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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 Hazdog Hello all, I found this article just then, Does the Type 26 Need a Strike Length ...


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Old December 31st, 2016   #46
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Hello all,

I found this article just then, Does the Type 26 Need a Strike Length Vertical Launch System - Think Defence.
I am wondering is the argument still valid or has this already been sorted out? From my research I think that it was given the go-ahead for vas in both types can anyone help?
Not sure because the final fit out for the T26 hasn't been made public yet. I find Think Defence a fairly good source of info so would keep track of what they may have on the T26.
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Old December 31st, 2016   #47
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V, don't disagree one bit about all of those planned force levels of the past, and all the various defence reviews, all historical facts.

But still at the end of the day the Destroyer/Frigate fleet for the last 50 years or so has been at a pretty constant level of approx. 12.

Is that good? Is that bad? Maybe, maybe not, but it's reality.


Anyway, so here we are today, 2016 (2017 in a few hours too), the plan as it stands today is that the Destroyer/Frigate fleet is to eventually be 12.

I certainly don't have an issue or a problem with 'wanting/wishing' to see that fleet larger, my question is always, how?
Twelve is probably about the minimum to meet peace time requirements, training, minimal overseas / UN type deployments and securing local waters. The second we start talking about interdicting, let alone securing and keeping regional choke points the numbers and list of capabilities required grows very rapidly.

Twelve submarines and a frigate / destroyer force with cruise missiles and high end air defence and anti submarine systems came from the perceived need to close off choke points to an aggressor and deny them free range within the region. This is where the proposed land based anti shipping missiles have come from too.

Interdiction and control was also behind the DDL project, initially a dozen or so light destroyers (multi role combatants as opposed to single role frigates), that evolved in to fewer larger vessels when missile armed helicopters were found to be the best solution. Same thing in the same waters behind the OPC / Corvette and Super Sea Sprite, then the OCV more recently. Basically every time the government gets concerned about the security of our northern waters we see a project for about a dozen intermediate combatants kicked off.
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Old December 31st, 2016   #48
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The surface and ASW fleet is certainly receiving its fair share of funding, about 24% of the projected investment in the 2016 ICP, the largest allocation IIRC
When calls come for more platforms/manpower it's worth going back to the ICP and try to figure what capability will be sacrificed in order to achieve it. It's a very sobering exercise and I for one would not be willing to forgo any of it.
The simple truth is that the surface combatants have done very well and we should view defence of this country as a whole.

Now, if we were given and extra $5b.....but that's fairyland
No disagreement from me.

I think when people stop staring at the 'dot' on the wall and take a few steps back and look at the whole wall, the RAN is doing pretty good (as is the ADF generally).

Greater numbers and greater capability (surface fleet) is all good, but how do you pay for it? What other needed capability is sacrificed? That's the real question.

An extra 'lazy' $5B to spend? Fantastic! But as you say, it's fairyland!


If I could 'tinker' at the edges, there are a couple of things I would like to see 'enhanced', a definite commitment to 3 AOR's, a definite commitment to two Choules type ships, proceeding with the replacement of the 6 LCH with improved ships that sit in between the LHD's and the LCM fleets.

The ship selected as the OPV to have 'at least' the capability to be enhanced if needed, at least a hangar and capability to support a medium lift type helicopter, possible increase of ASW and utility lift helicopter fleets too.


Anyway, I'll stop there, overall the RAN is doing pretty well!!!
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Old December 31st, 2016   #49
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No disagreement from me.

I think when people stop staring at the 'dot' on the wall and take a few steps back and look at the whole wall, the RAN is doing pretty good (as is the ADF generally).

Greater numbers and greater capability (surface fleet) is all good, but how do you pay for it? What other needed capability is sacrificed? That's the real question.

An extra 'lazy' $5B to spend? Fantastic! But as you say, it's fairyland!


If I could 'tinker' at the edges, there are a couple of things I would like to see 'enhanced', a definite commitment to 3 AOR's, a definite commitment to two Choules type ships, proceeding with the replacement of the 6 LCH with improved ships that sit in between the LHD's and the LCM fleets.

The ship selected as the OPV to have 'at least' the capability to be enhanced if needed, at least a hangar and capability to support a medium lift type helicopter, possible increase of ASW and utility lift helicopter fleets too.


Anyway, I'll stop there, overall the RAN is doing pretty well!!!
Too bad Australia didn't have a windfall of about half a trillion dollars in excess of expected tax receipts in the several years leading upto the GFC.... oh wait a sec.....

The trouble with an unexpected windfall is the very fact it is not planned for and tends to be wasted instead of invested, ie. Superannuation Contribution tax benefits, unsustainable tax cuts etc. to those who don't need them but scream very loudly when they can't be afforded anymore. A much bigger spend on one off infrastructure projects would probably have been better, as well as putting money aside in a sovereign wealth fund to help other industries restructure and remain competitive during a prolonged, but still temporary, boom.

Just imagine how our automotive industry would be going now had it been supported and modernised, just look at Toyota even though they are winding down they are profitable. Reverse the corvette decision and build them instead of ordering the Armidales, Tenix would still own Williamstown and could have easily bern up to speed to build four to six AWDs after. ASC would be busy designing and building new submarines while Forgacs would have built the LHDs and now be building three new AORs. With that amount of work we wouldn't have even noticed the GFC, forget about 5billion more now the government had 500 billion and pissed it up against the wall.
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Old December 31st, 2016   #50
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Not sure because the final fit out for the T26 hasn't been made public yet. I find Think Defence a fairly good source of info so would keep track of what they may have on the T26.
Maybe. But as the article posted is already over THREE years old it's probably been well passed by by those actually doing the analysis

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Old December 31st, 2016   #51
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I'd say the only chance in us getting any more surface combatants comes down to how well we produce them, If we can lower the production costs enough might and stress might be able to talk the government to allow using already allocated funds to increase the number.

Across a fleet of 12 majors if we could drop the unit cost by 15% which historically based on our long production runs will be easy to do that could free the acquisition funds up to buy another 2 ships.
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Old December 31st, 2016   #52
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Across a fleet of 12 majors if we could drop the unit cost by 15% which historically based on our long production runs will be easy to do that could free the acquisition funds up to buy another 2 ships.
Your 15% may buy you two more ships but it won't pay for the lifetime cost of operating them. By the time you Crew them, Arm them, sail them for several 100,000 miles and Refit them the cost can approach the original purchase cost and over the next couple of decades both the Submarines and Patrol Boats have to double their Crewing numbers.
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Old December 31st, 2016   #53
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Your 15% may buy you two more ships but it won't pay for the lifetime cost of operating them. By the time you Crew them, Arm them, sail them for several 100,000 miles and Refit them the cost can approach the original purchase cost and over the next couple of decades both the Submarines and Patrol Boats have to double their Crewing numbers.
T&S costs can be 1/2 to 2/3rds of the overall projected through life costs on major assets

roughly speaking, 15% would buy an extra 2 years of service life into a single typical large warfighting asset
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Old December 31st, 2016   #54
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T&S costs can be 1/2 to 2/3rds of the overall projected through life costs on major assets

roughly speaking, 15% would buy an extra 2 years of service life into a single typical large warfighting asset
Exactly, the 15% is more likely to buy a more advanced next generation ship than more ships. Think more along the lines of corvettes or light frigates replacing planned OPVs with the money saved on the build being rolled into capability.

That said numbers are driven by operational need if there is not a perceived need the navy (ADF as a whole actually) is lucky if numbers are maintained, no matter how much money the government has laying around (ie mining boom tax receipts). Operational need on the other hand, in particular if it involves an embarrassing failure to do something the public expects (think cycles in north QLD and border security) the extra money will be found, even in hard financial times. You just need to hope it isn't taken from somewhere important though less topical.
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Old January 1st, 2017   #55
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Certainly part of the the development is the inclusion of a volume search radar in the CEA suite. This is programmed to be fitted to the ANZAC to replace the 49, so it should be mature for the future frigate.

CEA have always stressed the system is scalable and the intention in numerous iterations of the white paper is for the future frigate to be SM6 capable.

The other option is a CEC capability would allow the future frigate to carry SM2 amd SM6 that may be employed by the AWD.
The program you are referring to is SEA1448 Phase 4B, this is an L-Band radar replacement (CEAFAR2-L). This does not support SM2 guidance which is S-Band. The SEA5000 program will provide for a technology improved CEAFAR, called CEAFAR2-S which is a hi-powered version of current CEAFAR system and hence has much greater range and is aiming to support SM2 (as a starting point). The CEAFAR2-L uses similar technology to the CEAFAR2-S and hence is a stepping stone development for CEAFAR2-S.
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Old January 1st, 2017   #56
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Hi everyone,

If the future frigates came into service with no problems and on time would the government think about coughing up and extra two ships? I think that is the question that should be asked.

If this were the case and the future frigates what ever they may be came into the fleet flawlessly I would hope that the government would jump on the idea.
If this were also the case do you think that if the AWD project built the remaining ship and trailed the await ships would they cough up another 'lazy' 1.5 billion-2 billion for an extra Hobart?

I'm not sure how this would go down but it sure would be a good fleet addition for the navy.

Another question is if the Type 26 is selected for the future frigate program will it use the "additional" 24 cell strike length VLS (as per global combat ship Wikipedia)?
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Old January 1st, 2017   #57
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Hi everyone,

If the future frigates came into service with no problems and on time would the government think about coughing up and extra two ships? I think that is the question that should be asked.

If this were the case and the future frigates what ever they may be came into the fleet flawlessly I would hope that the government would jump on the idea.
If this were also the case do you think that if the AWD project built the remaining ship and trailed the await ships would they cough up another 'lazy' 1.5 billion-2 billion for an extra Hobart?

I'm not sure how this would go down but it sure would be a good fleet addition for the navy.

Another question is if the Type 26 is selected for the future frigate program will it use the "additional" 24 cell strike length VLS (as per global combat ship Wikipedia)?
Numbers of major equipment such as ships, aircraft etc have to be argued for in terms of the prevailing Defence White Paper which is based on the security assessment at the time. You don't just order two more frigates because the price came in below budget. For starters, any savings would first go to offset other projects' costs which have blown out. It's no use having two more frigates if they're not needed.

I think NZ found this out with the number of LAVs they bought 15 years ago. They just weren't needed. The money for the surplus units would have been better spent elsewhere in Defence.
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Old January 1st, 2017   #58
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If I could 'tinker' at the edges, there are a couple of things I would like to see 'enhanced', a definite commitment to 3 AOR's, a definite commitment to two Choules type ships, proceeding with the replacement of the 6 LCH with improved ships that sit in between the LHD's and the LCM fleets.

The ship selected as the OPV to have 'at least' the capability to be enhanced if needed, at least a hangar and capability to support a medium lift type helicopter, possible increase of ASW and utility lift helicopter fleets too.


Anyway, I'll stop there, overall the RAN is doing pretty well!!!
As Gary points out, cash today doesn't support the logistical cost of tomorrow, so if there were extra cash to spend tomorrow, I'd move RAN once and for all out of the 'fitted for but not with' equipment scale and jump on-board the USN idea of distributed lethality and round out RAN's warstocks.

Every major vessel in RAN would have overlapping self defence (gun, missile and EWSP) capabilities against sub-surface, surface and air based threats.

Every major vessel (OPV and up) would have a surface to surface missile / precision guided coastal attack capability (gun or missile based I don't mind) and each vessel would have room for a helo and/or a UAV system.

But that's just me. I see RAN as being significantly behind the curve when it comes to precision offensive firepower (compared to the other 2 services at any rate) and well out of step with likely future requirements in this regard.
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Old January 1st, 2017   #59
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The program you are referring to is SEA1448 Phase 4B, this is an L-Band radar replacement (CEAFAR2-L). This does not support SM2 guidance which is S-Band. The SEA5000 program will provide for a technology improved CEAFAR, called CEAFAR2-S which is a hi-powered version of current CEAFAR system and hence has much greater range and is aiming to support SM2 (as a starting point). The CEAFAR2-L uses similar technology to the CEAFAR2-S and hence is a stepping stone development for CEAFAR2-S.
Yes, I was aware of that, hence the comment about the system being scalable, my comments were not limited to the volume search work. Volume search is an essential element of the system but only part of the package.
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Old January 1st, 2017   #60
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As Gary points out, cash today doesn't support the logistical cost of tomorrow, so if there were extra cash to spend tomorrow, I'd move RAN once and for all out of the 'fitted for but not with' equipment scale and jump on-board the USN idea of distributed lethality and round out RAN's warstocks.

Every major vessel in RAN would have overlapping self defence (gun, missile and EWSP) capabilities against sub-surface, surface and air based threats.

Every major vessel (OPV and up) would have a surface to surface missile / precision guided coastal attack capability (gun or missile based I don't mind) and each vessel would have room for a helo and/or a UAV system.

But that's just me. I see RAN as being significantly behind the curve when it comes to precision offensive firepower (compared to the other 2 services at any rate) and well out of step with likely future requirements in this regard.
Hey ADMk2 , would you place the 2nd vls on the anzacs? Are there any other changes you would make to the fleet?

What is good is that the LHD's are going to get a self defence suite with the addition of 3 Phalanx CIWS.
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