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RAN Future Frigate Updates, disscusion and News

This is a discussion on RAN Future Frigate Updates, disscusion and News within the Navy & Maritime forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by Redlands18 The next AWD laid down for the RAN will be the Hobarts replacement post 2040 at ...


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Old December 28th, 2016   #16
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The next AWD laid down for the RAN will be the Hobarts replacement post 2040 at least, not in my lifetime. The design could be very interesting by then maybe closer to a Zumwalt then a F-100.
That's closer to my thinking too (and again like you, I'm more than likely not to be around, unless I'm in some futuristic nursing home dribbling down my front onto a bib and wearing 'special' adult nappies too!!).


Anyway... what we are realistically talking about is approx. 30ish years from now, who knows then what will or won't be required?

As far as additional AWD's now, well that ship has well and truly sailed (no pun intended), there certainly was the possibility of at least a 4th AWD during the Rudd/Gillard time in Government, but it didn't happen.

If it had have happened, well that could have just enough of a 'bridge' between production ending on the three AWD's and the start of the nine Future Frigates.

And it probably would have also meant that the 'split' production model for the OPV's wouldn't be happening either (eg, first couple in SA before moving production to WA).
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Old December 28th, 2016   #17
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A couple of extra AWDs? Nah, can't see it happening!!
I hindsight it should have been a mixed build like the Adelaide's, 3x built os whilst 3x where built here, and stop re-inventing the wheel. I said it before we should have got on the US DDG production line with more automation.
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Old December 28th, 2016   #18
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I hindsight it should have been a mixed build like the Adelaide's, 3x built os whilst 3x where built here, and stop re-inventing the wheel. I said it before we should have got on the US DDG production line with more automation.
No chance of getting a slot in either of the two US yards even if we had the money and manning available. They've been flat out building their own.
That's fairy dust.
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Old December 28th, 2016   #19
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I hindsight it should have been a mixed build like the Adelaide's, 3x built os whilst 3x where built here, and stop re-inventing the wheel. I said it before we should have got on the US DDG production line with more automation.
Woulda, coulda, shoulda, but didn't!!

Past is past, nothing going to change that, the future? Well that will be interesting....

There are a whole range of arguments to be made about 'local v overseas' builds.


I think the current Government (and future too), will be in a 'dammed if you do and dammed if you don't', situation when it comes to local production of naval vessels, the line has been drawn in the sand.

As soon as there is mention of an overseas build, eg the AOR's, everyone runs around like headless chooks.

But on the other hand when ever the Government (yesterday, today or tomorrow), talks about spending many many Billions of dollars on an FMS purchase of aircraft directly off a US production line, guess what happens? Nothing! No screams that we should have at least 30% 'offset' for example, not a word said!

Most comments are positive, get the aircraft on time and on budget, no screaming by those headless chooks about the demise of Australian aircraft manufacture, funny that??


I'm not saying we shouldn't have a viable, efficient and cost effective local shipbuilding industry, we should, all good, but I do hope that if somewhere in the future if there is a 'need' for something to be produced and delivered ASAP, that the conversation can be mature enough to recognise that sometimes the needs of the RAN might just be greater than the needs of local industry (just as things happen with RAAF purchases).

Anyway, rant over!

Onwards and upwards for all of the future local RAN projects (and maybe some necessary overseas ones from time to time too)!
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Old December 28th, 2016   #20
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I hindsight it should have been a mixed build like the Adelaide's, 3x built os whilst 3x where built here, and stop re-inventing the wheel. I said it before we should have got on the US DDG production line with more automation.
Absolutely ... Life would be so much simpler now had we just bought the baby burkes.

Gibbs & Cox’s AWD Evolved Design Competitor Unveiled

It could carry two helicopters, 64 VLS, had a growth margin out to 8000 tons ... it sounds perfect for SEA 5000
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Old December 28th, 2016   #21
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I hindsight it should have been a mixed build like the Adelaide's, 3x built os whilst 3x where built here, and stop re-inventing the wheel. I said it before we should have got on the US DDG production line with more automation.
Absolutely ... Life would be so much simpler now had we just bought the baby burkes.

Gibbs & Cox’s AWD Evolved Design Competitor Unveiled

It could carry two helicopters, 64 VLS, had a growth margin out to 8000 tons ... it sounds perfect for SEA 5000
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Old December 28th, 2016   #22
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Absolutely ... Life would be so much simpler now had we just bought the baby burkes.

Gibbs & Cox’s AWD Evolved Design Competitor Unveiled

It could carry two helicopters, 64 VLS, had a growth margin out to 8000 tons ... it sounds perfect for SEA 5000
And a complete paper design with many unknowns including IP. The F105 base has issues but is more of a known quantity than the Baby Burke was still had considerable design work to be done.

If we were going to evolve a Burke design it should have been a tweak of the Batch II.

However ..... it is a moot point.
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Old December 28th, 2016   #23
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4th AWD would have made sense for fleet, training, production etc.

However, given how the replacement frigates are going to look its not a major issue anymore. The future frigates will be quite capable. Given the renewal that is going to be part of the redesign its probably better than building more AWD's.

There is no crew for extra ships. If Australia wants more capability it has to go looking for bigger and more capable units.

I think the F-105 base will win out. 70%+ commonality is hard to beat from a production and operation perspective. The other options are still in the running but that is the benchmark to beat.I don't see the other options being that compelling over that benchmark. If we had more time the AWD would have had two helos and some of the other features too.

Australia will have one of the finest fleets for a regional power afloat. Australia will have a submarine fleet of Barracuda's, twice the size of Frances. Australia will have more 7,000t+ frigates than the UK and Australia's will be much more capable (in any F105 or Type 45 or FREM).

But we have no time. If we were going to be building overseas it would have been in Spain. Which would be absolutely desperate for the work.
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Old December 28th, 2016   #24
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No chance of getting a slot in either of the two US yards even if we had the money and manning available. They've been flat out building their own.
That's fairy dust.

Putting aside money and manning issues, saying that the shipyards could not handle the work is just bs. The Saudi’s looked into buying the DDG's for themselves
and we're given a price and availability estimate, just like for the Saudis it would then have been up to the Commonwealth if the projected timeline was acceptable.

After all the USN would have need OHP in a timley manner back when building kicked off in the late 70's they also had an interruption in build schedule to accomadate the RAN


Capt. Cate Mueller, spokesperson for the U.S. Navy’s acquisition office, confirmed that the “non-binding price and availability (P&A) rough order of magnitude estimate was delivered in May” (2011)to the Saudis.
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Old December 28th, 2016   #25
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Woulda, coulda, shoulda, but didn't!!
It's hindsight everyone knows its easier to look back at "Woulda, coulda, shoulda"

I bet if we had Dr Emmett Browns Deloran everything would be Rosie now!!
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Old December 28th, 2016   #26
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Putting aside money and manning issues, saying that the shipyards could not handle the work is just bs. The Saudi’s looked into buying the DDG's for themselves
and we're given a price and availability estimate, just like for the Saudis it would then have been up to the Commonwealth if the projected timeline was acceptable.

After all the USN would have need OHP in a timley manner back when building kicked off in the late 70's they also had an interruption in build schedule to accomadate the RAN


Capt. Cate Mueller, spokesperson for the U.S. Navy’s acquisition office, confirmed that the “non-binding price and availability (P&A) rough order of magnitude estimate was delivered in May” (2011)to the Saudis.
You apparently know more about the USN shipbuilding capability than Secretary Mabus.
I suggest you watch the interview with him posted on the USN thread and then reassess your position. BIW and HI are both at capacity and will be for some time into the future, they are the only 2 yards building ABs.
You can't switch on, add on or stop programmes of this magnitude without consequence.
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Old December 28th, 2016   #27
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Hey Hairyman,

I agree with you on the basis that the "Flight 2" AWD's were built flowing on from the current AWD's, this would allow the contractors to have the work set up and ready for the future frigate in case of a delay. Allowing a fall back option for the future frigates, and if all went smoothly the future frigates could be built right behind the (at the time) almost finished "flight 2" AWD's. This would also give the LHD's a screen of 2 AWD's at a time with a backup of one at base on a work up. And with the manpower issue brought up, the navy actually does not lack manpower, (as per a naval officer) it lacks the operation ships to conduct operations. (I understand the overlay from a lack of submariners to "skimmers" that may have been confused). The "flight 2" AWD's would be common with the current AWD's but with an upgraded flight deck and dual hangers that would allow a VLS to be stationed in the middle of the hangers e.g on the Burke class. These ships would have to be widened (I understand that may be hard to envision) another improvement may be an extra CWIS and fire control radars due to the lack of a back up fire control radar. All the arguments that are listed are valid indeed but it boils down to the navy may still order one more AWD (or two if we are really really lucky) which would allow our LHD's to go into combat zones more easily. And before it is said there would be many issues in finding a way to produce the "flight 2" AWD and I understand that but we are talking about a capability that is well needed.
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Old December 28th, 2016   #28
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Look at the fleet of the 70s, a dozen escorts and a carrier, no amphibs to speak of other than an old carrier converted to a troop ship (not even an LPH) and only six subs. Since the 80s it has been about a dozen escorts, no carrier, a couple of amphibious roled logistics / command ships and six submarines. The numbers of guided missile ships increased as a proportion of the skimmer fleet but otherwise not much changed despite many plans by successive governments and some very attractive offers by other governments and industry.

Now the skimmer fleet is pretty much the same except the mix will be three destroyers and nine frigates, not the more usual 50/50 mix, there are three large, and for the first time truly capable, amphibs, the biggest change is the doubling of the submarine fleet. Instead of a third of the combat fleet subs are now half that is a massive structural and cultural change that will hopefully generate a critical mass of qualified sailors sufficient to maintain the capability.

While extra AWDs would have been nice we missed the boat primarily because of the GFC. The time to have ordered them was during the preceding several years when expected revenue was exceeded by almost half a trillion dollars, we had the money and the trained personnel. The issue then however was procurements were being made based on two main things, the 2000 Defence White Paper and the Global War on Terror, increasing numbers of surface combatants just didn't show on the radar.

In fact, but for Timor and its influence on the DWP, there may not have been an AWD at all with ESSM being seen by the political classes as perfectly good enough for the RANs needs considering all six FFGs were to be upgraded and life extended with SM-2. The RAN wanted three Flight IIA ABs to replace the DDGs as they retired, not an issue really as the crew sizes were comparable, but the decision was delayed until AEGIS was finally justified in the DWP and then it became about (sadly) pork barrelling. They could have been easily built by Tenix at Williamstown, work starting even before the final Anzacs were completed for delivery in the mid 2000s, when the DDGs could easily have been extended to. The issue was the RAN was not a priority, their engineering capability had been further gutted and the DDGs had to go before their replacements had been decided for manning reasons.

Realistically, though many sea minded people were saying the RAN needed timely replacements for the DDGs, the simple fact is the government of the day (and the electorate) was more concerned about finances (cost cutting). Though many sea minded people saw the need for the long promised increase in hull numbers it wasn't on the governments radar, a warship was a warship so the Navy could retire the DDGs as there were plenty of new ships being built in Williamstown. It was good because these new ships had much smaller crews and with ANZAC WIP plus six FFGUP's would be more capable than the retiring DDGs (a bit like F/A-18 HUG, new tankers and JSOW replacing the F-111, looked good on paper but didn't pan out).

So basically prior to the GFC there was no perceived need for additional, or more capable AWDs, and following it there wasn't the money.
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Old December 28th, 2016   #29
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You apparently know more about the USN shipbuilding capability than Secretary Mabus.
Nope just comparing timelines for which the AWD project kicked off with Sea 1400 witch was redesignated Sea 4000 in the mid 2000's, it was only around 2005 the Commonwealth decided on having a compation between both designs, in hindsight if the Commonwealth had selected the DDG-51's I estimate we would have approached the US around 2005 if not earlier for a price and availability estimate, at which time it the DDG program was originally slated to start running down in anticipation of the Zumwalts. And it was only around 2008 that the US started a rethink on production on the DDG -51 program after the Zumwalts was limited to a couple is ships, which then began in earnest around 2009 at which time Secretary Mabus was appointed, so in hindsight the Commonwealth would have signed contracts around 2005/6 a few years before the DDG restart program, and before Secratary Mabus time.

I'm lead to believe that the USN planed restart the DDG 51-line from about 2010 which is comparable to when the Hobarts were supposed to hit the water.
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Old December 29th, 2016   #30
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All this talk of what has/could/would/should have happened is great but it is not the point of the argument that we could be having. Now let's talk about how the navy could adopt the lacking capabilities with the future procurement of the Anzac class replacement.

If anyone has the answers to my question's please respond.

Could an evolved Hobart class (the proposed design) fill an Air warfare destroyers role to the same capability?

Could the Global Combat Ship for fill the role of an Air Warfare Destroyer?

Could the proposed FREMM frigate fill the role of an Air Warfare Destroyer?

Finally which would be the best fit for the role?
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