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Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels (MCDVs)

Edward Campbell

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Colin P said:
Plus US and Canadian CG have used helo's without hauldowns for decades. Very true it limits usage without it.

Is this, the RN's experiment a potential answer to shipborne aircraft for small combatants?

141125-700x-scan-eagle-03.jpg

141125-700x-scan-eagle-10.jpg


I know 14 feet is a lot of space on a small combatant, but the current Kingston class ships have fairly spacious decks, don't they? (That's a serious question for the sailors.)

kingston_1a.jpg

 

TwoTonShackle

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When we tested the ScanEagle on the Glace Bay ~2010, the launcher, catcher took up the whole sweep deck (quarterdeck) of the MCDV.  The legs of the devices were criss-crossed as well, making it interesting to maneuver around them.  The units themselves were tied down with chain ties, (borrowed from the Toronto Helo Det if I remember correctly), and were done in the best manner possible.  So it basically looked like spider-men went nuts with chain webbing, as we did not have the optimal tie down points for the equipment.  The pod section was used as the control station for it, so basically one unit used pretty much occupied the whole aft end.  It didn't impede launching the rescue boat, but line handlers had to take more care when moving around at night due to the legs and chains on deck.
I remember speaking to the commodore at the time about further use of the drones and MCDV's.  His response was although it was viable, it would be more advantageous to deploy them from a frigate that could operate 4-6 at a time.
 

Colin Parkinson

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daftandbarmy said:
The Visby looks nice... and it's 'northern capable'

The Swedish Defence Procurement Agency (FMV) has delivered the final version of the first Visby-class corvette, HMS Visby (K31), to the Swedish Navy.

The 41st Corvette Division commander Anna-Karin Broth said: "There remain several trials and exams before we can start using HMS Visby fully, but right now it feels good that the ship is finally delivered to the Armed Forces.

"The vessel has repeatedly demonstrated outstanding results."

Currently, a crew of 43 are undergoing training to handle the ship and its systems.

The Kockums-built 73m-long HMS Visby has been designed for mine countermeasures and anti-submarine warfare (ASW), as well as to support attack and anti-surface warfare operations.

"The vessel has repeatedly demonstrated outstanding results."

Featuring a suite of ASW equipment, 127mm rocket-powered grenade launchers, depth charges and torpedoes, the Visby-class ships have a beam of 10.4m, a displacement capacity of 640t and can cruise at a maximum speed of 35k.

Visby (K31) was originally handed over to the Swedish FMV in June 2002; in June 2006, the second and third HMS Helsingborg (K32) and Harnosand (K33) were officially delivered.

FMV had taken delivery of the fourth vessels of the class, Nykoping (K34), in September 2006, while the fifth Visby-class vessel, Karlstad (K35), was launched in August 2006.

Visby-class corvettes have been developed to minimise the optical and infrared signature, underwater electrical potential and magnetic signature, above water acoustic and hydroacoustic signature, as well as radar cross section and actively emitted signals.

All five modernised ships are scheduled to be delivered to the Swedish Navy by 2014.

http://www.naval-technology.com/news/newsswedish-armed-forces-receives-first-visby-class-corvette

Seems their range is half that of the Kingston class and appears to be tailored for the shorter range stuff they do.
 

Edward Campbell

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TwoTonShackle said:
When we tested the ScanEagle on the Glace Bay ~2010, the launcher, catcher took up the whole sweep deck (quarterdeck) of the MCDV.  The legs of the devices were criss-crossed as well, making it interesting to maneuver around them.  The units themselves were tied down with chain ties, (borrowed from the Toronto Helo Det if I remember correctly), and were done in the best manner possible.  So it basically looked like spider-men went nuts with chain webbing, as we did not have the optimal tie down points for the equipment.  The pod section was used as the control station for it, so basically one unit used pretty much occupied the whole aft end.  It didn't impede launching the rescue boat, but line handlers had to take more care when moving around at night due to the legs and chains on deck.
I remember speaking to the commodore at the time about further use of the drones and MCDV's.  His response was although it was viable, it would be more advantageous to deploy them from a frigate that could operate 4-6 at a time.


Thanks for that, but ... assuming that I'm right and that there is a valid operational requirement for a mixed, balanced fleet that includes several small combatants, say in the 1,500 ton range: is the UAV a suitable replacement for (not adjunct at) the helicopter?

(I know I'm "situating the appreciation," but I was in Ottawa for a long time so I learned that's how policy is made.)
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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Colin P said:
Seems their range is half that of the Kingston class and appears to be tailored for the shorter range stuff they do.

Concur. The Visby's are basically a combination of an overgrown Fast Attack Craft with an Inshore ASW ship. They are not what we need, and they are miserable ships in a good storm offshore due to their very shallow draft, fairly flat bottom and high beam.

E.R. Campbell said:
Thanks for that, but ... assuming that I'm right and that there is a valid operational requirement for a mixed, balanced fleet that includes several small combatants, say in the 1,500 ton range: is the UAV a suitable replacement for (not adjunct at) the helicopter?

(I know I'm "situating the appreciation," but I was in Ottawa for a long time so I learned that's how policy is made.)

Even on the MCDV's they would be a useful kit and could be accommodated on a smaller foot print, by moving the control station to the ops room or the bridge in a more permanent manner and using a smaller , container mounted launch rail. But in every case, you would have to trade in the capacity to carry out mine warfare. If you are going down on OP CARIBE, that is a fair trade in capability, but if you are going up North, you probably want the route survey/underwater detection gear capability at the same time as the Scan Eagles if you could (which you can't).

In a new 1500 tons + small combatant like the ones we all mentioned and put pics of above, the set up used by the Brits would work wonderfully as the launch ramp is wheel mounted to go in the hangar and just be rolled on the flight deck, and you can probably store three or four birds at the same time in the hangar easily.

I would be weary of leaving any of that gear exposed on the upper deck for long period of time (because sea salt spray plays havoc on airforce equipment).
 

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TwoTonShackle said:
I remember speaking to the commodore at the time about further use of the drones and MCDV's.  His response was although it was viable, it would be more advantageous to deploy them from a frigate that could operate 4-6 at a time.
A symptom of what you could call "small ship blindness" of the sort alluded to by Edward. Is the best way to operate six UAVs in a CARIBBE-style operation from a single platform with a crew of 220 and a unit cost of $1B, or from six ships with crews of 36 that cost $50M apiece that can be spread across the AOR? By any measure, the latter is the sounder approach. Maybe now that the Kingston class are being blended-crewed, mindsets will start to change about how they can be employed.
 

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HMCS_Glace_Bay_king3.jpg


Given that buddy has slung the Scan Eagle over his shoulder (fully loaded and fueled weight is 22 kg)

141125-700x-scan-eagle-10.jpg


isn't there room enough to permanently mount a launch rail on the foredeck or even on the deck above the wheelhouse?

7-scaneagle.jpg


This is where the Scan Eagle began life, as a spotter for tuna boats, and that boat appears to be a lot smaller than an MCDV.

The vehicle cruises for over 24 hours (compared to 3 to 5 hours for a Cormorant/Cyclone and 10 to 17 hours for an Aurora) at an altitude of 19,500 ft (15,000 for the Cormorant and 35,000 for the CP-140)

http://www.insitu.com/systems/scaneagle
http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/aw101-helicopter/
http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/cp-140-aurora-maritime-surveillance-aircraft/

I don't see why an MCDV couldn't host a flight of 4 Scan Eagles and keep 2 to 3 of them on station on a permanent basis.

Add in Swarm Technology, where the birds talk to each other and adjust their search patterns autonomously and the MCDV becomes a great little reconnaissance and sovereignty platform.  Convert the Bofors to an RWS-40 and you could even add on something like Sea Ram to heavy up the punch and add a little Anti-Surface / Anti-Air capability.

Edit to add:

What Hamiltongs said.

Here's the smallest Boat-Launcher combination I could find (courtesy of Wiki)

1920px-MK_V_SOC_launching_ScanEagle.jpg


A US Special Operations Craft.
 

dapaterson

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hamiltongs said:
A symptom of what you could call "small ship blindness" of the sort alluded to by Edward. Is the best way to operate six UAVs in a CARIBBE-style operation from a single platform with a crew of 220 and a unit cost of $1B, or from six ships with crews of 36 that cost $50M apiece that can be spread across the AOR? By any measure, the latter is the sounder approach. Maybe now that the Kingston class are being blended-crewed, mindsets will start to change about how they can be employed.

You heretic you.  Next you'll want to build a fleet of corvettes at a reliable offshore shipyard off a proven design with no customization to effectively patrol at a fraction of the cost.  Will no one think of the bloated, overpaid contractors and inefficient Canadian shipyards?
 

Kirkhill

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DAP

I was just talking to a buddy in Seattle that supplies RO systems to something like 70% of the Cruise ship market.  I asked him if he was in contact with Irving and Washington Marine. The answer was Washington yes, Irving not so much. 

Even in the States, no strangers to bloated defence contracts, Canada is considered in a league of its own. Nobody can figure out how we Canadians manage to suck up so much money and deliver so little.  Titans of capitalism us.  ;D
 

daftandbarmy

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dapaterson said:
You heretic you.  Next you'll want to build a fleet of corvettes at a reliable offshore shipyard off a proven design with no customization to effectively patrol at a fraction of the cost.  Will no one think of the bloated, overpaid contractors and inefficient Canadian shipyards?

How could you possibly propose something like that? Don't you know that there is no way you can't serve the ego of Admirals with a bunch of tiny little ships?  ;D
 

Stoker

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Scan Eagle is certainly a great piece of kit, but no room on the sweepdeck of a MCDV with a accommodations module and LE Det/Utility pod. That being said the new Scan eagle 2 with the compact Mark 4 launcher could be accommodated fwd easily. http://www.insitu.com/scaneagle2
 

dimsum

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daftandbarmy said:
How could you possibly propose something like that? Don't you know that there is no way you can't serve the ego of Admirals with a bunch of tiny little ships?  ;D

You mean like this guy? 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_W._Murray

;D
 

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Northrop Grumman to Provide Gyrocompass Navigation Systems for the Royal Canadian Navy

Per news release: http://investor.northropgrumman.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=112386&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=2040117

DARTMOUTH, Nova Scotia, April 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE: NOC) Sperry Marine business unit has been selected to design and supply gyrocompass navigation systems for 12  Kingston Class coastal defence vessels for the Royal Canadian Navy, as a subcontractor to SNC-Lavalin Defence Programs Inc.
Northrop Grumman Corporation logo.

The contract will include Dual NAVIGAT X MK1™ gyrocompass systems, NAVITWIN IV™ Heading Management Systems and a complete suite of Heading Repeaters. Installation will start in June 2015 and extend through early 2017. Six of the vessels being upgraded are based in Esquimalt, British Columbia and six are based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, where the first field tests will be conducted this summer.

Beyond the supply of equipment, the contract will also include system design and configuration, factory acceptance testing, commissioning, harbor acceptance testing, site acceptance testing as well as familiarization training, which will involve 12 trainers.

"Northrop Grumman's advanced gyrocompass systems will modernize the navigation capabilities of these Royal Canadian Navy coastal defence vessels, ensuring fleet readiness," said Jeanne Usher, managing director, Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121024/LA98563LOGO 

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/northrop-grumman-to-provide-gyrocompass-navigation-systems-for-the-royal-canadian-navy-300072249.html

SOURCE Northrop Grumman Corporation
 

Colin Parkinson

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daftandbarmy said:
How could you possibly propose something like that? Don't you know that there is no way you can't serve the ego of Admirals with a bunch of tiny little ships?  ;D

I think those same Admirals saw that a more capable MCDV were a threat to the existence and replacement of larger ships. To be fair with a government willing to replace a tank with a MGS, it was a valid concern.
 

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So what is the plan for the MCDV's going forward.  There's no "mid life" refit planned.  Their operational timeframe trails off to 2020+.  Are we just going to operate them until they fall apart (SOP) or is their contribution to the Navy important enough to replace with another platform.  Is the AOPS considered a partial replacement?

Its seems like there is no plan, as the RCN is dealing with putting out some critical fires (FELEX, JSS, AOPS) and the MCDV's are critical in ensuring that some international obligations are met (OP CARIBE). 

There's a role for cheap, smallish patrol ships.
 

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Underway said:
So what is the plan for the MCDV's going forward.  There's no "mid life" refit planned.  Their operational timeframe trails off to 2020+.  Are we just going to operate them until they fall apart (SOP) or is their contribution to the Navy important enough to replace with another platform.  Is the AOPS considered a partial replacement?

Its seems like there is no plan, as the RCN is dealing with putting out some critical fires (FELEX, JSS, AOPS) and the MCDV's are critical in ensuring that some international obligations are met (OP CARIBE). 

There's a role for cheap, smallish patrol ships.

Even though the MCDV's had their midlife refit cancelled, many of the ships systems have been updated and many more planned. The ships are in very good shape with lots of years left in them,  as we saw before with the announcement that up to four would be tied up caused quite a bit of controversy  I can see AOPS doing some of the things the MCDV doing i.e. OP Caribbe/OP Nanook but they excel in their versatility and operating costs. With the loss of the Quest the MCDV's are stepping up again with DRDC tasks which AOPS won't be a waste to use doing. MCDV's are extremely busy force generating and whatever else they throw at us.
 

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Hey, its the RCNs version of "Light Forces"!

I can see the value of a Corvette project for naval projection in the hemisphere and domestic operations duties.
 

Fishbone Jones

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Infanteer said:
Hey, its the RCNs version of "Light Forces"!

I can see the value of a Corvette project for naval projection in the hemisphere and domestic operations duties.

Worked for the Battle of the Atlantic. 8)
 

Edward Campbell

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The initial corvette was a true desperation play: it was cheap, a proven design, cheap and easy to build, not too difficult to sail and even fight with an inadequately trained/experienced crew, and so on.  But, very early in the war, the admirals recognized that the design was deficient and most corvettes were refitted with a much longer fo'csle. Midway through the war it was appreciated that the corvette was too small, too slow, just plain "not good enough" and the frigate was built, starting in 1941. It offered the size, speed, and endurance required for mid ocean escort duties, while using the inexpensive, easy to operate, reciprocating machinery of corvettes.

Louisbourg.jpg
300px-HMS_Arabis_(K385).jpg
6160257528_1da403db00.jpg

          An original, short fo'csle corvette                        A refitted corvette with a long fo'csle                      A River class frigate, bigger and better than corvette
            In common use until 1942/43                                  In use until then end of the war                      In use from about 1943 onwards, and in peacetime, too
                                                        The evolution of the RCN's North Atlantic escort vessels from 1939 to 1945


The corvette was a useful vessel, but not good enough; but we had good, tough, admirals, especially Sir Max Horton in Liverpool (HQ of the Commander-in-Chief, Western Approaches) and Leonard W Murray in Halifax (HQ of the Commander-in-Chief, Canadian Northwest Atlantic) who knew what they needed and drove the engineering and procurement processes (thank all the gods for CD Howe!)* to get what they wanted in a timely manner.

_____
* Canada had a more efficient shipbuilding process, albeit not as professional, than the UK; when (1943) Lord Beaverbrook tried to introduce some modern efficiencies and management into British shipbuilding, Ernest Bevin, the Minister of Labour and National Service, and a Labour member who was protecting the trade unions, even in a war that Britain was still in danger of losing, challenged him and won ~ because Churchill needed Atlee and Labour to keep his war coalition going. CD Howe did not face any such partisan obstructionism in Canada.
 
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