Programme and Construction
The Type 45 Project was effectively launched on 26 April 1999 when the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) finally announced its withdrawal from the increasingly disastrous collaborative Project Horizon Common New Generation Frigate (CNGF), and opted to pursue a national programme instead. By the end of March 1999 the UK had already spent £100 million on Horizon and the final cost by end-1999 when the project was finally wound-up and all the bills settled, is thought to be close to £200 million. The Defence Procurement Agency (DPA) says it is unable to say precisely how much of the Horizon investment can be folded into the Type 45 program, although it confirmed that plans for the Type 45 would "build on" the work accomplished in the design-definition phase. This was greatly helped by the decision that the new destroyer will, like Horizon, be equipped with the UK variant of the tri-national Principal Anti-Air Missile System (PAAMS). The prime contractor (BAE Systems) originally suggested that it would be able to "pull through" about 70 percent of the United Kingdom's Horizon expenditures, but it was reported by one specialist defence magazine that the actual figure was in fact 30% and still falling!
Initial progress on the Type 45 project was quite rapid as both the RN and MOD were very anxious to meet a late 2007 in-service date for the first ship .
Marconi Electronic Systems, working with BAE Systems, completed a three week pilot study in June 1999, which was followed by Tranche 1 of the PFD (Preparation for Demonstration) which looked at a variety of design, engineering and combat management options. In November 1999, Marconi Electronic Systems (by then part of BAE Systems and renamed BAE Systems Electronics) was appointed the Prime Contractor for the Type 45. Operating under a £34.5 million Tranche 2 PDF contract awarded in November 1999, BAE Systems' Bristol-based Type 45 Prime Contract Office (PCO), became the design authority for the class and is responsible for the whole warship, including the combat management system and its integration.
The PCO worked closely with the Defence Procurement Agency in a joint Type 45 integrated project team to refine procurement strategy, the base line design and form the basis of a contract for first of class manufacture. To preserve manufacturing capability and future competition BAE Systems Marine in Glasgow and Vosper Thornycroft (VT) in Southampton were required to jointly work together with the PCO on the detailed design, and share a significant part of the assembly of a first batch of Type 45 destroyers. A maximum price offer for demonstration for manufacture was submitted to the MOD by the PCO at the end of March 2000. The Type 45 project went before the MOD's Equipment Approvals Committee in mid-year and the Defence Secretary announced approval for the first batch of three ships on 11 July 2000.
At the time the detailed construction plans were still being developed by the shipyards and the PCO but it was anticipated that the Type 45 ships would be assembled from competitively procured modules, with competition invoked industry-wide for block/module fabrication, and between BAE Systems Marine and VT for assembly, fitting out and setting-to-work, with the blocks/modules being moved between yards for assembly.
"We are looking to build up an integrated team from the PCO and the two shipyards for the first batch," said Brian Phillipson, then Managing Director of the Type 45 PCO. "What I'm trying to do is have a risk sharing arrangement with the two yards that says 'design it, support the PCO in getting that design made, and then support the PCO in getting that design accepted'. And throughout all that period capture the learning and fold it back into the design so that we have a more stable design base to move on after the FOC. What we are then proposing is that we go through a two-tier procurement and manufacturing strategy with quite a lot of the ship. At the 'lower', subassembly level of large blocks and modules and equipment items, like valves and chiller units, we would aim for competition across a broad range of industry. Then we would aim to separately compete assembly, fitting-out and setting-to-work activity. We would want to equip both yards to be able to compete for that assembly process."
The MoD indicated in early 2000 that it expected that BAE Systems Marine would build the first and third of the ships at its Scotstoun and Govan yards on the Clyde in Scotland, and that the second would be built by Vosper Thornycroft (now called VT Group). VT were then based in Southampton and Portchester, but these facilities were unable to assemble ships the size of the Type 45 so VT presented a plan to move its Southampton yard to a new facility located within the Portsmouth Naval Base at a set-up cost of £10 million (US$14.5 million).
On 20 December 2000, BAE Systems Electronics was awarded the £1.2 billion (US$1.8 billion) prime contract for the Demonstration and First-of-Class Manufacture (DFM) phase covering the completion of the design and actual build of the first three Type 45 destroyers. At the time, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) said that "Sub-contracts for the build of the ships will be let as soon as the Prime Contractor has achieved an affordable price at acceptable risk, in accordance with agreed strategy. This we hope will be achieved [in 2001]." A second batch of three Type 45 was then expected to be ordered in 2004, for which it was hoped BAE Systems Marine and VT would compete independently.
However these carefully thought plans were disturbed when in January 2001 the MOD confirmed that BAE Systems Marine had submitted an unsolicited bid to build all 12 then projected Type 45 ships at it's Scotstoun Clydeside complex, BAE Marine claimed that VT's price to build the Type 45 was too high and that with the current UK overcapacity in shipbuilding it made no sense to create still more capacity through VT's expansion in Portsmouth. BAE Marine argued that it could not meet the target price set by the Prime Contractors Office and that by concentrating the build on Clydeside significant savings would be made over the course of the build programme. BAE Chairman Sir Richard Evans said "If the MoD continues to drip-feed ship orders around the country, I do not know if we would want to stay in [the shipbuilding] business.". The move sparked a furious response from VT which stood to lose its share in the construction of the first three ships to BAE, and was forced to temporarily shelve its plans to move to a new Portsmouth Dockyard facility.
Faced with an increasingly heated argument and the need to make difficult decisions crucial to the long term future of British warship construction capabilities, on 3 May 2001 the MOD announced that the respected Rand Corporation, which researches for the Pentagon on subjects including the US aircraft and shipbuilding industries, had been commissioned to examine Britain's warship procurement strategy, with particular reference to the Type 45 destroyer programme.
After reviewing Rand's findings, on 10 July 2001 the government announced that the Type 45 procurement schedule was being advanced and that six ships would now be ordered to help shipbuilders by giving them a guaranteed level of work until the end of the decade, allowing investment in new facilities and offering savings to the taxpayer. The Ministry of Defence subsequently announced on 18 February 2002 that the DFM contract with BAE Systems Electronics - the Prime Contractor - had now been amended from three to six Type 45 platforms, i.e. an order had been placed for the building of another three Type 45 destroyers nearly three years earlier than previously planned. It was also announced that the Prime Contractor had in turn agreed and signed subcontracts with BAE Systems Marine and Vosper Thornycroft for the construction and outfitting work on the first six ships of the class. At the time of this announcement, Nigel Stewart, Acting Managing Director of the Type 45 PCO said: "The platform negotiations between the Prime Contract Office (PCO) and the two shipyards have been extremely challenging... " - a very diplomatic understatement from a BAE employee! The expectation at this time was that work packages would involve Vosper Thornycroft at its new Portsmouth shipyard, and BAE Systems Marine at its yards at Barrow-in-Furness, and Scotstoun and Govan on the Clyde. The work was expected to sustain about 1,200 jobs on the Clyde, 900 at Barrow-in-Furness, and 650 at Vosper Thornycroft.
HMS Daring will be assembled and launched at Scotstoun, and the Design Centre, the focus of design support, will remain there for the whole programme. For HMS Daring, VT will build and outfit the forward section of the ship, masts and funnels. These sections (weighing up to 700 tonnes) will be taken on a specially built barge to Scotstoun for final assembly. BAE Systems Marine at Govan will produce all the other steelwork which will also be transferred to Scotstoun for building, assembly and launch.
Under the strategy announced in July 2001 (and clarified February 2002), all remaining ships after Daring would be assembled by the BAE Systems Barrow-in-Furness shipyard in its massive Devonshire Dock Hall (alongside the Astute Class submarines) because of the limited capability of the former Yarrow yard at Scotstoun to build ships as large as the Type 45's without extensive dredging and expensive remodelling of the dock facilities. And no ships would now be assembled by VT, however the later still moved over the next 18 months its main shipyard from Woolston (Southampton) to a new facility located within Portsmouth Naval Dockyard, Woolston closing Autumn 2003.
But this second build strategy didn't last very long without another major modification! It was announced by BAE Systems on 21 January 2003 that subject to MOD approval (granted in March) it would consolidate its Type 45 work at the two Clyde shipyards - Scotstoun and Govan. This was because the much delayed Astute Class submarines were occupying facilities required for the Type 45's; the on-going difficulty of scheduling both Astute and Type 45 assembly in the Devonshire Hall (a delay to one would directly affect the other); the poor track record of Barrow on surface ship construction and the logic of the yard concentrating just on submarines; and the economies resulting from consolidating all BAE's Type 45 work on the Clyde (e.g. not having to barge all sections round to Barrow). Scotstoun will fabricate Block A (the stern block, including steering gear stores and accommodation) and Block D (the heart of the ship including the Operations Room and the Bridge) .Although its Scotstoun yard will now require substantial investment, BAE believes that there will be net savings. It later emerged that HMS Daring would still be assembled and launched at Scotstoun, but for subsequent ships this would now be done at Govan.
After the first-of-class ship, VT Group will still build the same sections as for Daring, but outfit them to a much greater extent before shipping to Govan. All other Type 45 steelwork will now be supplied by just Govan.
The two companies (now called VT Group and BAE Systems Naval Ships) will work on the same section of the ships throughout the programme to maximise efficiency and get best value for money.
It was planned (mid-2001) by the PCO that design work on the Type 45 design would be completed by December 2002, with the first metal being cut for the First of Class (FOC) - HMS Daring - in January 2003. However in November 2002 the MOD admitted that the "revised procurement strategy due to delays in establishing arrangements with the Prime Contractor and shipbuilders" had caused a 6 slippage, but claimed that as a 6 month risk differential (margin) had been allowed for at Main Gate, the net revision to the ISD would be zero, i.e. the lost time could be absorbed and a November 2007 ISD was still forecast. However the statement also implies that the risks are now at the highest level acceptable for that date, and that the schedule is thus now highly susceptible to any further issues/delays directly impacting the ISD.
There was inevitably some slippage in the Type 45 design milestones during 2001-2, but following the completion of a series of Design Reviews the first metal for the Forward Machinery Room (FMR) of HMS Daring was finally cut at BAE Govan on the 28th March 2003, and assembly work (Main Build) began on 11 August 2003 at BAE Scotstoun. The FMR was used as a pilot study to test the processes for other modules and assemblies.
It was originally expected that that HMS Daring would be launched in October 2004, but that was revised to September 2005 and then to February 2006 due to fabrication problems. Delivery and commissioning has slipped even more - from April 2006 to September 2008. When the ship is physically completed, there will be 18 months of extensive first of class trails including a very demanding work-up of the systems, particularly the PAAMS system, for the first time much of this will managed by the contractor before the ship is handed over to the Royal Navy. Finally there will be a operational work-up for the crew, including two months of "Operational Sea Training".
The officially published In-Service Date (ISD) for HMS Daring remained November 2007 until November 2004 - long after it had ceased to be plausible. The National Audit Office (NAO) was rumoured to be concerned about this “slight of hand” by the MOD, but had done nothing publicly before in January 2004, BAE Systems admitted that it would not be able deliver the first Type 45 until 2008. The MOD and BAE Naval Ships subsequently agreed new timescales which reflect about an 18 month slippage and the ISD of HMS Daring has now been revised to May 2009. The primary reason offered for the delay is a longer than expected Assessment Phase. this caused by problems in setting up the industrial arrangements and the unavailability when needed of essential information related to the WR-21 gas turbine and PAAMS weapon system.
According to pre-2003 plans, HMS Dauntless and HMS Diamond would follow in to service in 2009, and all six of the first and second batch's would be in service by 2011.
For all ships of the class after HMS Daring, stage one ship performance trials will be done at Scotstoun and stage two combat system performance trials will be done at VT Group in Portsmouth.
It was expected in 2002 that subsequent Type 45 procurements (i.e. after the first 6) would still to be ordered in batches of three, and that negotiations between the MOD and suppliers for the second batch (units T45-07 to T45-09) were expected to start in late 2003, although no order will be placed before 2005. However whether a final batch - units T45-10 to T45-12 - would ever be ordered was increasingly uncertain, and the MOD's Equipment Plan 2003 (EP03) as drafted in early 2003 did not include. In January 2004 BAE Systems said it still saw an importunity to supply 10 Type 45's, but on 21 July the MOD announced in "Delivering Security in a Changing World - Future Capabilities" (Cmd 6296) "Destroyers and frigates will remain a key part of the Fleet – whether as part of task groups or operating independently. ... Eight new Type 45 destroyers will form a vital part of this force, and provide much greater effectiveness per ship."
It appears that since then the MOD has been seeking to delay delivery of the Batch 2 units (T45-04 to -06) and the still unordered Batch 3 units (T45-07 and T45-08) by one to four years compared with the prior plans. The last unit to enter service in 2017. Inevitably the stretching and reduction in size of the build schedule had cost implications, and BAE Systems it was reported in February 2005 that BAE was seeking compensation from the MOD - this may have caused the MOD to reconsider somewhat. Under 2007 plans, T45-06 is scheduled to enter service in 2013, with no dates announced for the Batch 3's.
BAE submitted revised bids and pricing for the Batch 2 and 3 units in June 2005. Although the basic ship design will remain the same, changes in some aspects of the design are inevitable in the time it will take to produce all 8 vessels. Ten improvements have been identified for the second batch, and its possible that the final two units may incorporate some significant changes and improvements compared with the early units, for example improved command and control (flagship) capabilities - particularly if it's decided to omit such capabilities from the planned future aircraft carriers.
The final agreement for the systems integration and outfitting of the three Batch 2 units (T45-04 to -06) was expected by the end of 2005, but did not occur although work under the current hull platform contract continued, e.g. steel for the bow of HMS Defender (the fifth hull) was cut by VT on 31 July 2006. Finally in August 2007 - after 18 months of negotiations - Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) Director General Ships, Dr Andrew Tyler and BAE Surface Fleet Solutions Managing Director, Vic Emery formally signed a new Six Ship Contract onboard the First of Class, HMS Daring. The new contract completes the contracting of the outstanding elements of ships 4 to 6 of the class and re-baselines the programme to reflect the knowledge gained since project launch in 2000. It also introduces a series of new features including a revised test and trials regime to engage the end user earlier, and a delivery incentive plan to mitigate the programme against future schedule delay.
The seventh and eighth units was still uncertain, and dependent on sufficient funding being found. By mid 2006 industry had become very doubtful they will ever be ordered, although in July 2007 the MOD re-iterated that that they were still in its equipment plans.
In Spring 2008 there were plausible leaks that Planning Round 08 did not include funding more Type 45's and on 19 June 2008, Mr. Bob Ainsworth, Minister for the Armed Forces, told the House of Commans that "I can confirm that we have taken a decision not to take the option to order the seventh and eighth Type 45 destroyer. " The class is thus be half the size once hoped for, leaving severe concerns in relation to the ability of the RN to provide anti-defences for its aircraft carriers and amphibious forces.
Summarising, the current project plan (based on official information) is as follows:
HMS Daring went to sea for the first time on 18th July 2007 to begin her stage one sea trials, BAE Systems announced on 14 August 2007 that these had been successfully completed, stating:
Programme affordability is a major issue, there is a drive to maximise 'pull-though' of any useful products from the Horizon design definition work already completed. Many high cost or "gold plated" items that were in the Horizon CNGF Project but which are not considered critical to meeting the RN's core requirements are being dropped (e.g. the Inner Layer Missile System) or down-graded (e.g. the Electronic Warfare System).
Officially quoted costs for the Type 45 programme are still rapidly changing and are often confusing and contradictory. In addition, the reduction in planned class size from 12 to 8 ships will inevitably increase unit cost.
For the originally projected class of 12 ships, the total cost (source: NAO: Major Projects Report 2001 in November 2001) was expected to be £8,087 million, with a 90% range of £7440m to £8855m. This includes all PAAMS FSED/IP, Horizon and T45 Assessment Phase costs, including £2.8 billion total acquisition costs for PAAMS. The years of peak expenditure were expected to be 2007-08 and 2008-09. The average unit cost per ship, including all costs, works out at £674 million (about $1 billion).
In a letter dated April 2001 to the Defence Select Committee, the MOD estimated that the out-turn priced cost for the first six Type 45's will be £5,565 million. In an announcement made on 10 July 2001 it was stated that the first six destroyers are expected to cost a total of some £4.3 billion, presumably this excludes the Principal Anti Air Missile System ( PAAMS) FSED/IP, Horizon and T45 Assessment Phase costs which are included in the April figure. The Assessment Phase cost £242 million, and according to the National Audit Office (NAO) the development and initial production of the PAAMS (including HMS Daring's outfit) will cost £1,020m.
It was stated in February 2002 that the total contracted value of the Type 45 programme to prime contractor BAE Systems [for the construction of the first six ships] was approximately £2 billion, of which they had awarded over £1.25 billion to subcontractors, including £200m to Vosper Thornycroft.
The actual cost per individual ship after the First of Class (HMS Daring) exceptional costs, and excluding PAAMS development costs, is difficult to assess, but interestingly the figures above do imply that the average cost of a ships PAAMS outfit subsequent to HMS Daring will be about another £162 million, and the average cost of the last six Type 45's will be about £386m each excluding their PAAMS outfit, or about £548m each including PAAMS. However the actual figures may be lower as the balance apparently contains funding for further missile procurement and allows for the incremental acquisition of the combat system. For comparison an earlier (1999) statement from the DPA said that the target build cost for the 11 additional units (excluding HMS Daring) was £270m each, "excluding missiles" (i.e. excluding the PAAMS outfit?).
The NAO "Major Projects Report 2002" gives the cost of the first six Type 45's (if no more are ordered) as £4.3 billion, ordering another six ships would extend the cost of the programme to £9 billion. The unit production cost was given as £632.7 million. Unit production costs are based entirely on capital expenditure and do not include non-recurring expenditure or indirect resource expenditure.
In 2002 the expected annual Type 45 destroyer running cost was given as about £18 million, excluding refits. The PCO was aiming for a 37% reduction of in-Service costs relative to the Type 42.
In January 2004, the NAO's "Ministry of Defence : Major Projects Report 2003" stated that the current forecast (in outturn prices) for six ships was £5546m against an approved cost at Main Gate of £5837m. The unit cost was given as £552.7 million
In November 2004, the NAO's "Ministry of Defence : Major Projects Report 2004" avoided providing complete figures due to "commercial" reasons, but did indicate an increase in costs of £923 million, countered by savings of £768 million due to measures such as the apparent cancellation of the incremental acquisition programme. The unit cost was given as £576.7 million
In December 2005, the NAO's "Ministry of Defence : Major Projects Report 2005" revealed that the total procurement price for the first six Type 45 ships was now estimated at £5,896 million, it also mentioned reductions in ship capability in order to try bring costs back in-line with the Equipment Plan 2005 baseline. Unit production cost was put at £561.6 million.
In August 2006 BAE sources revealed that they expected to achieve a 30% reduction in man hours for the construction and outfitting of the sixth ship platform compared to the first.
In November 2006, the NAO's "Ministry of Defence : Major Projects Report 2006" stated that the procurement cost had increased in-year by £157 million to £6,110 million (6 ships). This was due to an increase in ships build costs - presumably related in particular to BAE's submission for the completion of the three Batch 2 units.
Equipped with the Principal Anti-Air Missile System, the primary role of the Type 45 is anti-air warfare, although it will have an anti-submarine capability.
The Type 45, together with the Sea Harrier and its replacement, will provide the Royal Navy's major Maritime Anti Air Warfare contribution in operations involving power projection and the protection of shipping in the sea lines of communication. It has therefore to be capable of world-wide operations in open ocean and the littoral areas, in climates ranging from tropical to North or South Atlantic winter. It must be capable also of operating with other units of a national, NATO or coalition force over a wide range of missions with varying levels of command embarked, and in a number of roles covering the full spectrum of activities from defence diplomacy, in peace and tension, to war.
As a platform, the Type 45 will have general capabilities to support and complement PAAMS. The priorities are firstly essential AAW supporting activities, secondly command and control facilities, thirdly anti-submarine and anti-surface self-defence, fourthly fire support and, lastly, contributions to force anti-submarine and anti surface warfare. Withdrawal from tri-national development and procurement means the burden of bringing Type 45 into production falls exclusively on UK and it is therefore likely that the full requirement will be unaffordable at the start. It is most likely that Type 45 will enter service with an initial capability that can be supplemented by technology insertion through life. This approach is highly compliant with the advantages identified under Smart Procurement during the 1998 Strategic Defence Review. The concept of incremental acquisition also lends itself to the greater adaptability needed to reflect the Navy's doctrine of Maritime Contribution to Joint Operations.
The Type 45 will be configured to operate in four roles: in support
of a force of lightly armed or unarmed vessels; as a unit in a Task
Force of Carrier Group; as a single unit and in non-combat operations.
The concept of layered air defence remains a tenet of maritime warfare.
It has been demonstrated in numerous studies and confirmed in action
that the synergy of long range air surveillance, airborne early warning,
combat air patrol, and medium and short range missile defence is needed
to provide adequate levels of defence. PAAMS will provide the critical
medium layer essential to continuous, all round area protection, and is
thus a critical enabler for maritime power projection and support of
combined joint task force operations.
Any design is a compromise, and the designer must make tradeoffs recognising the requirement he is to meet. The Type 45 is first and foremost designed for a demanding AAW role, and in that it is intended to be excellent.
Design authority for the Type 45 is vested with the design team: BAE SYSTEMS as Prime Contractor, with Vosper Thornycroft, BAE Systems Marine and DPA integrated into the team. BAE Systems, in partnership with the Defence Procurement Agency's Integrated Project Team (IPT), will select, through competition whenever possible, all the necessary equipment and systems, excluding the Principal Anti-Air Missile System (PAAMS) which is being procured separately by the DPA.
Work on the ship design itself is being carried forward by a joint design team (staffed by the PCO, BAE Systems Marine and Vosper Thornycroft) based at a satellite office in Glasgow. The detail design for the ship passed the first Design Review (DR1) in the summer of 2000, this established and confirmed the basic parameters of the design. Design Review 2 was held in early 2001 and Design Review 3 in October 2001, the design was effectively completed by early 2003. The hullform, as modified to reduce deck wetness at high speed, was frozen at design version 09, although further minor topside refinements occurred beyond the general arrangement issue 07 (March 2001) shown in the pictures (top).
At approximately 7,300 tons deep load and 152m in length, the Type 45 will be considerably larger than the Type 42 it replaces, reflecting the need for greater versatility to meet the wider range of roles the new ships will be called on to perform. Indeed, it's thought that the deep load displacement may eventually rise as high as 8,000 tons towards the end of the ships life. Designed for missions of up to 45 days, the Type 45 will be able to transit 7000 nautical miles at a speed of 18 knots, and reach a top speed of 29 knots.
The Type 45 destroyer has been designed from the outset to be as economical as possible to run and maintain. Electric propulsion is a major contributing factor, while larger space makes it easier and thus faster and cheaper to overhaul or replace equipment and systems. Type 45 is also the first vessel designed to the newly developed Lloyd's Naval Ship Rules (NSRs) for hull structure. During the design process all structural plans of the principal structural arrangements of the vessel will be submitted to Lloyds Register for approval.
The size and shape of the Type 45 is greatly influenced and constrained by its primary role as a platform for deploying PAAMS. In particular, the ship needs to be stable with good seakeeping while supporting the very elevated aerial structure needed for the heavy Sampson radar in order to maximise the distance at which threats can be identified. The design also needs a beam and depth sufficient to accommodate the large missile silos of the PAAMS system. When such requirements are combined, the ship has to be nearer 7,000 tonnes than the 4,000 tonnes of, for example, the Type 23 frigate. The ship could not therefore be directly evolved from the Type 23 frigate. A Type 45 design based on the US Arleigh Burke AEGIS equipped destroyer would have been sufficiently large at 8,500 tonnes, but the MoD considered it unaffordable.
Another influence driving up hull size is the need to carry crew in numbers appropriate to a planned long multi-role life, and by a decision to accommodate the crew in standards appropriate to recruitment and retention of sailors in the 21st century. It is also driven by the need for carriage of a large embarked force of marines/special forces, complete with all the equipment they need for long range insertion missions. Other important influences on the design include the large hanger able to accommodate a Merlin helicopter, and a flight deck sized to be able to accept a large Chinook helicopter. Adoption of Integrated Electrical Propulsion is also a size driver - but accepted in order to accrue the anticipated benefits, particularly in terms of through life costs and range / endurance.
Even in as large and carefully designed a hull as the Type 45, the power/propulsion spaces and the 48-cell missile silo absorb so much internal volume that the Operations Room will be not buried in the hull, as in earlier RN warships, but will be on the main deck below the foremast. Whether or not it will receive armour (steel or composite) protection will depend upon the outcome of vulnerability studies.
The designers are providing for a massive amount of through life capability insertion - again driving the design of the ship in many ways. It's anticipated that the Type 45 design will evolve from batch to batch, and of course subsequently during the destroyers service life. Type 45 will thus be built with growth in mind, specifically to allow for the incremental acquisition of equipment fits to meet the changing demands of defence operations over the life of the class without major rework on the ship structure, and without reducing the quality of life for the crew. The design also allows sufficient margins to accommodate alternative weapons and their launcher systems. The basic design therefore anticipates the need for new and better equipment to be added as new technologies are developed. The PAAMS Aster VLS missile silo has been raised by one deck so that in the future the DCN Sylver missile launchers could be replaced by deeper launchers (such as the strike length Lockheed-Martin Mk.41 VLS) which are able to accommodate a greater range of weapons. The Type 45 will initially carry 48 Sylver A50 launchers, but the ship is designed to carry up to 64 - including strike length Mk 41 or Sylver A70 - and full space, services and structural provision has been made so that fit of the extra silos is very easy.
For the Type 45 design, successful features from the Type 23 frigate, including the arrangement of the main gun and the Principle Anti-Air Missile System (PAAMS) silo and surface-to-surface missile canisters, have been incorporated. Considerable efforts have also been made to incorporate "Stealth" features in the design, and particularly to reduce Radar Cross Section (RCS). Compared with previous RN escorts, the bow no longer ramps down from the bridge to the forepeak, and all mooring equipment has been moved to a lower deck where it is hidden by panels which are only opened when the ship needs to anchor (Note: the later may no longer the case judging by the latest artists impressions). Sea boats on the Type 45 will also be hidden behind removable panels to increase the vessel's stealthiness, they will be stored on both sides of the ship's helicopter hangar.
The Type 45 has been designed with a much lower acoustic signature than the existing Type 42, and this will reduce the likelihood of its detection by submarines, improving both survivability and its capability when operating in a ASW role.
The designed service life will be 25 years.
Armament and Combat Systems
The armament and weapon systems of the Type 45 have been divided in to an initial core Batch 1 baseline, plus an Incremental Acquisition Plan (IAP) of desirable features which have been prioritised and will be added as funding becomes available. Generally, the philosophy is to recognise short term budget constraints, build in capability and delay final decision points, then go get the extra money needed to add in the capability. However, during 2004 round of defence cuts, the Type 45 IAP was up re-profiled and many planned upgrades deleted in order to save an estimated £238m.
The main armament of the Type 45 destroyer will be Principal Anti Air Missile System (PAAMS) with a mix of 48 Aster 15 and Aster 30 surface to air missiles (SAM's). The RN requires that a Type 45 destroyer armed with PAAMS will be able to defend itself, and other vessels in company, from both current and next generation anti-ship missiles. These could be sea-skimming, high-diving, supersonic, stealthy and highly manoeuvrable. Attacks could come from any direction and in salvoes.
The Type 45s are base-lined with a 48-cell SYLVER A50 VLS (manufactured by DCN Engineering at Ruelle in France) as an integral part of the Principal Anti-Air Missile System (PAAMS). Initially the Aster missiles will be carried in DCN Sylver vertical launch cells, however sufficient weight and space is provided for the substitution of the more flexible Lockheed-Martin Mark 41 VLS launcher in the future. Space is also provided to increase the number of vertical launch cells from 48 to 64 if required (some reports indicated up to 72).
There has been considerable public debate and speculation about the fitting of Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM) to the Type 45. This speculation was boosted by hints of interest from officials in the aftermath of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March and April 2003. However the RAF tri-service Director of Equipment Capability - Deep Strike (DEC(DS)), who sets the operational requirement, does not consider that a ship-borne LAM is required for the Type 45. Without a firm requirement, the Type 45 PCO cannot fund equipment fit, although a TLAM capability is provided for in the design. There is another complication in that only the Aster 15 or Aster 30 surface-to-air missiles are cleared for Sylver, which in turn is not cleared for anything else (including TLAM) - effectively Sylver would be needed for Aster and Mk45 for TLAM. But to date (mid 2005) the plan remains that initially the Type 45 will NOT be fitted with Land Attack Missiles; a land attack capability and TLAM is not formally a requirement despite years of effort by the RN.
However, with possibility of the addition of the Tomahawk land-attack cruise missile as a capability increment for the Type 45 programme, Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics and Surveillance Systems (NE&SS)-Marine Systems believes that there is still an opportunity to get the Mk 41 VLS aboard the new destroyers. The space and weight already reserved forward of the planned SYLVER silo would allow for the installation of two eight-cell strike-length Mk 41 modules to support the land-attack mission. In the longer term, Lockheed Martin argues that consolidating the vertical launch infrastructure around Mk.41 alone in later ships of the class would confer the Type 45 with a true multi-missile, multi-mission capability. Looking even further ahead, Mk.41 was also a candidate for the RN's now cancelled Future Surface Combatant (FSC) programme. In May 2002 Lockheed Martin NE&SS-Marine Systems signed a teaming arrangement with GKN to support its efforts to supply the Mk 41 Vertical Launcher System (VLS) for the Type 45 destroyer programme. Should the Mk.41 be selected for the Type 45 (or any other RN class), GKN would be Lockheed Martin's leading UK contractor and has been granted a licence to manufacture the launchers in the UK. In the face of this "threat" to its expected business, DCN has announced that it is starting to develop an enlarged Sylver A70 VLS module which will be able to fire Naval SCALP and future versions of Aster, and rather more theoretically other missiles such as Tomahawk. The A70 could be available as early as 2008 if the UK had a firm requirement - which it so far doesn't.
There are also a few choices about Land Attack Missiles, the Raytheon Tactical Tomahawk ("TacTom") was for a long while the only real option as it is available immediately, but by the time the first Type 45's enter service the MBDA SCALP Naval, which is being developed for the French Navy, should be available. The Royal Navy is very happy with Tomahawk, but politically, the Naval SCALP and A70 combination may be more attractive than the Mk.41 VLS and TacTom.
Unfortunately the RN's efforts to equip the Type 45's with a Land Attack missile from build have failed. The July 2004 Defence Command Paper "Delivering Security in a Changing World - Future Capabilities" (Cmd 6296) " did not announce this as had been hoped, and in November 2004, the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Alan West told a Parliamentary Defence Select Committee hearing that he would still like to see the Type 45's fitted with a cruise missile capability but conceded there is no money available in the equipment budget for a Tactical Tomahawk type of weapon. “There is no money; it will have to fight its way and see where it gets.”
The surface warfare capabilities of the Type 45 will - initially at least - be relatively weak, being limited to the 4.5" Mk.8 gun and the Sea Skua ASM capability of an embarked Lynx helicopters. Unlike the Sea Dart GWS.22 system fitted the Type 42 destroyers, Aster and PAAMS on the Type 45 will not have any capability against surface targets. Type 45 destroyers will also not be fitted with any Surface-to-Surface Guided Weapon (SSGW), and this was not formally a requirement as at May 2001. However the design provides for the capability to install the McDonald Douglas Harpoon Block II SSM in two quad launchers, if required. Thus installing Harpoon will be an easy fit late, and at a later date the PCO hopes to fund / find the equipment as part of the IAP.
The Type 45 will have a medium calibre gun, primarily for Naval Gunfire Support. Initially the Type 45's main gun will be the latest Mod 1 version of the elderly Vickers (now BAE Systems) Mk8 design, this incorporates various minor improvements to improve reliability and maintainability and reduce weight, it has a new angled low-profile gun shield, and is also capable of firing new High Explosive Extended Range ammunition with a maximum range of 27km. On the later batch(es) of the Type 45, the RN would like to replace the Mk8 with a new medium calibre gun offering greater Naval Gunfire Support capability and potentially able to fire extended range guided munitions. Early studies favoured a 155 weapon but fitting this would reduce VLS cell capacity.
In early 2003 a licence built version of United Defense's lightweight Mk.45 5-inch/62-caliber Mod 4 (ERGM capable) gun was seriously considered for the later Type 45's (12 were still planed at this time). A study by BAE Systems indicated that the Type 45 design had sufficient weight and space to take both a Mk.45 5" gun and the extra 16 VLS cells for deep strike missiles. The expected availability of the Raytheon Systems Extended Range Guided Munition (ERGM) EX-171 "smart" round for the Mk.45 was also an important factor. Team Naval Gun UK (consisting of United Defense, Alvis and DML) lobbied hard in favour of the Mark 45 solution and a decision by the MOD was anticipated by the end of 2003 but was repeatedly delayed.
In November 2004 the first Sea Lord, Admiral West, stated that all six T45 ships on contract would be fitted with the 4.5" Mk Mod 1 Medium Range Gun. He confirmed that a number of options had been looked at in the past (the Land Attack Lethality Study and the Surface Target Engagement Balance of Investment Study), but that alternative solutions had always been too expensive.
He also confirmed that the MoD was investigating a proposal from BAE Royal Ordnance to "up gun" the 4.5" to accept the 155mm from the AS90, an intriguing proposal known as the 155 Third generation Maritime Fire support (TMF). The proposed development would combine the 155 mm/39-cal barrel and breach used in the British Army's AS90 and the existing mount for the 114mm Mk 8 Mod 1 (4.5 inch) naval gun. Apparently the Mk 8 mounting is strong enough to cope with the extra recoil and the weight increase is small: it will weigh 24.5 tons compared with 22.5 tons for the 4.5 inch Mk 8 Mod 1 (and 26.4 tons for the original Mk 8 Mod 0). The system would mainly need to be modified to cope with a double-stroke loading cycle which will reduce the Rate of Fire (although sustained RoF for NGS is limited by barrel heating anyway). It is expected that the single-module L10 propellant charge will be used. BAE Systems argues that this hybrid solution offers a significant enhancement to the range and lethality of the UK Royal Navy's (RN's) naval gunfire support capability at very modest risk and cost.
Since 2006 the MoD has provided some funding to CORDA (BAE Systems’ specialist consultancy arm) and the company’s Land Systems business for a 155mm Naval Gun Study - which will culminate in land based firing trials in 2009. However the reality is that no new medium calibre gun has been selected for the 45's and all six units will be completed with the Mk8 Mod 1. Any belated selection of a new gun would almost certainly mean a retrofit to the class. Instead, thinking seems to have veered back towards adopting a 155mm gun for the Future Surface Combatant.
In February 2003 the Type 45 Prime Contract Office announced that it had selected MSI-Defence Systems to supply the fully automatic, remote controlled, "REMSIG" version of its DS30B single barrel 30mm gun mount as the Light Calibre Gun System for the Type 45's. This will provide the Type 45's with a close range gun for self defence in littoral waters.
Following the DFM contract signature it was determined to be possible (i.e. affordable) in January 2001 to fit a hull-mounted medium frequency search and attack sonar ("MFS") in all Type 45s as they are built, this was the top IAP requirement as senior RN officers had expressed serious concerns about the loss of the Type 45's capability to operate in waters with a possible submarine threat if no sonar was fitted.
After it failed to reach a satisfactory pricing agreement with Thomson Marconi Sonar (now Thales Underwater Systems) on its proposed TMS 4110CL system, already selected for the Franco-Italian Horizon frigate, the PCO opened the requirement to competitive tender and received four bids. On 15 January 2002 it was announced that the Ocean Systems business of Ultra Electronics has been selected by the PCO as the preferred supplier for the Medium Frequency Sonar for the Type 45 Destroyer. Ultra had teamed with the US sonar and combat system specialist EDO Corporation to bid the low-cost MFS-7000, a sonar system already supplied to the Brazilian Navy. Under the contract, Ultra, as design authority, and EDO will jointly adapt the sonar to meet the Type 45 operational requirement. The initial contract for the first six ship sets of equipment and is worth approximately £20m (some sources say $11 million - perhaps just the production value), excluding long term logistic support. Delivery of the equipment for the first ship (HMS Daring) is planned for 2004 and that of the sixth ship by 2007. The bow-mounted MFS is intended to provide the Type 45 with the capability to detect mine threats and, to a limited degree, submarine .
Ship-mounted Stingray torpedoes and Cray torpedo launchers also form part of the IAP, although their fitting is likely to be deferred from early units as an economy measure.
It's hoped to eventually fit equipment to allow the operation of a EH101 Merlin HM.1, for which the ships are being designed from the outset with sufficient space to land, "house" and maintain. As well as being able to operate the Lynx and Merlin helicopters, the flight deck is sized large enough to take even a Chinook. Compared with Lynx operations, required additional Merlin enabling equipment includes a £1 million PRISM deck handling and recovery device, a Ship Helicopter Operating Limits Instrumentation System, modular Merlin support in the hanger, a new glide path indicator, gyro-stabilised horizon bar and electro-luminescent panels for deck orientation. It's unclear at the moment whether any of this equipment will be fitted from build in early units.
Both the Merlin and Lynx aircraft will carry Stingray anti-submarine torpedoes, Lynx is also capable of carrying the Sea Skua anti-ship missile. From the middle of next decade the Sea Skua will be replaced by the Future Air-to-Surface Guided Weapon (FASGW).
The Type 45's will be equipped from build to carry the Surface Ship Torpedo Defence System (SSTD) of towed and expendable acoustic decoys. SSTD is intended as a reactive soft-kill torpedo defence system to detect, classify and locate torpedoes, formulate tactical advice to the command and enable the deployment of expendable countermeasures. In December 2001 Ultra Electronics was selected to develop SSTD, their solution being based upon the Type 2070 Torpedo Detection Sonar and the AN/SQL-25A Nixie towed acoustic decoy used by the US Navy. In the longer term, all the Type 45's will also be fitted to deploy enhanced SSTD countermeasures (including hard kill), and this requirement forms part of the Type 45 IAP.
The first three ships will not have an infra-red alerting system (IRAS, formerly known as an infra-red search and track or IRST) but this may be retro-fitted later.
Overall it seems that later batches of the Type 45 may differ considerably in armament from early units: most notably with a new 5" or 155mm gun replacing the 4.5" Mk8 Mod 1, perhaps versatile Mk.41 VLS cells able to carry a wide range of missiles replacing some or all of the DCN Sylver cells, and Sea RAM replacing Phalanx.
The ships Combat Management System (CMS) will be provided by a joint team from BAE SYSTEMS Combat and Radar Systems and Alenia Marconi Systems (AMS) under a contract worth around £50 million. The Combat Management System (CMS) enables the command team to manage and operate the combat system and achieve the ship's operational objectives. It will perform tactical picture compilation, threat evaluation, weapon assignment and control of the other combat system equipment, including PAAMS. To save money and reduce risk this will uplift existing surface ship command system and action data automation weapons system applications from the current ADAWS and SSCS combat systems already in service aboard the Type 42 destroyers and Type 23 frigates, while introducing new commercial off the shelf (COTS) hardware and operating systems.
A team of BAE Systems Combat and Radar Systems and Alenia Marconi Systems (AMS) has been awarded supply of the combat management system for the new ships. The same team, led by AMS, has also been contracted to provide a Fast Ethernet-based data transfer system for the programme in a deal worth about £7 million.
It was originally hoped that the Type 45's would be fitted from build with the Royal Navy variant of the US Navy's Co-operative Engagement Capability (CEC) sensor data distribution and plot fusion system. In April 2002 a team led by Lockheed Martin UK Integrated Systems (UKIS) was appointed to conduct risk-reduction and demonstration activities under Assessment Phase 2 (AP2) of the UK's CEC programme. At the time of contract award in December 2002, Lord Bach, then the Minister for Defence Procurement said "It is a system that could potentially offer a very significant enhancement to the situational awareness of our naval forces and their ability to protect themselves against the threat posed by enemy aircraft and missiles. It ... could lead to a revolution in our naval air defence capability. By bringing together all the information from all the networked radar in the battlegroup the fog-of-war is reduced and the Air Defence Commander will be presented with a highly accurate picture of all air target movements that will enable him to engage enemy forces quickly and efficiently."
CEC development and trials apparently went well, but faced with the £200 million funding approval apparently required to progress the CEC system in to service and actually fit it to the Type 23 frigates (from 2008) and the Type 45 destroyers (now from 2012), JDW reported in May 2005 that the MOD had instead decided to defer the CEC Main Gate investment decision to the end of the decade, and that the whole project is being re-assessed and may well be merged in to a nebulous "joint" capability that is unlikely to be as well suited to the RN's needs.
Other important systems to be carried by the Type 45 include:
© 2004-10 Richard Beedall unless otherwise indicated.