This text is examining the appearance of the Type 45 Destroyers in the printed media, how various experts feel the program has been portrayed, and what could be done to improve the situation. It has discovered that there has been so small an amount of real coverage of the program that it is almost a joke. It has found that a nation which used to pride itself on its navy, and where practically every journalist could name off the top of their heads every major vessel in the Royal Navy. Now, they cannot even get the number of missiles carried in the navy’s brand new class of destroyers. It has concluded that the programme of procurement for Type 45 destroyer has included the MoD pursuing a media agenda which was actually counterproductive (whether willingly or not) to the Royal Navy getting what it asked for. Its findings reflect the fact that the UKNDA has been handicapped in its attempts to correct this and many other programs. Primarily this could be said to be because the UKNDA pursues an exclusive top down approach to lobbying rather than inclusive ground swell political campaign; simply put it is concentrating on influencing ministers and rallying former senior military personal to its standard, when the former have no wider body of ‘voters’ interested in the issue, and the latter are already prepared to pledge support; but are very bad at presenting either a united front or actively mounting a political front to effect the government. However, more than anything it is the current government forcing down the level of debate which has crippled both their actions and their attempt to build a wider base of support. In order to overcome this in the long-term a suggestion might be for them to try a populist approach to build up a wider foundation of support for complete defence procurement reform; as well as to enable to starting of an ongoing vibrant debate on the future operational requirements, strategy, shape and what is necessary for it.
Figure 2: Artists impression of a T45 firing an Aster missile in profile
These vessels, whose primary role is that of ‘monkey-goalkeeper’; moving around the seas and the carrier (Fig 3) or amphibious task groups that they will be attached to with the roles of fielding cruise missile strikes and air attacks; whilst also providing fire support with their 155mm main gun. They nevertheless have only the fittings for but are not fitted with anti-ship missiles, they are fitted with a Vertical launch System (VLS), which even those who recommended it, advertise it may have to be upgrade to another; which was cheaper to buy in the first place. To this are added a litany of further compromises on the original requested specifications. Even with these issues, and costing about £600million for each, there has been limited, or no involvement by the media; this report asks two questions; what have the media reported on the Type 45, and why have they reported so little. Simply put, both these questions ask what the quote at beginning stated; why has there been no debate on something so important.
Figure 4: Type 42 class destroyer firing a Sea Dart missile
The T45 design was thus entrusted to British Aerospace Engineering (BAE), Britain’s largest, in fact one of the world’s largest, full spectrum arms companies. Through the borrowing of a lot of influences from both the Type 23 Duke class of ASW Frigates of the RN (Fig 6) and the Horizon project, a design was cobbled together with an initial order of eight being placed; after a strategic defence review had made further cuts.
Figure 6: HMS Norfolk, a Type 23 class frigate
3.0 What has been reported?
(Ministry of Defence (National). A, 2009)
Figure 9: HMS Ocean the LPH which is so important to the RN's Littoral capability
This is different again from the way that JM develops it; he suggests that the RN did get the type and style of ship it wanted; although he is careful to avoid mentioning the words quality or quantity. The Royal Navy wanted an AAD, it wanted 14 of them, probably with a better VLS than the Sylver A-50; however it’s got just 6 of them, and according to JM (2009) it is due to the huge cost which was caused by MoD/government imposed cuts to the defence budget. This is an interesting point to put across and it’s probably more a product of the lack of media or public debate, in fact interest, in the defence procurement and planning process.
The groups such as the UKNDA need to develop the capability of lobbying the court of public opinion as the only viable method of affecting government action. They are currently focused on lobbying a government which does not want to listen in the first and in the second would prefer to not have to pay anything for the forces it deploys around the world for its political/diplomatic ends. This is notably the converse opposite of America where defence spending and procurement is a very public issue. As an issue though it gets worse when you go from land to air to sea, the land has a visible battle Afghanistan and Iraq which it is fighting, the air is ‘obviously’ supporting the ground battle (even though the most successful aircraft are RNAS harriers); what is the role of the navy? This is not being announced to people of Britain, all that they hear and see are the failures verses the pirates, not the fact that it is lack of deployable escorts, with UAVs and Helicopters, which is holding back the counter pirate effort and merchant protection.
Primarily this has happened because the UKNDA pursues an exclusive top down approach to lobbying rather than inclusive ground swell political campaign. The UKNDA is concentrating itself on influencing ministers and rallying former military personal to its standard; when the former have no wider body of ‘voters’ interested in the issue, and the latter are already prepared to pledge support but are very bad at presenting either a united front or actively mounting a political front to effect the government. It needs to change itself from focusing at the very top, if the MoD drives the debate too low, the UKNDA is focusing too high – they need to bring the bottom, they need to bring the defence debate to the same level as immigration and hospitals; equally complex topics but they are still given more debating space because they are at the level at which debate can and will take place.
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. Defined as vessel as greater than 6000 – 12000 tons and not nuclear powered
. Whilst the Future Carrier (Queen Elizabeth Class) is also important, without the destroyers to provide a layered protection against the swarms of cruise missiles and any aircraft which might leak through a Combat Air Patrol CAP, then the carriers and the amphibious ships will be tragically exposed. Layered defence, that is CAP and long range Surface to Air Missiles SAMs are what are necessary to provide a full spectrum defence for a modern fleet far from home (Hill J. R., 1988)
. This is to be retrofitted into the first two vessels of the class when it is opportune
. VLS is complete system of both launcher and controls, including software, which allows for the operation of a specific range of missiles
. The MOD has been on a buy European tract recently; but it keeps having to then buy American to get the equipment it needs, the Euro fighter is a perfect example of this as it is only batch 3 which will be able to launch the bombs required for modern warfare, whereas the Joint Strike Fighter JSF (Britain and America’s joint effort to replace the Harrier) is about 20% of the cost and even though it has not gone into production can launch or fire every weapon system either in use or projected
. Minister for Science
. SM-3, is the Standard Missile, the principle family American naval SAMs, they have multiple versions, with the SM-3 being the Anti-Ballistic Missile/Extended Range Area Air Defence missile; with a range of 250nm and a ceiling of 150nm. (Pike, 2008)
. PAAMs is like the Aegis, it is a command, control and information system, however the Type 45 does not have phased array radar, and does not have missiles with the range of the SM-3 or SM-2ER
. It is bigger, therefore might be large enough to take a modified missile, the A-50 due to its size is limited to Aster and Mistral missiles: the A-70 was selected for the Horizon class frigates, but when the project broke down the MOD changed and selected the A-50 in order to keep costs down
. The Type 41 is probably the most common most tested VLS in the world; it carries the widest range of munitions available (Figure 7 is only about 25% of those available), because of its modular design it is capable of taking multiple sizes of missile. It is currently fitted in the USN’s Ticonderoga class cruisers and Arleigh Burke class destroyers, examples from the rest of the world include the Anzac class frigates of the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal New Zealand Navy, the Canadian Iroquois class destroyers, the Netherlands De Zeveb Provincien class frigates, the Israeli Navy’s Sa’ar 5 class corvettes, the Japanese Kongō class destroyers, the South Korean KDX-II & III class destroyers, the Spanish Álvaro de Bazán class frigates, the under-construction Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen class frigates, the German Navy's Sachsen, Brandenburg, and F125 class frigates and others.
. In its RAF version it is called Storm Shadow and has a range (once launched) of 250km, its cost seems to vary though with Italy having paid $270 million for 200 putting it at $1.35million per unit, whilst the French senate is indicating it at €800,000 per unit or $1,117,760 per unit; the RAF have not disclosed what they paid for it. This is all compared to $575,000 per unit for the Tomahawks which are arguably better more proven systems.
. From left to right, Tomahawk, VL ASROC, SM-2 IV (for runner of the SM-3), Aster 15, Aster 30, Sea Sparrow, and Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) quad pack
. Some articles have three times the speed of sound
. This point is especially important America has 61 Arleigh Burkes in its fleet and is still building, whilst Britain is only building 6 of the Type 45’s, which is only slightly better in design and slightly cheaper to build; but is so under armed and un-versatile in comparison that they should never be put next to one another lest the rest of the world notices how hollow the British claims are. Whilst Britain does not need 61 destroyers, to guarantee at least one to defend the UK, and two deployed at other places in the world 9 would needed, to accept any level of battle damage and extremes of situation 12, if not the 14 originally asked for, would be required. Although if 6 more were to be built then A-50 VLS would probably be replaced with the Type 41 VLS.
 The RN likes specialist vessels still, although this might be a reaction to the MoD/Treasury and the need to sell it to them. It is after all easier to sell a vessel which has a single visible focus or mission that is easy for non-area specialists, not to understand, but to quantify.