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Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates

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 Tasman As the LCMs were designed specifically to work from the two LPA's and presumably the designers ...


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Old February 23rd, 2007   #16
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As the LCMs were designed specifically to work from the two LPA's and presumably the designers knew that they would be craned on and off the ships it beggars belief that this wouldn't have been 'built in' to the design. There was an excuse for not designing them for the Abrams as they were not in the ADF 'shopping list' at that time.

I expect answers will be sought by the ADF but it would be pure speculation for me to suggest where things might have gone wrong. The failure of the LCMs may actually get the ADF off the hook as they won't have to explain to the media why their newest LCMs can't carry their newest tanks!

Cheers
I like the last point. This is definately a design issues as it appears to effect all the units producted. It would appear someone was over opetimistic in their laod assumptions and/or structural analysis.

On a purely speculative basis I wouel almost bet the figures done for landing onboard did not take into account the dynamic forces associated with such operations at sea..... but then I could be wrong.
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Old February 24th, 2007   #17
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From what I have heard it will be the two canberra (mistral or BPE) and a Roro for sealift of approximately 40,000 tons.

The Canberras will come with landing craft I belive for the M1A1 as both the mistral and BPE are designed with tanks of that weight and size in mind.
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Old February 25th, 2007   #18
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The LCU(R) is what i was thinking of. Seems effective, over the horizon as well and suited for heavy loads.
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As the LCMs were designed specifically to work from the two LPA's and presumably the designers knew that they would be craned on and off the ships it beggars belief that this wouldn't have been 'built in' to the design. There was an excuse for not designing them for the Abrams as they were not in the ADF 'shopping list' at that time.
This is the reason given, as the LCM was designed for Leopards and M113 more then Abrahms. Plus the LCU(R) can't exactly be lifted on off, they went was the requirment at the time and wat was best for RAN,RAR.

What bout the Frank S. Besson Class LSV Logistic Support in the USN. It has the same use as the Tobruk, and would be a one for one replacement, maybe even two would do well, or are we looking more for a LPD. If we don't get the LCU(R) then LSV would be best for use.
So what i'm asking is

2X LHD
1X LPA/LSD
4-6X LCU(R)

OR

2X LHD
1X LSD
1-2X LSV
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Old February 25th, 2007   #19
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As the LCMs were designed specifically to work from the two LPA's and presumably the designers knew that they would be craned on and off the ships it beggars belief that this wouldn't have been 'built in' to the design. There was an excuse for not designing them for the Abrams as they were not in the ADF 'shopping list' at that time.

I expect answers will be sought by the ADF but it would be pure speculation for me to suggest where things might have gone wrong. The failure of the LCMs may actually get the ADF off the hook as they won't have to explain to the media why their newest LCMs can't carry their newest tanks!

Cheers
Gee, it's unlike ADI to stuff up and otherwise straight forward defence contract. I wonder if Thales actually know what they're getting themselves in for?
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Old March 3rd, 2007   #20
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Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates

Given the dearth of different specific threads for the RAN, I thought I'd open a more general one so that each time a RAN topic comes up, it doesn't need it's own thread in the future. So here goes with a couple of questions that I've come up with.

Now that the Seasprite seems to be scrapped and that Seahawks are likely on the horizon for the RAN, are there plans to fit the Penguin Mk 2? If so, any idea on what the timeframe would be? Also, with the NSM now coming out, is it like that the RAN (and possible the RAAF too) might be interested for mounting on helis? With the Harpoon Block II now being fitted to the Anzac, and the Adelaides already operating the Harpoon, I don't think it would make sense for a ship-mounted version of NSM.

With the FFG Upgrade, is the datalink system being updated, and to which standard? My Janes guide (several years old ) has the Adelaides equipped with a helo-link, but not Link 11 or 16. It would make sense to me for that to be updated... Similarly, are the datalinks aboard the Seahawks being updated as well?

Also, again according to the same Janes book, the Huon MHC are equipped with Link 11 receive only. Are any plans to (or have they been) upgraded to also send data? Given the limited armament on a Huon, I'm not sure it could make effective use of a datalink unless it was also able to transmit, thus acting as another potential observer.

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Old March 3rd, 2007   #21
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Originally Posted by Todjaeger View Post
Given the dearth of different specific threads for the RAN, I thought I'd open a more general one so that each time a RAN topic comes up, it doesn't need it's own thread in the future. So here goes with a couple of questions that I've come up with.

Now that the Seasprite seems to be scrapped and that Seahawks are likely on the horizon for the RAN, are there plans to fit the Penguin Mk 2? If so, any idea on what the timeframe would be? Also, with the NSM now coming out, is it like that the RAN (and possible the RAAF too) might be interested for mounting on helis? With the Harpoon Block II now being fitted to the Anzac, and the Adelaides already operating the Harpoon, I don't think it would make sense for a ship-mounted version of NSM.

With the FFG Upgrade, is the datalink system being updated, and to which standard? My Janes guide (several years old ) has the Adelaides equipped with a helo-link, but not Link 11 or 16. It would make sense to me for that to be updated... Similarly, are the datalinks aboard the Seahawks being updated as well?

Also, again according to the same Janes book, the Huon MHC are equipped with Link 11 receive only. Are any plans to (or have they been) upgraded to also send data? Given the limited armament on a Huon, I'm not sure it could make effective use of a datalink unless it was also able to transmit, thus acting as another potential observer.

-Cheers
I think the idea for a thread with this title is a good one. Once the present 'hot' topics such as the AWD thread 'cool' down this thread could eventually cover all RAN discussions. There is certainly repetition across some of the RAN threads (same as with RAAF topics in Military Aviation).

It would have been logical, IMO, for the Seahawks to have been fitted to operate the Penguin in the first place and I imagine this will be done when the Seasprite program is laid to rest. However, AFAIK there has been no comment from Defence sources about this. BTW the expected announcement confirming the scrapping of the Seasprites has not yet been made. With so many projects already under way I doubt that the RAN would be looking at the NSM at this stage.

Sorry I can't answer the questions re the datalink systems. Hopefully someone else will be able to.

Cheers
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Old March 9th, 2007   #22
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Link 16 in Australian FFGs

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Originally Posted by Todjaeger View Post
With the FFG Upgrade, is the datalink system being updated, and to which standard? My Janes guide (several years old ) has the Adelaides equipped with a helo-link, but not Link 11 or 16. It would make sense to me for that to be updated... Similarly, are the datalinks aboard the Seahawks being updated as well?

-Cheers
Link 16 is being fitted to the 4 FFGs being upgraded.

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Significant upgrades are in train or planned for both classes of ship in order to maintain their effectiveness in a multi-threat environment. Both classes will have significant and uniform capabilities including the Harpoon anti-ship missile providing a significant anti-surface warfare capability, good close range Anti-Air Warfare (AAW) capability through the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) and Phalanx Close-In Weapon System, a strong defensive undersea warfare suite, and the highly capable Link 16 tactical data link system.
The FFGs have a 76mm dual-purpose gun, and a limited area air warfare capability with the Standard SM-1 missile. The four remaining FFGs are being progressively fitted with the long range Standard SM-2 missile, which will provide an improved, although not leading edge, area AAW capability. FFGs embark and operate one or two Sikorsky S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopters, which are fitted with an ASW sensor suite and carry lightweight torpedoes. The Seahawk is also a very capable surface search and targeting platform for the Harpoon missile.
http://www.navy.gov.au/spc/ncamo/chap8.html

Re the Seahawks:

The info about the mid life upgrade of the Seahawk provided with publicly available documents for Air 9000 doesn't specifically mention Link 16, but Australian systems currently use Link 11 and are moving towards Link 16. Air 9000 states that:

Quote:
The ADF Helicopter Strategic Master Plan will provide the guidelines to ensure this capability is developed to achieve optimum mission effectiveness with maximum commonality with other aircraft configurations (either within the ADF or with other major fleet operators world-wide).

http://www.defence.gov.au/capability...ct_Details.asp
From this I would presume that the Seahawks will have Link 16. However, I would be very happy to be corrected by anyone who has better information about this.


Cheers

Last edited by Tasman; March 9th, 2007 at 10:33 PM.
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Old March 15th, 2007   #23
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Tas,any word on the LHD,s? There seems to be a lot of advertiseing for the Mistral,s in Defence mags at the moment. I had a feeling that the Navantia,s were leading the race. Maybe ADI are just hopeing for the best!
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Old March 15th, 2007   #24
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Tas,any word on the LHD,s? There seems to be a lot of advertiseing for the Mistral,s in Defence mags at the moment. I had a feeling that the Navantia,s were leading the race. Maybe ADI are just hopeing for the best!
The only info that I have is a report that there is a desire to make a decision about the LHD and get a contract in place prior to the election.

CONTACT, Contact Publishers, Dickson, ACT, March 2007.

I haven't heard anything about the Mistral being ahead but a few things that have happened suggest that it might have a good chance.

I'm not sure about Navantia 'leading the race' at any stage. I think most people following the program have agreed that the Navantia BPE offers far more growth potential, especially the capability to carry F-35Bs, if it is decided to acquire them in the future. However, the fact that Defence is considering an 'Australianised' Mistral that has not been lengthened as was earlier thought likely, suggests to me that the ADF is only looking at the baseline requirements (i.e. 16 NH90/Tiger ARH helos, 1000 troops and 150 vehicles, including the M1A1). If this is the case the decision may come down to one of cost and risk. If that is the case I expect the Mistral may have the edge. Personally, I hope the ADF takes a long term view and factors in the benefits that the Navantia design could provide ten years down the track, if future circumstances demonstrate a need for the ADF to be able to deploy fixed wing aircraft at sea.

Having said that there is no doubt that if the Mistral is chosen, it will still greatly enhance the ADF's power projection capability.

Maybe Navantia might be able to put forward an attractive package to Australia involving both the BPE and the F100 candidate for the AWD project. The interesting question then would be how Defence and the RAN would react if the G&C Evolved design was preferred for the AWD and the BPE design was preferred for the LHD! I think we will just have to wait and see.

Cheers
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Old March 16th, 2007   #25
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ADI is heavily advertising the Mistral. Its fair to say they are still in the race.

But the BPE is hardly a paper ship. Its being built now, it will be in the water around the time of the decision later in 2007. While it won't be fully operational, it will allow the government to see, touch and tour it. Also costs will be more finalised.

But regardless of the F-35b capability of the BPE, its still more suitable. Which is why ADI had to put in a long wheel base bid in the first place, because really its not designed with 1000+ troops in mind and for the operations we would use it for. It bigger, carries more, better amphibious, better potential, and absolutely huge hanger. I belive its cheaper too.
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Old March 16th, 2007   #26
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ADI is heavily advertising the Mistral. Its fair to say they are still in the race.

But the BPE is hardly a paper ship. Its being built now, it will be in the water around the time of the decision later in 2007. While it won't be fully operational, it will allow the government to see, touch and tour it. Also costs will be more finalised.

But regardless of the F-35b capability of the BPE, its still more suitable. Which is why ADI had to put in a long wheel base bid in the first place, because really its not designed with 1000+ troops in mind and for the operations we would use it for. It bigger, carries more, better amphibious, better potential, and absolutely huge hanger. I belive its cheaper too.
I hope you are right about the cost as I think that would clinch it. I don't think there is any doubt that the BPE would be the better long term option.

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Old March 16th, 2007   #27
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I hope you are right about the cost as I think that would clinch it. I don't think there is any doubt that the BPE would be the better long term option.

Cheers
Another important factor is how much "local content" can be arranged if the Canberra LHD is built in Australia. Even if there is a higher price for the Mistral, if due to outfitting, more of that money is directed back into the area economy...

Either way, I would like Australia to acquire build rights for which ever design is selected. That way if a third (or more) LHD is decided as advisable, Australia could to go off the existing plans. This I think might have more importance if the BPE design is selected. If an LHD is acting as a CVL, then there only 1 LHD available for deployment, assuming it isn't in a training or maintenance cycle. If a total of three were built instead, then one could always be down for maintenance or training, and still have two vessels available to task as LHDs or CVLs.

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Old March 16th, 2007   #28
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Armidale Class Patrol Boats Return to Service

ABC News Online has announced that the Armidale class patrol boats that had been withdrawn from service, following a fuel contamination problem, have returned to duty .

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The Defence Department says new fuel pumps have been installed in six of the troubled Armidale patrol boats to allow them to return to duty.

The entire Armidale fleet was withdrawn from service more than a month ago because of a recurring problem with the fuel system.

It was the second time in six months the new boats had been ordered back to dock.

The Navy and shipbuilder Austal found water created by condensation was leaking into the fuel tanks.

They have adjusted the fuel systems and installed new pumps.

That has allowed six boats to return to service.

The Defence Department says a long-term solution, which requires significant modifications on a ship by ship basis, is being developed.

The four boats yet to be commissioned will have a full modification before they are introduced into service.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems...3/s1874041.htm

A bit of good news for the RAN!

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Old March 16th, 2007   #29
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Another important factor is how much "local content" can be arranged if the Canberra LHD is built in Australia. Even if there is a higher price for the Mistral, if due to outfitting, more of that money is directed back into the area economy...

Either way, I would like Australia to acquire build rights for which ever design is selected. That way if a third (or more) LHD is decided as advisable, Australia could to go off the existing plans. This I think might have more importance if the BPE design is selected. If an LHD is acting as a CVL, then there only 1 LHD available for deployment, assuming it isn't in a training or maintenance cycle. If a total of three were built instead, then one could always be down for maintenance or training, and still have two vessels available to task as LHDs or CVLs.

-Cheers
Good point Todjaeger. A number of factors other than cost will be considered. The former Defence Minister advised as follows when the First Pass approval was announced in August 2005:

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Senator Hill said the ship builder would be determined once a thorough financial and technical comparison was made between Australian bids and overseas build options.

"The Government’s preference is to see the ships built in Australia, however Australian industry will need to demonstrate it can deliver the project at a competitive price," Senator Hill said.
http://www.minister.defence.gov.au/H...CurrentId=5039

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Old March 16th, 2007   #30
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Good point Todjaeger. A number of factors other than cost will be considered. The former Defence Minister advised as follows when the First Pass approval was announced in August 2005:


http://www.minister.defence.gov.au/H...CurrentId=5039

Cheers
Dipping slightly into politics... I just hope the vessel design selection doesn't also factor in where the vessels will be built, and how that area votes. Apparently (and other senior members/defence pros can confirm) the selection of the ADI Bushmaster was partially contingent on the fact that the local elected offical (MP? or maybe lower house, not sure) didn't have a good hold where the Bushmaster was built. To support that official, the product built there was selected. As opposed to the S600-series from Tenix, which was to be built in a district that was a solid Opposition seat. From what I understand about performance the S600 was equal to the Bushmaster, but was expected to have lower lifecycle costs, being based off the Unimog.

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