Author Topic: Purchase HMS Ocean?  (Read 15801 times)

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Offline Colin P

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Purchase HMS Ocean?
« on: March 08, 2016, 10:46:08 »
HMS Ocean https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Ocean_%28L12%29


The UK government has announced they will decommission this ship in 2018, despite having a $98 million dollar refit in 2014, she was commissioned in 1998. She is capable of operating helicopters up to Chinooks and acting as a ferry carrier for VTOL aircraft like the Harrier. She has 4 landing craft and small stern ramp that can use a floating pontoon to load vehicles onto the landing craft. Her base crew is 285 + aircrew and can carry 800 troops/40 vehicles.

Since we were seriously considering the Mistrals, should we consider this ship?

Pros- Ship is in service and price should be cheap, better defensive armament and has some command and control functions. We could train alongside the existing crew and do a gradated handover. Adopt the known procedures for troop handling and then modify them to our standards.

Cons- Only ship of it’s class, a lot of bad blood about the sub deal will taint this, but to be fair we brought most of that onto to ourselves. Unlikely our Griffons can easily use elevator / hanger due to non-folding rotors, possibly fixable. Built to commercial class but not ice strengthened like the Mistrals were. Rear ramp design not as good as the Mistrals. Likely hotel setup is all 220volt, minor but still a headache.

If we got this ship or a Mistral, I would stand down a Griffion Squadron and purchase either Cyclones or the Marinized S-92 (might even be able to lease some till new airframes are built)

Thoughts on this opportunity?     

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2016, 10:53:20 »
I wouldn't hold my breath. Remember the "Stephen Harper plans to buy aircraft carriers.." add during the 2006 election?
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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2016, 11:05:24 »
We gotta get past the whole "Last time the liberals bought second hand from Britian's Navy" thing first.
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2016, 11:10:49 »
Pass!

(1) By the time she would get over here and be "operational", she would be over 25 years old, and quickly getting into the "everything is starting to break down and needs replacing " phase. We have enough on our hands with keeping the frigates going for another 12 to 15 years.

(2) Unlike the Mistral's, which were specifically designed with adaptability to troops in mind - so that ANY French Army and Air Force units could be easily and quickly taught the concepts of operating from the ship (with the Mistral mostly adapting to them - not the other way around), HMS OCEAN is a dedicated Royal Marines Commando ship that was built to be adapted to THEIR way of doing things from the start, with no other adaptability built in. Our Navy/Army/Air Force would have to learn a whole set of new operations, which require constant practice, to be able to effectively use the ship. Considering the limited need for such operations, it would be too much of a strain on all.   

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2016, 12:14:38 »

(2) Unlike the Mistral's, which were specifically designed with adaptability to troops in mind - so that ANY French Army and Air Force units could be easily and quickly taught the concepts of operating from the ship (with the Mistral mostly adapting to them - not the other way around), HMS OCEAN is a dedicated Royal Marines Commando ship that was built to be adapted to THEIR way of doing things from the start, with no other adaptability built in. Our Navy/Army/Air Force would have to learn a whole set of new operations, which require constant practice, to be able to effectively use the ship. Considering the limited need for such operations, it would be too much of a strain on all.

Not to mention how our Navy/Army/Air Force are constantly in a state of flux and changing their way of doing things. 
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Offline Baz

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2016, 12:27:00 »
Pass!

(1) By the time she would get over here and be "operational", she would be over 25 years old, and quickly getting into the "everything is starting to break down and needs replacing " phase. We have enough on our hands with keeping the frigates going for another 12 to 15 years.

She also only had a 20 year design life: https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/hms-ocean-not/.

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2016, 12:46:20 »
HMS Ocean https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Ocean_%28L12%29


The UK government has announced they will decommission this ship in 2018, despite having a $98 million dollar refit in 2014, she was commissioned in 1998. She is capable of operating helicopters up to Chinooks and acting as a ferry carrier for VTOL aircraft like the Harrier. She has 4 landing craft and small stern ramp that can use a floating pontoon to load vehicles onto the landing craft. Her base crew is 285 + aircrew and can carry 800 troops/40 vehicles.

Since we were seriously considering the Mistrals, should we consider this ship?

Pros- Ship is in service and price should be cheap, better defensive armament and has some command and control functions. We could train alongside the existing crew and do a gradated handover. Adopt the known procedures for troop handling and then modify them to our standards.

Cons- Only ship of it’s class, a lot of bad blood about the sub deal will taint this, but to be fair we brought most of that onto to ourselves. Unlikely our Griffons can easily use elevator / hanger due to non-folding rotors, possibly fixable. Built to commercial class but not ice strengthened like the Mistrals were. Rear ramp design not as good as the Mistrals. Likely hotel setup is all 220volt, minor but still a headache.

If we got this ship or a Mistral, I would stand down a Griffion Squadron and purchase either Cyclones or the Marinized S-92 (might even be able to lease some till new airframes are built)

Thoughts on this opportunity?     

Because it worked so well with the submarines last time, right? :)
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Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2016, 12:50:44 »
HMS Ocean https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Ocean_%28L12%29

Thoughts on this opportunity?     

Here's some food for thought on a similar discussion at the Warships1 forum:

Quote

   
Quote
ramtank2 wrote:Ocean good for at least 10 years, would provide Canada with good interim ship in this role, JSS ships to have limited lift in army support role not likely to commission for 5 years.

reply by PointBlank:

No she's not, HMS Ocean was designed with a fairly short design life; she was built to merchantile standards, not military standards. S
he's coming up against her 20 year designed life span in 2018.


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Offline Colin P

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2016, 13:43:25 »
I will take the merchant ship stuff with a grain of salt, lot’s of merchant ships out last their lifespan and likely the type of service she did is actually easier on her than that of a bulk carrier which has to suffer, loading, unloading, damage from the cargo handling gear, interaction with the cargo and cargo shifting. Not to mention gaping holds and hatches causing strain on the remaining ship superstructure.

Offline Baz

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2016, 14:02:20 »
I will take the merchant ship stuff with a grain of salt, lot’s of merchant ships out last their lifespan and likely the type of service she did is actually easier on her than that of a bulk carrier which has to suffer, loading, unloading, damage from the cargo handling gear, interaction with the cargo and cargo shifting. Not to mention gaping holds and hatches causing strain on the remaining ship superstructure.

I would defer to you normally, but in this case from all accounts she was driven pretty hard and isn't in the best of shape.

Offline Colin P

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2016, 15:08:42 »
My BS radar is up because the government there is trying to chop a resource and not replace it while claiming it’s not what they are doing. I do like what OGBD brought out about the difference between the Mistrals and this ship as to how it is used and how troops interact with the ship.

Offline Baz

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2016, 15:25:41 »
My BS radar is up because the government there is trying to chop a resource and not replace it while claiming it’s not what they are doing. I do like what OGBD brought out about the difference between the Mistrals and this ship as to how it is used and how troops interact with the ship.

Quite possibly you are correct... I would certainly have someone that knows what they are doing take a very close look at her first...

Along the lines of what OGBD said: Ocean was designed to work in conjunction with Albion and Bulwark (Landing Platform Docks, LPDs).  Ocean has the aviation facilities (the LPDs only really have a flight deck, albeit a big one) and the others have the boats (Ocean only has small landing craft on davits, the other's have a well deck).  All three of them have showed considerable flexibility, but they do have limits.

The wish list in the UK seems to be for two Juan de Carlos (Canberra) to replace the LPDs in the 2020s; Mistral is considered a little small and the US options big and expensive.  The reality is the air component will probably be on the QE2s, and when the LPDs are eventually replaced they will be with new LPDs.

My wish list would be two Canberras for Canada; my reality is we'll be lucky to get the two Berlins...

Offline Pusser

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2016, 15:45:12 »
OCEAN's elevator is huge.  It could handle a Griffon.  Yes, it has a 220V domestic power system, but it was actually an afterthought.  It also has a 110V system.  We would have to change the plugs though.   However, the ship is showing its age and may not have much left in her.  It also has RN standards of accommodation...

It is a pretty interesting ship though.
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Offline MilEME09

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2016, 16:05:25 »
OCEAN's elevator is huge.  It could handle a Griffon.  Yes, it has a 220V domestic power system, but it was actually an afterthought.  It also has a 110V system.  We would have to change the plugs though.   However, the ship is showing its age and may not have much left in her.  It also has RN standards of accommodation...

It is a pretty interesting ship though.

If we were to buy the ship, the only thing I could see it used for was a trainer, but that would require us to have ships for them after they train...
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2016, 10:51:27 »
For some out of the box thinking, why not get some large car carriers from a Korean shipyard? They have ample internal space for vehicles by design, and many of the lower decks not needed for vehicles can be used to house bulk stores. For military use, the decks and ramp need to be reinforced to carry heavy military equipment, and the upper deck would have to be modified to handle helicopter operations.

While not as good as a purpose built ship, it would be far cheaper, fairly economical to operate and can carry a worthwhile amount of "stuff". Housing the soldiers might require filling a deck with modular "housing" units.

This is an example of the type of ship, showing the flat top deck and one of the side ramps.
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Offline Colin P

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2016, 11:42:40 »
RO/RO would need a way to off load if there is no port and no landing craft well. It could be done doing similar to what Ocean does a ramp to a platform, but you also need to crane to deploy the platform.

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2016, 11:40:10 »
RO/RO would need a way to off load if there is no port and no landing craft well. It could be done doing similar to what Ocean does a ramp to a platform, but you also need to crane to deploy the platform.

Thats why this would be an 80% solution. Still, it would be far more affordable than other solutions and adding a crane for a platform might not be "too" difficult (someone with more experience in this should provide some details). Similarly, while adding a helicopter deck on top shold not be too difficult, I'm not advoicating that a ship like that actually embark helicopters (turning an upper deck into a helicopter hanger and adding elevators will involve far more costly modifications).
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Offline Loachman

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2016, 12:40:39 »
If we got this ship or a Mistral, I would stand down a Griffion Squadron

One thing that we cannot afford is the loss of another Tac Hel Squadron.

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2016, 12:51:07 »
Would you consider a squadron equipped with  Cyclone sized helicopters that can operate on the ship and shore as a "Tac Hel Squadron"?

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2016, 13:50:18 »
No. And that would force a third fleet upon us for no additional value.

We have already worked Griffons from Mistral.

Offline Pusser

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2016, 15:19:38 »
OCEAN doesn't need an additional crane to deploy its ramp.  It can embark many different types of helicopter, including Merlins (EH101) and Chinooks.  It can even land multiple Ospreys.
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Offline OTR1

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2016, 15:30:57 »
Pass!
Agreed.

And by Baz....
Quote
She also only had a 20 year design life......from all accounts she was driven pretty hard and isn't in the best of shape.
Correct on both counts. A friend did a brief stint her last Oct (Nov?) and reports that she's very much showing her age.

And that wardroom bar was small, uncomfortable and generally utter crap.  [:'(

Offline Colin P

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2016, 15:34:51 »

And that wardroom bar was small, uncomfortable and generally utter crap.  [:'(

Well that's the final nail in the coffin of this idea  [lol:

Offline Colin P

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2016, 15:39:15 »
No. And that would force a third fleet upon us for no additional value.

We have already worked Griffons from Mistral.

If we go down the amphib route, I would want us to buy a Cyclone helicopter airframe without the ASW suite to use off of them to deal this that issue and training.

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2016, 15:48:57 »
We have already worked Griffons from Mistral.

Yeah, but we'd need helicopters that could actually move something aside from a machine gun.
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Offline Loachman

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2016, 21:38:48 »
I have never, ever been a fan of the LSVW of the helicopter world.

UH1Y or Black Hawk.

One does not want anything bigger for the utility role, for the same reason that one does not want 20-30-man APCs/IFVs for following tanks onto objectives.

Offline Old Sweat

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #26 on: March 10, 2016, 22:24:23 »
I have never, ever been a fan of the LSVW of the helicopter world.

UH1Y or Black Hawk.

One does not want anything bigger for the utility role, for the same reason that one does not want 20-30-man APCs/IFVs for following tanks onto objectives.

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #27 on: March 10, 2016, 23:48:56 »
I have never, ever been a fan of the LSVW of the helicopter world.

UH1Y or Black Hawk.

One does not want anything bigger for the utility role, for the same reason that one does not want 20-30-man APCs/IFVs for following tanks onto objectives.

That's why I liked the Lynx/ Sea Lynx: the Sh&t off a shovel-copter :)
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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #28 on: March 11, 2016, 16:45:17 »
Don't we have 6 or 7 ex-us-101 that could be made airworthy for an Ocean air group?

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #29 on: March 11, 2016, 17:12:48 »
New airframes grounded by politics and lack of bits as I recall

Offline Baz

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Re: Purchase HMS Ocean?
« Reply #30 on: March 17, 2016, 06:35:28 »
Don't we have 6 or 7 ex-us-101 that could be made airworthy for an Ocean air group?

They are the ex VH-101 US VIP aircraft, bought after they cancelled the program, explicitly for parts for ours.  It might be more expensive to get them flying to then to get new ones...