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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; the proposals for the RAN future frigates seems to be up in the air and with all the talk on ...


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Old December 25th, 2016   #1
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Thumbs up RAN Future Frigate Updates, disscusion and News

the proposals for the RAN future frigates seems to be up in the air and with all the talk on Italy's proposal for the future frigate what are the benefits of the proposals and what proposal is best suited for Australia's needs. Also what is the likely hood of the future frigates operating in BMD role/even possessing that capability. Please feel free to post your own opinion and evidence you see fit.

BTW this is my first time making a thread so i hope it is informative and interesting for you.
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Old December 25th, 2016   #2
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the proposals for the RAN future frigates seems to be up in the air and with all the talk on Italy's proposal for the future frigate what are the benefits of the proposals and what proposal is best suited for Australia's needs. Also what is the likely hood of the future frigates operating in BMD role/even possessing that capability. Please feel free to post your own opinion and evidence you see fit.

BTW this is my first time making a thread so i hope it is informative and interesting for you.
Gidday Cobber and welcome to the forum.

There has been quite a discussion upon this in the Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates which I think that you need to read through & digest just to save rehashing all the old arguments again.
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Old December 25th, 2016   #3
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Thanks for the reply ngatimozart, but the source of the argument was from that thread but due to the regular updates all talk gets washed away in a day, and I wanted this to be for this topic. (Or should I just take it down)

Have you heard any news on the future frigate?
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Old December 25th, 2016   #4
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Thanks for the reply ngatimozart, but the source of the argument was from that thread but due to the regular updates all talk gets washed away in a day, and I wanted this to be for this topic. (Or should I just take it down)

Have you heard any news on the future frigate?
No you shouldn't take it down and probably a good idea to have a separate thread as the project progresses. I'm not following it as close as some because I live across the ditch and whilst it will have a reasonable import for us we will most likely wait and see what the selection is and what the fit out will be before we take a real close interest because our ANZAC replacement program is later with the first ship around 2027 - 28. Also and more importantly, the RAN have a different CONOPS for their Future Frigates than we have for ours.
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Old December 25th, 2016   #5
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Thanks for the input, what are you guy doing across the ditch at the moment with your Anzac's?

To get this going I believe that the best choice would be the Type 26 because of it's multi-role capability, but I believe that the evolved Hobart Class will be chosen due to the commonality with the Hobart Class (thus decreasing risk).
If anyone agrees please state why and if you disagree please do the same.

Another point would be, will the future frigates operate the RUM-139 VL-ASROC to enhance the anti-submarine warfare.
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Old December 25th, 2016   #6
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Thanks for the reply ngatimozart, but the source of the argument was from that thread but due to the regular updates all talk gets washed away in a day, and I wanted this to be for this topic. (Or should I just take it down)

Have you heard any news on the future frigate?
The point Ng made is very valid, there had been a lot of discussion in the RAN thread and it will contain a lot of answers (but yes it is true that things do get 'washed' away as you say, but that's not do say you can't 'revive' the discussion within the main RAN thread by regularly contributing to the discussion), just a suggestion, ok?

Anyway, having said that, couple of points here...

You said "The proposals for the RAN future frigates seems to be up in the air", what exactly do you mean up in the air?

As it stands at the moment, it was only back in April of this year that the three shortlisted contenders were announced, and it was around September (if I remember correctly), that all three of those shortlisted contenders ended up signing design contracts with Government to further define/refine their respective proposals.

And at this stage the plan is to select a winning design during 2018 (maybe lateish 2018?) and then to start cutting steel in 2020.

Far from being up in the air (in my opinion), it may just be that meeting those deadlines it going to be hard enough for those three contenders to refine and deliver their proposals in time.

Whilst we may not see much 'news' in the public domain, I'm sure those three contenders are pretty busy trying to meet the deadlines set, time will tell!!


As to what is best for Australia's needs, that's a hard one, there are many differing opinions (again look back through the RAN thread).

There are some here who believe that from a 'construction' point of view, it will be better to select the Spanish design, as it is based on the AWD hull, but others see it as an 'older' design that didn't have an ASW focus originally.

The T26 on the other hand is the least mature, from having a ship in the water point of view, but being the most modern design of the three contenders, it may be the best choice for the reasons stated in the RAN thread.

The Italian ship? Well that's the wild card, who knows?


The other thing I'd say is, 'Google is your friend' (as many have said here in the past), read as much as you can about Future Frigate and SEA5000, won't give you all the answers you are looking for, but it might arm you with enough questions to pose.

Anyway, just my opinion!

Cheers,
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Old December 25th, 2016   #7
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The point Ng made is very valid, there had been a lot of discussion in the RAN thread and it will contain a lot of answers (but yes it is true that things do get 'washed' away as you say, but that's not do say you can't 'revive' the discussion within the main RAN thread by regularly contributing to the discussion), just a suggestion, ok?

Anyway, having said that, couple of points here...

You said "The proposals for the RAN future frigates seems to be up in the air", what exactly do you mean up in the air?

As it stands at the moment, it was only back in April of this year that the three shortlisted contenders were announced, and it was around September (if I remember correctly), that all three of those shortlisted contenders ended up signing design contracts with Government to further define/refine their respective proposals.

And at this stage the plan is to select a winning design during 2018 (maybe lateish 2018?) and then to start cutting steel in 2020.

Far from being up in the air (in my opinion), it may just be that meeting those deadlines it going to be hard enough for those three contenders to refine and deliver their proposals in time.

Whilst we may not see much 'news' in the public domain, I'm sure those three contenders are pretty busy trying to meet the deadlines set, time will tell!!


As to what is best for Australia's needs, that's a hard one, there are many differing opinions (again look back through the RAN thread).

There are some here who believe that from a 'construction' point of view, it will be better to select the Spanish design, as it is based on the AWD hull, but others see it as an 'older' design that didn't have an ASW focus originally.

The T26 on the other hand is the least mature, from having a ship in the water point of view, but being the most modern design of the three contenders, it may be the best choice for the reasons stated in the RAN thread.

The Italian ship? Well that's the wild card, who knows?


The other thing I'd say is, 'Google is your friend' (as many have said here in the past), read as much as you can about Future Frigate and SEA5000, won't give you all the answers you are looking for, but it might arm you with enough questions to pose.

Anyway, just my opinion!

Cheers,
When I said up in the air I was talking about there seems to be no clear leader and with the italian (as you said wild card) talking about how they are the preferred option. Which may or may not be true. The completion seems to be very good but I cannot see the FREMM design working for the RAN because of the slightly smaller size and extreme equipment change that would come with US combat systems.
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Old December 25th, 2016   #8
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I see the FREMM proposal as the plan B.

I think that many would prefer to see either the type 26 or upgraded Hobart get up ... but if they fail to deliver the goods then the FREMM is sitting there as the perfect backup.

Personally I would have liked to see the MEKO 400 in the mix but that obviously failed to happen.
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Old December 25th, 2016   #9
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Hauritz, you have a very good point there with the MEKO 400, the reasoning behind it's dropping didn't seem very good after all they did provide us with the anzacs and we all know how well that went! The MEKO 400 seemed like it fitted our role perfectly with its weapons and it dual super structure.
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Old December 25th, 2016   #10
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When I said up in the air I was talking about there seems to be no clear leader and with the italian (as you said wild card) talking about how they are the preferred option. Which may or may not be true. The completion seems to be very good but I cannot see the FREMM design working for the RAN because of the slightly smaller size and extreme equipment change that would come with US combat systems.
Yes I did see the comment made by the Italians in DefenseNews:

Italy Sends FREMM Frigate on Promotional Tour of Australia

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Guido Crosetto, the head of Italian aerospace and defense industry group AIAD, said Fincantieri had the advantage over its competitors. “Of the rival vessels, one is still an idea the other is a project,” he said. “The Australian Navy prefers the Italian offering,” he added.
But of course you would expect them to say that, they are not going to say they are second or last choice!

As to what is the preferred option ('clear leader' as you say) or not at this stage, possibly Defence may have an internal frontrunner, but that is certainly not going to be reported in the public domain (and certainly not at this stage), no doubt when Government announces the winner we will probably see various 'justifications' as to why too.

Here are a number of links you may (or may not) have read:

SEA5000 CEP: critical capability considerations for the future frigates | Australian Naval Institute

Navy recognition:

Australia Shortlisted Navantia Fincantieri and BAE Systems for the SEA5000 ASW Frigate Program

APDR magazine, October 2016 (free to view if you register via email):

Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR October 2016, Page 1

The problem also for us in the public domain is that none of us knows exactly what the requirements are, yes we all have a fair idea of the 'broad' reported requirements, but not in any detail that would mean that a specific design is obviously or clearly ahead of the others.

I've seen reports where the Italians say that their hull/basic systems don't require modification (probably hence why the Italians remarks above), but of course there is the changes to sensors and weapons too.

The Spanish have reportedly said that their Future Frigate will have 70% commonality with the AWD.

One of the things BAE has said it has an advantage because of the ASMD upgrade to the Anzacs, eg, it's knowledge regarding CEAFAR requirements.

Above is just a couple of examples of why the various contenders would say they are in front of the others.
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Old December 26th, 2016   #11
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Another point would be, will the future frigates operate the RUM-139 VL-ASROC to enhance the anti-submarine warfare.
Good question, but who knows at this stage.

If the Future Frigates are equipped with a similar number (less? more?) Mk41 Strike Length VLS (48 in the AWD), then no doubt VL-ASROC would be appear to be capable of being used.

The recent 2016 DWP and DIIP were both rather 'vague' as to specific weapons for the Future Frigates. (As a side note, from memory the 2009 DWP was specific in that it talked about, for example, that the AWD's would eventually be equipped with SM-6 and a TLAM type capability and also mentioned that the Future Frigates would also have a TLAM type capability too, but as I said the 2016 version of the DWP was a bit 'vague' on both of those two weapons).

In general terms, the types of weapons that the Future Frigate (and AWD too), could 'potentially' be equipped with include:

* SM-2
* SM-6 (replace or supplement SM-2)
* SM-3 (if we decided to go down the BDM path)
* LRASM (possibly as a future replacement for Harpoon, or maybe even a VLS version of JSM)
* TLAM (or equivalent)
* ASROC (as you mentioned), and
* ESSM (quad packed)

And not to forget (separate to Mk41), tube launched Harpoon (for as long as it stays in ADF service).

Would we end up with that range of weapons? Who knows, maybe not, but again 'potentially' you could have a number of ships with a load out that was configured for air warfare and another for submarine warfare.

About the only thing that I would bet money on at this stage for the Future Frigate would be ESSM and then possibly SM-2/-6, and of course if the 2016 DWP follows the path set by the 2009 DWP, you would eventually add the TLAM type capability.

As for the rest, that is a question that I don't have any answer to!
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Old December 26th, 2016   #12
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Yes John I do believe that the navy would be able to operate those weapons and having an array of those weapons in the navy's arsenal would be ideal.

If the LRASM came into service with the RAN would an option be to removed existing harpoon missile canisters and replace with "blocks" of non-penetrating MK41? If anyone has any insight into this idea please respond.

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Old December 27th, 2016   #13
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In addition to the nine Future Frigates, I would like to see the RAN obtain two additional Aegis equipped Destroyers, but more capable than the AWD"s. The new Destroyers (AWD Mk11 if you like) would have landing deck and hangars for two helicopters, and maybe 64 VLS. A this stage perhaps a German design.
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Old December 27th, 2016   #14
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In addition to the nine Future Frigates, I would like to see the RAN obtain two additional Aegis equipped Destroyers, but more capable than the AWD"s. The new Destroyers (AWD Mk11 if you like) would have landing deck and hangars for two helicopters, and maybe 64 VLS. A this stage perhaps a German design.
A couple of extra AWDs? No problem!

But where is the budget and manpower going to come from? When, where and how are they going to be built?

I assume you are suggesting that these two extra AWDs are built sooner than later? (eg, not tacked onto the end of the nine Future Frigates, which would mean these two additional ships wouldn't be produced until well into the 2040's).


For the sake of the argument, lets say the Government did find a lazy $6B or so just laying around (fanciful I know!), and didn't rob defence dollars from another project.

How would you actually get these two ships built and into service without changing the current shipbuilding schedules and plans?

Austal is going to be busy for a while with constructing the new fleet of Pacific Patrol boats (and regardless, I don't imagine they would be capable of building such ships).

The construction of the 12 OPV's is going to start in 2018 and run until around 2030.

The Future Frigates start in 2020 and construction will continue well into the 2030s.

And of course lets not forget the Collins replacement too, (I'm bound to be pushing up the daisies before the last of them hits the water too!).

So that pretty well ties up shipyard and manpower capacity for a couple of decades to come (again without changing all of the current shipbuilding plans).


But there are two ways it could be done if those two ships were required sooner than later and not disturb the current plans.

You could duplicate the facilities at Techport and run construction side by side with the nine Future Frigates, but the big problem there would be the creation of a 'boom and bust' bubble just for those two ships, creation of facilities, building up 'new' workforce for those two ships and then wind it all down again when they are finished (can't see that happening).

The other option would be to order those two ships direct from an overseas yard, won't disrupt the current shipbuilding schedule and get them in service quicker, but then there would be all sorts of screaming and yelling about sending jobs overseas!!


A couple of extra AWDs? Nah, can't see it happening!!
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Old December 28th, 2016   #15
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! A couple of extra AWDs? Nah, can't see it happening!!
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.
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