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This is a discussion on Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates within the Navy & Maritime forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by hairyman Would'nt the RAN be better off getting a 2nd Bay Class than another of the Canberra ...


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Old 3 Days Ago   #21166
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Would'nt the RAN be better off getting a 2nd Bay Class than another of the Canberra class? Choules seems to be travelling alright at the moment.
The Defence White Paper has spelt out the navy shopping list for the next decade but as to what actually comes to fruition only time will tell.
As to a third LHD well that horse has probably bolted which in my opinion is a shame.
The Canberra's are an impressive vessel and the perfect fit for a maritime nation such as Australia. A big land mass with extensive coastline surrounded by massive oceans with an extensive island archipelago to our north, one has to ask will two LHD's do justice to the nations needs. I doubt it and would suggest that in a couple of decades time when we look at the what ifs; I would guess one of the stand outs will be how much the LHD's were needed and the regret that a third was not purchased at the time the other two were built.
Now I appreciate there are many competing needs across the services and no one really wants to rob Peter to pay Paul........ So here is hoping that if defence ever get some some extra coin, then please let us invest in another LHD.


Regards S
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Old 3 Days Ago   #21167
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If its NO to a second Bay Class, maybe a couple of Hyuga's would help with amphibious operations, and do anti .'submarine patrolling the rest of the time.
I think a second Bay is unlikely. It has no hanger and the dock is too small for the LCM-1e. If Australia does want a second LPD there are probably better options. Hyuga is even less likely.

The requirement for an additional replenishment or logistics ship in the mid 2020s would seem to be closer to a third Cantabria rather than a second Bay.

The Cantabria does have hospital facilities, a large hanger and deck space for around twenty containers so it does have ar least a little utility as a logistics vessel.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #21168
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the dock is too small for the LCM-1e.
This has been discussed many times in the past, and is not the case at all. The LCM8's are currently being used, but they are intended to be retired around 2018/19 IIRC. Choules started using the 8's because we didn't have any of the 1E's at that stage, so that is what Choules got assigned and so far the 1E'S have been kept with the LHD's.

The LCM-1E was actually designed for original use in the Spanish Galicia Class, on which the Bay Class is based.

Our original order was for 10 LCM-1E's, but the order was increased to 12 when we acquired Choules from the UK.

The UK operate LCU Mk10's out of them, and the are longer, wider, deeper draught and higher.

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Old 3 Days Ago   #21169
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This thread has started to degrade in quality again

can we avoid the ad-hoc commentary without doing some basic research before posting

especially as some of whats been discussed has been dealt with before

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Old 3 Days Ago   #21170
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This has been discussed many times in the past, and is not the case at all. The LCM8's are currently being used, but they are intended to be retired around 2018/19 IIRC. Choules started using the 8's because we didn't have any of the 1E's at that stage, so that is what Choules got assigned and so far the 1E'S have been kept with the LHD's.

The LCM-1E was actually designed for original use in the Spanish Galicia Class, on which the Bay Class is based.

Our original order was for 10 LCM-1E's, but the order was increased to 12 when we acquired Choules from the UK.

The UK operate LCU Mk10's out of them, and the are longer, wider, deeper draught and higher.

Cheers
I realise this has been discussed before but are still unclear about the LCM1e being able to operate with HMAS Choules . Given that Britons LCU Mk 10 is longer and wider than our LCM1e, one would imagine it would not be a problem for the later to fit into Choule's docking well. The only imagery I can find is of the Lcm 1e conducting training with the Spanish LSD, which I understand to have a much different dock size to that of the Bay Class vessels.
So is it we are just running with the LCM 8's with Choules until they retire; or is there a physical issue with the mating of ship and landing craft together.

Would appreciate some clarity on this subject.

Regards S
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Old 3 Days Ago   #21171
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Finally had a chance to sit down and have a read through the Naval Shipbuilding Plan (link here):

http://www.defence.gov.au/navalshipb...ildingPlan.pdf

Is it perfect? Probably not, but at first glance, at least there is a 'roadmap' set for the future of 'continuous' build of 'three streams' across the fleet, specifically submarines, major surface combatants (destroyer/frigate type ships), and all of the 'minor' ships in the fleet.

The 'fourth stream', which doesn't get a mention is the future replacement of the RAN's 'heavy metal', 2 x LHD's,1(2?) x LSD's, 2(3?) x AOR's (the DIIP, as we know, mentions either an additional Choules/LSD type ship or an AOR, not both, pity!!).

How true to course the roadmap ends up being will depend on 'future' Governments, of all persuasions, (my fear will be if we have another 'left of the left' Gillard type Government who is more than happy to rip dollars out of defence for some other purpose, hopefully not!).


When the talk of 'continuous' build came up a few years ago, I was a bit sceptical of how that could be achieved (considering the overall size of the feet), as especially when there were 'three' different types of streams that would need to be under construction at the same time, concurrently not consecutively.

But the plan does appear to address that:

* Submarines - 12 Shortfins under construction from 2022-3 to the late 2040's, and then followed by the replacement of those 12 boats (continuous build, yes).

* Major surface combatants - 9 Future Frigates under construction from 2020 to the late 2030's, then followed by the AWD replacements and then the replacements of the Future Frigates (again, continuous build).

* Minor naval vessels - 12 OPV's under construction from 2018 to around 2030, followed by the replacement of mine warfare and survey/hydrographic ships, border force ships, and other minor vessels and so on, (again appears to be continuous build).

* Pacific Patrol Boat Replacements - 19 (possibly up to 21?) from 2017 to around 2025, a 'separate' stream at the moment, but I would imagine that eventually when the 'replacements for the replacement' PPB's are due they will 'fold' into the minor naval vessel stream mentioned above.

* The 'missing' fourth stream, the RAN's heavy metal - It's clear there is no local plan for construction of eventual replacement of LHD, LSD and AOR size ships, I'm a little disappointed that the 'plan' doesn't at least address the reasons 'why not', I have my own view why not, but would have liked to have seen the Government's published reasons why not.

To me the 'why not' plan to locally build those large ships is the time gap between replacements (approx. 30 years for a run of 1 to 2 ships), the lack of use for infrastructure for those large ships (again 30ish years between replacements), the problem of building up an 'extra' workforce to build and then wind that workforce down again (but also not to 'interfere' with the three other continuous build streams, etc), can't always have your cake and eat it too!

It may well be that when the 'yet to enter service' two AOR's are due for eventual replacement in approx. 30ish years we may add them onto someone else production run, same for Choules (around 2030) and the 'possible 2nd LSD', I would imagine that when the Spanish and Dutch are looking at replacements for their Choules type 'cousins' we might be added to their respective production runs, same for the LHD's, would assume around another 30 years service life ahead of them.

Infrastructure
In regard to infrastructure (and this aligns with the missing fourth stream), no mention of enlarging the ship lift at Techport beyond it's current capacity.

Apart from that there is mentioned of significant infrastructure upgrades, be interesting to see the final plans for the upgrades to both Techport and Henderson in the, hopefully, not too distant future.

Construction 'methods' for the Future Frigates (and beyond?)
One thing I did find interesting is the paragraph below:

"3.12 The existing infrastructure is sufficient to enable the continuing block assembly of Australia’s three air warfare destroyers (noting the majority of the block construction was undertaken in other shipyards) and is largely suitable for construction of the smaller and less complex offshore patrol vessels. However, it is inadequate for high productivity construction (versus block consolidation) of major surface combatants such as the future frigate. The capability and capacity of the Osborne South facilities will need to be upgraded substantially to support the Naval Shipbuilding Plan."

So what exactly does "high productivity construction (versus block consolidation)" mean??

Is that just another way of saying 'all' blocks will be constructed at Techport or will a 'different' method of construction be employed for the Future Frigates? (as opposed the methods employed on the AWD's?).

Anyway, enough for now, have to have another read (and re read) of the plan!

Cheers,
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Old 3 Days Ago   #21172
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Hi John, on the AWD ASC fabricated the complex blocks that incorporated the main combat system elements, wave guides, radar and ESM/ECM foundations and interfaces, as well as bridge, command and control spaces, equipment racks etc. and the majority (if not all) of the ballistic protection.

BAE originally had all the keel blocks and the hull blocks that incorporated the VLS. This is because these were seen as critical to get right due to the propulsion machinery and most major auxiliary foundations and interfaces being on these blocks, as well as the shaft lines, including stern tubes, bow thruster, hull valves, major piping runs etc. There was also the obvious that these blocks had to be right before the keel could be laid and the other blocks consolidated / erected onto them.

Under the original contract Navantia were to supply the forward most keel block that formed the bow, due to its dimensionally critical foundation / interface for the bow sonar. When BAE encountered problems the blocks they had fabricated for Hobart were accepted incomplete and reworked in Adelaide. The keel blocks for ship 2 were then contracted to Navantia, and BAEs hull blocks were redistributed between ASC and Forgacs, with the exception of the blocks that formed the superblock incorporating the VLS (keel and hull blocks), which were retained by BAE.

Forgacs originally had all the simple hull and superstructure blocks that incorporated th majority of accommodation and other functions not so reliant on dimensional accuracy for equipment foundations, interfaces etc. When BAE encountered problems, Forgacs was given many of their non keel blocks and brought another facility online to do the work.

BAE won most of the lost work back for ship three, after making major changes at Williamstown, for example bringing in a lot of key people from the UK and upskilling their workforce with the assistance of supervisors, managers and marine surveyors seconded from ASC, as well as contracted experts from Lloyds and ABS.

ASCs main job was fabrication of the dimensionally critical blocks containing combat system interfaces and foundations, as well ad pre outfitting blocks prior to consolidation, then consolidating them into super blocks and erecting them on the hard stand.

One of the lessons learned was that it would have taken less time, money and effort to have expanded the facilities and workforce at ASC than to do it at multiple locations with multiple overheads. There was a perception that ASC would be more expensive doing the less complex blocks than the other yards, but when rework and schedule slip was factored in ASC worked out cheaper and faster.

Hope this helps.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #21173
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Hi V, mate, yes am aware of the AWD block construction distribution, ASC, BAE, Navantia, Forgacs (and even NQEA at one stage was to be involved) and some of the build 'issues' you mentioned too.

The question I was raising (more of a rhetorical question) was to confirm that the method of construction was being changed, from the method employed for the AWD's as opposed to how it appears for the Future Frigates.

I see it as a double edged sword, from an 'efficiency' point of view, yes it makes sense to do all of the block construction/consolidation at the one location, submarines and major surface combatants in SA and minor vessels in WA (a win for both the SA and WA mafia, to use that term).

From the point of view of the other states (and yes I'm a New South Welshman), it's disappointing that it appears that heavy engineering in NSW, and other states, will probably miss out big time in getting their slice of the 'big pie' on offer by the Federal Government for future continuous naval shipbuilding.

On the one hand the Naval Shipbuilding Plan is certainly a good plan for the future of naval shipbuilding in Australia, and the RAN, and equally it is a 'political' document too (regardless of which flavour of Government).

On the political side it shores up support for that party in SA and WA, but it doesn't appear to do much for NSW and the other states (politically it's probably neither a win or a loss).

Maybe I'm just becoming more of a grumpy old cynic (yes ok I am a grumpy old cynic), can certainly see all the pluses and support the national plan for the sake of the RAN, but can also see the minus for the states other than SA and WA.

Anyway, just my opinion of course!!!
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Personally, with potentially four concurrent continuous build programs, and the infrastructure to move blocks around to country, I would have liked to see a shared block build with one yard specialising on keels, one on complex superstructure, maybe one on boat and aviation facilities, with the simple blocks being awarded competitively on performance. Possibly the consolidation and outfit work could also be competitively tendered and any company that consistently fails to perform can be replaced with another taking over the yard and workforce.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #21175
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Personally, with potentially four concurrent continuous build programs, and the infrastructure to move blocks around to country, I would have liked to see a shared block build with one yard specialising on keels, one on complex superstructure, maybe one on boat and aviation facilities, with the simple blocks being awarded competitively on performance. Possibly the consolidation and outfit work could also be competitively tendered and any company that consistently fails to perform can be replaced with another taking over the yard and workforce.
That would be great to see. not only is it an issue in shipbuilding but across mutliple industrial industries where having a reduced number of yards owned by the government and 'leased' out to the winner of which ever contract.

Wishful thinking aside I reckon there will be more then enough work to go around be they actually building blocks or building the componants that will make up/outfit those blocks. Might be a slow start but over the years as we get each program ramping up (Effectively 3 continuous programs between the OPV's/Hydrography/Mine hunters, Frigates/Destroyers and Submarines) Australian content will gradually increase and quite possibly expand into a very viable export industry either building ships for other nations or assisting them in a local build and building the more advanced peices.

Either way the shipbuilding industry will be better off in the coming decades then it has ever been before and better situated to respond to any urgent need then it has in the past.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #21176
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Originally Posted by Volkodav View Post
Personally, with potentially four concurrent continuous build programs, and the infrastructure to move blocks around to country, I would have liked to see a shared block build with one yard specialising on keels, one on complex superstructure, maybe one on boat and aviation facilities, with the simple blocks being awarded competitively on performance. Possibly the consolidation and outfit work could also be competitively tendered and any company that consistently fails to perform can be replaced with another taking over the yard and workforce.
There should be some opportunity to be able to vary work. Perhaps in the future specialisation will occur. It will be interesting to see how effective each yard is.

It has taken a long time to get to this point. If only we had bi-partisan support back in the 90's.
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I realise this has been discussed before but are still unclear about the LCM1e being able to operate with HMAS Choules . Given that Britons LCU Mk 10 is longer and wider than our LCM1e, one would imagine it would not be a problem for the later to fit into Choule's docking well. The only imagery I can find is of the Lcm 1e conducting training with the Spanish LSD, which I understand to have a much different dock size to that of the Bay Class vessels.
So is it we are just running with the LCM 8's with Choules until they retire; or is there a physical issue with the mating of ship and landing craft together.

Would appreciate some clarity on this subject.

Regards S
The only ever reference anywhere that an LCM-1E can't fit into Choules is the one in Wiki for Gillett, he has no reference to his claim. There has never been anything put out by Navy or DoD to say yes or no.

Previous discussion has listed the sizes of all the craft discussed, so looking at that there is no reason why it can't. It just hasn't been done yet.

Time line wise, when we got Choules it was a quick decision, gap fill if you like, and we were not even close to getting the LCM's at that stage, so she was given the 8's. Once Canberra and Adelaide come on line, obviously the preference and need was for the LHD's to be trained up and certified for the LCM's.

My best guess is that there is just no need for the LCM's to have either been used with Choules or had the time or reason to do the certifications for it, all of the ships have been pretty flat out since they have been received.

Happy to be corrected otherwise if anyone can find an official statement from Navy or DoD ?

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It would certainly help with the availability of ARG capability.
I am not convinced that the "ARG Capability" is real - that we have a large enough army to sustain it.

I would be very cautious about structuring the navy around this for that reason.

If the ARG Capability is going to be real - then there should be a plan for the navy to be able to truly support it, and I would question whether it would be 3 LHDs.

While the LHDs would be required for the initial deployment (and I would think 2 would be enough here), I would suspect a greater logistics capability would be required - possibly something more like a combination of a number Point Class and LCHs.

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I am not convinced that the "ARG Capability" is real - that we have a large enough army to sustain it.

they will have a capacity to conduct ARG "like" events. again, they're factored into a variety of combat capability vignettes with ARG specific elements built in

its not as if we are looking at responding to a threat by rolling out a RAN/Army version of an USMC MEU
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Old 2 Days Ago   #21180
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I see Pyne is out saying both LHD's may yet still make it to Talisab17. Also killing the rumor about design flaws.
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