Mk2
• 4x 2087
These numbers are so outlandish why would RN need more? Especially considering that 8x T83 removes the fixed escort taskings for the T26 which can carry 24x FCASW and 48x CAMM each.
The fleet balance would be a bit top heavy but much cheaper OPV’s could provide balance if required.
8x T83 AAW/ASW
3x T31(Hulls 1&2 sold)
• 24x escort target achieved
• 8x T83 designated as CSG and ARG escorts
• 8x T26 for TAPS and North Atlantic ASW
• 8x T31 doing everything else
All bases covered and manageable within the headcount limitations.
Hopefully this is clearer this time around.
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