Not so long ago, the naval resource, widely known in narrow circles, dealing with naval issues, presented its vision of the future Royal Navy fleet. Experts have not discovered America, I must say. Nevertheless, the presented graph may be of interest to people who are not indifferent to these issues. Earlier, by the way, Naval Analyses experts have already presented a detailed analysis of the underwater and surface forces of the countries of the Old and New Worlds. Now let's see in more detail what exactly is at stake.
The basis of the tactical potential of the Royal Navy in the future will be two aircraft type "Queen Elizabeth." This is two times more than in Russia: unless, of course, the heavy aircraft carrier “Admiral Kuznetsov” is considered to be a full-fledged aircraft carrier. However, with the British ships is also not all smooth, but more on that later.
For a start, the English can be congratulated on the commissioning last year of the lead ship of this type - the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08). And at the end of September, the 2018 of the year on the new aircraft carrier, which was located near the coast of the United States, for the first time landed two fifth-generation fighter F-35B. And here the main possible minus is hidden. As you know, after some hesitation, the British abandoned the use of starter catapults, finally choosing a springboard scheme that almost automatically prevents heavy aircraft from taking off from the deck.
It would seem, what problems can be in the presence of "invisible" in the composition of the air group? The fact is that the combat radius of the shortened takeoff and vertical landing of the F-35B is a modest 800 kilometers. At the same time, having a much larger combat radius - more than 1000 kilometers - the F-35C is now “inaccessible” without a cardinal alteration of the ships, which Britain most likely will not do. By the way, the second aircraft carrier - HMS Prince of Wales (R09) - should be put into operation in 2020 year. Wait is not long.
Next in the list of surface ships on the chart you can see the destroyers of the type 45, also known as destroyers of the type "Daring", on behalf of the lead ship - HMS Daring. The British planned six of them and all six have already been built. First handed over to the fleet in 2009.
These ships are the largest and most powerful air defense destroyers that Britain has. It is important to say that they do not have strike weapons, but in theory destroyers can be equipped with long-range cruise missiles. The basis of the weapons "Derring" are PAAMS anti-aircraft missile systems, which in theory can destroy air targets at a distance of more than 80 kilometers using Aster-15 and Aster-30 missiles.
Let's go back a bit. As you know, the Queen Elizabeth type aircraft carriers have very symbolic defensive weapons. To defeat airborne targets, the ship has three anti-aircraft artillery complexes Phalanx CIWS. Roughly speaking, he is defenseless against air attacks if deck fighters do not have time to rise into the air. In this sense, the British fleet of the future is seen as a kind of "Lego designer." Where ships of the same type by themselves (outside the carrier strike group) will not be of particular value, and the risk of their loss will be very great. The Falklands War is a good example of the importance of an integrated approach in the design of warships. But, in general, the British are right or not - only time will tell.
Note also that in The 2017, the edition of The Sunday Times wrote that new British destroyers rumble “like a box with wrenches” and are heard by submarines a hundred miles away. However, such sharp attacks towards one or another type of military equipment should also be treated with caution. Everywhere there are interested parties who want to tarnish one or another side.
The following in the list of large surface ships are frigates of the 26 type, which are designated in the picture as City Class. A total of eight of them are planned: so far none of these ships have been completed. By itself, this eight is intended to replace thirteen frigates of the 23 type. So far, it is rather difficult to say something concrete, except that these will be large warships with a standard displacement of approximately 7000 tons. They plan to use Tomahawk cruise missiles deployed in the Mk 41 launchers as tactical strike weapons. In addition, you can use the latest European supersonic anti-ship missile CVS401. Attached is a good anti-aircraft weaponry and an acoustically low-noise hull, which increases the chances of fighting submarines.
In general, from the outside, everything looks good, but there are some concerns. Knowing the approach of the leadership of Britain, it cannot be ruled out that some of the functions will be made purely optional, and perhaps they will be completely abandoned. However, before the commissioning of the "fortune telling in the coffee grounds" is better to refuse. So it will be more correct.
In addition, on the chart presented by Naval Analyzes, you can see five small frigates of the Type 31 or General Purpose Frigate (GPFF), the fate of which in the light of financial reductions seems very ambiguous. Well, in the right-most corner there are five River-class Batch 2 patrol ships. We will talk about them sometime later.
It is noteworthy that, according to Naval Analyzes, Britain in the foreseeable future will completely abandon the four strategic submarines of the Vanguard type, as well as the remaining multi-purpose Trafalgar-type submarines. In general, it is logical, considering that the first of the “Trafalgar” began to be exploited back in 1983 year. The only British multipurpose submarine of the future will be the Astyut-type submarine. At least three of these boats are already in the fleet.
However, with “Vanguard”, it seems to us, the specialists of the organization hurried. Suffice it to say that now the Vanguard boats with Trident II D5 missiles (UGM-133A) are the only British nuclear deterrence system. At the same time, all four planned strategic Dreadnought submarines are just to be built. Now, work continues on the construction of the first boat of this class and laid the second such submarine.
With all the technical risks, it is not planned to save precisely on the strategic forces in Britain. In December last year, it became known that the country would allocate an additional 400 million pounds sterling for the Dreadnought program. “These 400 millions of investments guarantee the implementation of the program. For decades, we will have a system of nuclear deterrence at sea. This funding will help not only to create 8 thousands of jobs right now, but also to create a new complex for training engineers for the British submarine fleet, ”said British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson.
True, there is one "but." The Dreadnought boat will receive twelve Trident missiles instead of sixteen that Vanguard has. Even for comparison: the new Ohio-type American submarine is already in the strategic version carrying the Trident II D24 5. But this is an absolute record holder among such submarines, moreover, it is a legacy of the Cold War. When the money for defense almost did not count.
In general, the British fleet of the future can be called "economical". It cannot be compared in its combat potential not only with the American, but also with the Chinese. On the other hand, the British Navy will remain one of the strongest in Europe in the coming decades. Not the greatest, but still an achievement.
Ex-mistress of the seas. What will be the British fleet of the future?
- Ilya Legat
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