The shringing Royal Navy.


An Empty Flight Deck?



(Sorry the author is no draughtsman)



With all the problems now facing the Royal Navy. Both now and in the future.  It desperately needs a flexible responsive design of warship which due to cost will not reduce the fleet to a hand-full of warships.  So what is the answer? 

The Multi-Purpose Warship. (MPW) Is one class multifunctional warship with a simple design concept which could be built for the Royal Navy and the export market?  A design whose idea is for the  warship’s flexibility to change roles in a matter of hours by simply changing the weapon silos aft and therefore being ready to deal with any problem in the future.

Built using the ‘Board Margin’ to permit a ten-percent growth during the design process. In all constructions of the MPW the hull, engines, accommodation, and its attended machinery should be standardized to one fits all.   Thus reducing in spares and planned maintenance after all every ship is interchangeable, and with the weapons systems removed when the ship is in for a refit. These being made available to other operational MPWs if needed.  The ship can be refitted by any civilian ship yard, thus creating competition. The secondary weapon system fitted, will be standard for every ship. Varying only when needed for the future needs.  However; the key to this ship and its future is the main weapons can be changed for different roles from pirate chasing, to air defence, by changing the two  weapon silos aft. If an Apache Helicopter is fitted for pirate chasing the silos can act as both flight deck and hanger. Another advantage is the MPW never becomes dated, because it is not build around the weapon system like the ships in service today. On the expense mid-life refit in around 10 years’ time for the type 45s who will need to update the ship’s ageing weapon system.  The MPW will constantly be updated throughout its service life, from launch to the scrap yard.

The operation room would be standard for all MPW. The software being Linux based and fully integrated. Each weapon system will come with its own software compatible with the ship’s on-board computers.  With a simple plug and play system earning the ship the nickname of the IPOD warship.


In conclusion.

To continue  towards ship's like the American $5billion Zumwalt class, where I will reiterate again the Multi-Purpose Warship is a concept where a warship may fulfill numerous roles some of whom may not yet even have been thought of.  Where various weapons system can be fitted into a standardized hull, giving the Royal Navy a more affordable flexible warship for the future.

It’s time we got away from this failed ideology of building warships around weapons system.  The life of a warship is twenty- five years, a weapon system is five maybe ten years  at best.  It makes no sense in a Warship costing £1.3billion for it to be obsolete for the last fifteen years of its operational life.

After all we change the weapon fit on an aircraft why not on a warship?



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Queen Elizabeth class Aircraft Carrier

Type 45 Destroyer

Type 26 Global Combat Ship







Total estimated  running cost of these ships in the service of a  Future Royal Navy  including estimated  mid life refits, and  operational requirements which excludes  any replacements or  a major conflict  such as the a rerun of the Falklands. 


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