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Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ship AOPS

Kirkhill

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Time to resurrect the MacKenzie Valley Pipeline - FROM Hardisty TO Inuvik.  Have the Chinese pick it up FOB Inuvik.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Interesting article, personally would like to see a more robust weapons and self defense suite. However given the success that we have had with the MCDV fleet, I see this as an evolutionary step forward of that concept. What we do need is the willingness to modify and update the capabilities of the AOPS as they serve and not wait till things become dire. Another option not mentioned in the article is that semi-submersible AUV’s for ASW work may be an option where the AUV can hunt for the sub and transmit the data back to the ship, which can remain silent with minimal electronic broadcasts.
 

Underway

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What's the decision making process for arming a ship in Canada.  Pretty much what the article says.  What is the threat environment the ship is supposed to work in?  What's the ships role?  What are the likely combat scenarios?  In this case the AOPs a 25mm is sufficient for what it needs to do.  And is cost effective.  It's not like the ship is being deployed in first echelon combat scenarios. Its also extremely unlikely that one would occur where it is supposed to deploy.  Should that happen it would withdraw and/or call for backup like the MCDV's would.  It's the security guard/bouncer, not the police or SWAT.
 

Colin Parkinson

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The problem is that the world rarely plays to your guesstimates. The old adage is "walk softy and carry a big stick" This is more "bang a drum and wave your little stick"
 

Stoker

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AOPS is not a purpose built warship but built more along the lines the Kingston Class was. The 25MM in my opinion is plenty for what its purpose is and that is in a constabulary role. If a robust design with a big gun and missiles is required then call in a warship that is designed to go into harms way, the AOPS is not that. Perhaps a possible solution was a design that could be fitted quickly with a modular gun and defense/offensive systems buts that's not what the government wanted.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Because we have never taken existing equipment and employed it in ways never intended.  :nod:

In fact the above is about the only thing you can count on. I am glad it's armed, even lightly and was the same about MCDV's getting the 40mm, it was a change of mindset for the small naval vessels that was long overdue. In fact I am of the opinion that all naval vessel including the Orcas should have some armament and carry small arms. Yes it can be a pain, but it is a naval vessel and you will never know when you might be called on to conduct some form of action. Plus it's a bit of "train how you will fight". If things go down the tube, it's very likely going to be an AOP's that you will be bringing. 
 

Cloud Cover

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Chief Stoker said:
AOPS is not a purpose built warship but built more along the lines the Kingston Class was. The 25MM in my opinion is plenty for what its purpose is and that is in a constabulary role. If a robust design with a big gun and missiles is required then call in a warship that is designed to go into harms way, the AOPS is not that. Perhaps a possible solution was a design that could be fitted quickly with a modular gun and defense/offensive systems buts that's not what the government wanted.

I accept this, although originally I did not think the ship would provide much value due to a lack of extensive and sophisticated surveillance equipment (both active and passive, surface and subsurface and air search). However, since the EW/ELINT and Surveillance equipment fit will remain marginal at best, this is not a high value asset requiring much in the way of defence and so low expectations are just that. (expendable....).

I suppose, with enough forewarning or in a period of escalated tensions, there may be some lightweight, compact LOS add-on missile/missile defence/gun systems that can be used for one engagement since reload would likely not be possible (for several reasons). Some of the Elbit/Israeli self defence systems for example might be adaptable to the ship ...

On the other hand, this will be a fun ship to sail on and for a young OD, a great way to start off a career in the RCN. The crew will be privileged to witness and experience the arctic in a manner that the rest of the world can only imagine. It would be great experience for NAV officers, hull techs and engineers, bosun's and basically any trade except combat systems.
 

NavyShooter

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I've seen the manning 'ideas' for it, Combat Systems are very limited, as is the CSE Manning.  I think 4-5 W Eng.  (Still up in the air though.)

A couple of points on 'bolt-on' gear.

1.  Looking at the physical space, if you landed one of the shipping containers from the Stbd Aft corner, you could possibly fit in a 4 cell Harpoon launcher down there, between the crane and the ladder leading up to the flight deck.  Possibly a second one on the Port side, or heck, you could setup an ISO pad with a quad pack of Harpoons for each side, might have to  raise them up a bit, but you'd end up with a serious ASM capability.

Ruskies have something similar already, but I'm thinking Harpoon since it's already in the system.  We might even have the old Harpoon systems hanging around from pre-HCM, so sitting on a half-dozen of them would give you an ability to give an ASM capability to the AOPS.

0*wCvn4197JfzFsL2v.png


2.  AA Capability

SeaRam or CIWS are the first ideas that comes to mind, but that's a big pile of weight going up high, on a structure not designed to carry an extra 6200 Kg.  So I think they're out.

I think a more realistic idea would be to get an Avenger turret installed, combined .50 Browning MG with 4 Stinger AA Missiles.  Weight looks like about 3000 pounds (1.5 tons) when pulled off the Humvee chassis.  It is gyro stabilized, and according to open-source data, has a range of up to 8 km.

This would be able to fit on top of the rear deckhouse (Flyco?) That said, it's a manned system, so you'd have to look at the RADHAZ implications of sending someone up there, not to mention the weatherizing of it for Arctic conditions.


Possibilities exist to 'up-gun' the AOPS. 

Are they ever likely to be needed, or exercised?  Nope.  Then again, we did this to an IRE:

hsc-90-1069-582.jpg
 

Stoker

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whiskey601 said:
I accept this, although originally I did not think the ship would provide much value due to a lack of extensive and sophisticated surveillance equipment (both active and passive, surface and subsurface and air search). However, since the EW/ELINT and Surveillance equipment fit will remain marginal at best, this is not a high value asset requiring much in the way of defence and so low expectations are just that. (expendable....).

I suppose, with enough forewarning or in a period of escalated tensions, there may be some lightweight, compact LOS add-on missile/missile defence/gun systems that can be used for one engagement since reload would likely not be possible (for several reasons). Some of the Elbit/Israeli self defence systems for example might be adaptable to the ship ...

On the other hand, this will be a fun ship to sail on and for a young OD, a great way to start off a career in the RCN. The crew will be privileged to witness and experience the arctic in a manner that the rest of the world can only imagine. It would be great experience for NAV officers, hull techs and engineers, bosun's and basically any trade except combat systems.

It doesn't have the capability to have active sonar however it will have the capability to see what other assets are seeing.  Most likely will be able to see the data that Northern watch will eventually be collecting.. I agree it will be fun ship to sail on, I've been to the Arctic six times now and experience new things every time I go.
 

Edward Campbell

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Chief Stoker said:
AOPS is not a purpose built warship but built more along the lines the Kingston Class was. The 25MM in my opinion is plenty for what its purpose is and that is in a constabulary role. If a robust design with a big gun and missiles is required then call in a warship that is designed to go into harms way, the AOPS is not that. Perhaps a possible solution was a design that could be fitted quickly with a modular gun and defense/offensive systems buts that's not what the government wanted.


If it is a ship for a, primarily, constabulary role and not at all well suited for a "warship that is designed to go into harms way," then should it not be manned by constabulary people?

inkster.jpg
orig-mediaitemid22496-9267.jpg


I know the RCMP Marine Division of old ...

   
PV%20Wood.jpg


          ... equipped with "hand me down" warships, was sold off and its duties reassigned, but maybe, if the Arctic waters will become navigable, we want it back.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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Actually, ERC, the AOPS are set so they can (and on most missions probably will) carry some personnel from other departments. So they could easily embark a couple of RCMP officers, just as is done with the mid-shore patrol vessels of the Coast Guard during the summer.

This constabulary work of the Navy is what is new for us here in Canada. But it is done by many countries around the world, including the UK (the River class patrol vessels) where they do fisheries patrol, and France, where all government ships of various department involved in coast defence are specially identified. The French call this coordinated approach "action de l'état en mer" (state action at sea). The advantage of using the Navy to operate such ships is that it provides, with the smaller ships so employed, junior commands/postings to develop and train more military personnel should there be a call for rapid expansion of the naval fleet. (a PO1 can garner good experience as CERA of a simpler vessel before moving into a similar position upon promotion onboard a frigate/destroyer - a young Lcdr can assume command and learn a great deal form her actual commanding, in preparation for going into an XO, then CO position on board a frigate, etc. for all trades and jobs)
 

Colin Parkinson

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This is one of the sort of AUV I see being used off of the AOPs to investigate submerged targets  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/05/06/boatymcboatface-to-live-on-as-yellow-submarine-science-minister/
 

Lumber

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Underway said:
CDAI take on AOPS.  The first actual defence of the project I've seen.

http://www.cdainstitute.ca/images/on_track/On_Track_-_Summer_2015_-_Choi.pdf

Ok, I agree with a lot of what he is saying, except for this one line:

"The difference between a ship with a 25mm gun and one with a 76mm at close ranges is not so great as to induce the former to have no choice but to surrender without a fight."

I'm sorry, but, no. Even at close range, I am not going up against 76mm HE rounds with only a 25mm Bushmaster, thank you very much. I'll try, if I have to, full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes 76mm, and all, but it's not going to be pretty.

 

Underway

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Lumber said:
I'm sorry, but, no. Even at close range, I am not going up against 76mm HE rounds with only a 25mm Bushmaster, thank you very much. I'll try, if I have to, full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes 76mm, and all, but it's not going to be pretty.

I don't believe he is referring to a 76mm vs a 25mm gunfight.  He's referring to the 25mm or 76mm ship dealing with non-compliant vessels. I didn't have a lot of respect for a 25mm myself until I did 8 months in the sandbox.  Eye opening.  And navalized weapons generally have better rates of fire than their army counterparts due to better ammo feeds, power supply and cooling systems.  A rapid fire 25mm will rip open pretty much anything you want at 2.5 nm or less.  And its very accurate allowing you to pick what you want to hit out further.

Oldgateboatdriver said:
Actually, ERC, the AOPS are set so they can (and on most missions probably will) carry some personnel from other departments. So they could easily embark a couple of RCMP officers, just as is done with the mid-shore patrol vessels of the Coast Guard during the summer.

Agreed.  The AOPS will carry (is designed for) a covered landing craft, bunks for extra 22 pers, new large boarding party RHIB, along with their helo space.  Snowmobile training is on the potential list of things the crew need. This is the escort carrier version of a LPD/H.  ;D

I heard somewhere that the Inuit traditionally didn't see a difference between the ocean and the shore the same way Europeans did.  They considered it all the same in many ways because of the ice covering that came and went.  I would like to think that the AOPS takes that philosophy to heart.  Sea and shore the same thing, find ways to operate in both.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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Actually, Underway, I also read that part of the article as a reference to a 25mm / 76 mm gun fight. Otherwise, what is the meaning of the end of the sentence that reads "not so great as to induce the former to have no choice but to surrender without a fight." ?
 

Cloud Cover

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Underway said:
I heard somewhere that the Inuit traditionally didn't see a difference between the ocean and the shore the same way Europeans did.  They considered it all the same in many ways because of the ice covering that came and went.  I would like to think that the AOPS takes that philosophy to heart.  Sea and shore the same thing, find ways to operate in both.

Fantastic statement. Perhaps this is what Trudeau Snr. had in mind when he encouraged the Inuit stop the SS Manhattan back in the early 70's.

I think one of the issues surrounding AOPS as a concept is that there is a difference between national defence/security and sovereignty in the arctic.  One is a right belonging to every state arctic state, the other is a claim to a right to exercise control over the objections or concerns of other arctic states. Here we have a vessel assigned to an organization with responsibilities related to national defence and security, but the design and capabilities do not fit well with the organization that has a primary mandate of war fighting. However, as has been noted in several posts, national defence may now more robustly include a constabulary/sovereignty mandate where the government is prepared to a draw a line. For example, in an operational context, defying the patrol and inspection functions of the CCG is one thing, defying and challenging a naval vessel tasked with asserting sovereignty is (or should be) quite another.         
 

Stoker

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E.R. Campbell said:
If it is a ship for a, primarily, constabulary role and not at all well suited for a "warship that is designed to go into harms way," then should it not be manned by constabulary people?

inkster.jpg
orig-mediaitemid22496-9267.jpg


I know the RCMP Marine Division of old ...

   
PV%20Wood.jpg


          ... equipped with "hand me down" warships, was sold off and its duties reassigned, but maybe, if the Arctic waters will become navigable, we want it back.

I know it well. Many of the ships were used by the naval reserve.
 

Cloud Cover

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A little bit about what the Russians are putting into the Arctic in terms of hybrid role ships (although they call them Corvette's, these vessels have more utility than that).

Article Link: http://www.janes.com/article/60063/russia-orders-new-project-23550-arctic-corvettes

Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act, RSC 1985 (as amended)

Russia orders new Project 23550 Arctic corvettes
Russia has ordered two Project 23550 ice-class armed patrol boats, the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced.

The class is described (in Russian) by the MoD as being "without analogues in the world", and combining "the qualities of tug, ice-breaker, and patrol boat".

The two vessels ordered will be built by Admiralty Shipyards in St Petersburg and are scheduled to be delivered to the Russian Navy by 2020.

The MoD specifies the Project 23550 class as being able to break ice up to 1.5 m thick. A concept image released by the MoD showed the vessel armed with a medium-calibre main gun on the foredeck (likely an A-190 100 mm naval gun), a helicopter deck and hangar, and two aft payload bays each fitted with a containerised missile launch system (akin to the Club-K system offered for export) armed with four erectable launch tubes - presumably for either Club anti-ship or Kalibr-NK land-attack missiles. Although billed as patrol boats, this level of armament makes them better armed than many corvettes"

You need a subscription of DWAN access to read the rest...

And from Navalrecognition.com:  http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3936

Project 23550 Ice-class Patrol Ships to Significantly Strengthen Arctic Capabilities of Russian Navy
The two Project 23550 ice-class patrol boats ordered last week by Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) will significantly increase the Arctic capabilities of the national Navy, according to Russian defense analysts.
Project 23550 combines the qualities of patrol boat, ice-breaker and tug, being a multi-purpose ship. As the MoD`s official spokeperson pointed out, the Project 23550 vessels "have no analogues in the world". The boat can break ice 1.5 m thick. The MoD does not disclose the specifications of Project 23550 ship.

But based on the official illustration released by the Russian MoD, the class will be armed with medium-caliber naval gun on the foredeck (reportedly, 100mm A-190-01 or 57mm A-220M developed by Burevestnik scientific-research institute) and two containerized missile launch system (probably, Kalibr-NK (NATO reporting name: SS-N-27 Sizzler) anti-ship/land-attack subsonic cruise missiles) and one Ka-27PS anti-submarine or Ka-27PL search-and-rescue helicopter.

"Don`t be confused by their designation and classification. Both Project 23550 so-called "patrol boats" are well armed. Their armament set does not come short of many corvettes," a source in Russian defense industry pointed out.


It should be noted that Russia is making significant efforts to beef up its Arctic capabilities. In Autumn 2015, Russian defense industry laid down the first Project 03182 multirole patrol/support ship. Russian shipbuilding industry is also constructing Project 20180 logistics ships, Project 1900 diesel-electric ice-breakers, and Project 22600 and Project 22220 nuclear-powered ice-breakers. The aforementioned ships will bolster Russia`s activity in the Arctic Region, according to the analysts.


Project 03182 Multi Role Patrol/Support Ship

Russia lays down first of two new Arctic support ships

Article Link: http://www.janes.com/article/55630/russia-lays-down-first-of-two-new-arctic-support-ships

Russia's Vostochnaya Verf shipyard in Vladivostok laid down the first of two new arctic multi-purpose support vessels for the Russian Navy on 27 October.

The Project 03182 vessels are designed to act as small tankers, replenishment and support vessels for Russian warships working in the arctic region. They're also intended to be able to take on patrol functions, tow other vessels, conduct search and rescue (SAR) operations, fisheries monitoring and to support civilian shipping and oil and gas operations.

With arctic operations in mind, the vessels have been built to the Russian Arc 4 ice class standard, the second highest level and equivalent to the Finnish-Swedish IA class. The vessels are understood to be a derivative of the Project 23310 design from the Zelenodolsk Design Bureau (ZPKDB).

The first vessel will be called Mikhail Barskov , the Russian Ministry of Defence announced, and will have a displacement of 3,500 tonnes, a crew of 24, a length of 80 m and a range of 1,500 n miles. It will be powered by three diesel-electric engines, and equipped with two auxiliary power units and a bow thruster. A helicopter pad at the rear of the vessel can accommodate a helicopter such as the Kamov Ka-27 'Helix', and the vessel is fitted with a 20 tonne crane amidships. They are not believed to be armed.

Both of the two vessels will enter service with the Russian Navy's Pacific Fleet, with Russian media reporting that Mikhail Barskov will be delivered in November 2017, with the second following at the end of 2019.




 

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Lumber

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And against an Ak-100, I definitely don't want just a 25mm...

But practice, if Russians are going to start putting f***ing Sizzlers on "patrol" ice-breakers, then there really is no need to go anything higher than a 25mm, because the 25mm will have one purpose, and one purpose only: to disable the engines on a merchant vessel that won't heave to.
 
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