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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 Abraham Gubler Also the Force Structure Review of 1991 (or later year, can't remember) detailed that another ...


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Old December 10th, 2010   #4501
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Also the Force Structure Review of 1991 (or later year, can't remember) detailed that another six Anzac hulls would be built tailored for AAW.
I was soundly spanked on another site for suggesting that this may have been a better way to go rather than upgrading the FFGs.

My thinking was it would deliver a significant increase in capability, possibly at lower cost and would have provided a much better platform for CEAPAR than the standard ANZACs once it became available. It would have kept the work force that built the ANZACs together and perhaps led on to a full local build of the LHDs

Such a ship would have been a contemporary to the Korean KDX II and could have led to an indigenous capability to design (with US assistance) and build an AWD down the track (following the OCVs?)
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Old December 10th, 2010   #4502
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Never forget politicians and the amount of influence unions have when it comes to building or maintaining equipment. The Navy is the best/worst example of this.
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Old December 10th, 2010   #4503
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I was soundly spanked on another site for suggesting that this may have been a better way to go rather than upgrading the FFGs.
The AAW Anzac would have been a much better ship than a FFG upgrade (it would be new for starters) but the FFG upgrade was always a gap fill between the Perth DDGs and the AWD. Unfortunately the filler has taken almost as long as he gap to be ready… But chronologically they are incompatible, the FFG upgrade only exists because of the AWD program and would not have been needed if AAW Anzacs had been ordered around 2000 to replace the FFG.

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My thinking was it would deliver a significant increase in capability, possibly at lower cost and would have provided a much better platform for CEAPAR than the standard ANZACs once it became available. It would have kept the work force that built the ANZACs together and perhaps led on to a full local build of the LHDs
Six new build AAW Anzacs would cost a lot more than the FFG upgrade (3-4 times as much) and could have possibly been built with CEAPAR from scratch if the risk appetite was there. The ninth Anzac and first AAW Anzac wouldn’t be available until 2008 at the earliest even if production dovetailed with the original 10 Anzacs. Williamstown would be full up building them until 2018 for six. Even then they wouldn’t have the space to think about building a LHD without a major multi year levelling and rebuilding of the entire yard. With the Batch 2 Anzac contract it is very unlikely Tenix would have bid for the LHD prime.

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Such a ship would have been a contemporary to the Korean KDX II and could have led to an indigenous capability to design (with US assistance) and build an AWD down the track (following the OCVs?)
The main opponent to AAW Anzacs was the Navy. They did all these studies with AMT and didn’t like the look of what they came up with. Even a stretched MEKO 200 is no where near as big as a KDX II and would be hard pressed carrying anything more than 24-32 VLS cells as well as the medium level AAW system (SPY-1F AEGIS or SPS-48 NTU). The Navy wanted a full DDG 51 type capability because that is what you need for CEC and high end AAW. The Howard Government were more than happy to go along with it after the security rethink bought about by events in 1999-2001.

I doubt the AAW Anzac would have advanced Australian ship design state of the art from where it is now. If anything it probably would have retarded it compared to the design work on the Evovled AWD and Australianising the F100. If built the AAW Anzac would preclude the need for an AWD anyway.

The 1990s FSR was to build the six AAW Anzacs after the first batch and to also build 12 OPCs at Tenix. So if the Howard Government had kept this plan in office presumably they would have kept the OPCs as well. Cancelling the OPCs to save a few hundred million in ship build cost was the worst force structure decision they made. The additional cost compared to the ACPB would easily have been recouped in the past five years and the next 10 via the redundancy of MFUs in border control missions. Not to mention how more capable they would be.
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Old December 11th, 2010   #4504
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The 1990s FSR was to build the six AAW Anzacs after the first batch and to also build 12 OPCs at Tenix. So if the Howard Government had kept this plan in office presumably they would have kept the OPCs as well. Cancelling the OPCs to save a few hundred million in ship build cost was the worst force structure decision they made. The additional cost compared to the ACPB would easily have been recouped in the past five years and the next 10 via the redundancy of MFUs in border control missions. Not to mention how more capable they would be.
I am not familiar with the planned OPCs, could someone point me in a direction where I can read up about what they were planned for? From reading this, it sounds like they would have replaced (complimented?) the Fremantle's and perhaps been something like the OCV's being bandied about. Is that correct?

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Old December 11th, 2010   #4505
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im not sure but this might be what their talking about


Shipbucket - Never Built Designs/Australia/Aus OPV Transfield JPV-OPC 1.gif
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Old December 11th, 2010   #4506
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im not sure but this might be what their talking about


Shipbucket - Never Built Designs/Australia/Aus OPV Transfield JPV-OPC 1.gif
Except for that giant oversized Seasprite (scale people) that is the OPC. They were designed for SEA waters and the maritime interdiction role. 12 were to replace the Fremantles from around 2000ish onwards. Tried to sell them to Malaysia but that when down the drain when our then PM told off their then PM. I've got a .pdf of the brochure somewhere and will post it here when I find it.
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Old December 11th, 2010   #4507
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Except for that giant oversized Seasprite (scale people) that is the OPC. They were designed for SEA waters and the maritime interdiction role. 12 were to replace the Fremantles from around 2000ish onwards. Tried to sell them to Malaysia but that when down the drain when our then PM told off their then PM. I've got a .pdf of the brochure somewhere and will post it here when I find it.
Interesting that the sketch includes what looks like Harpoon tubes and what I assume is a small VLS for Sea Sparrow or something similar. Added to the gun (76mm?) and the Typhoon system it seems like a lot more firepower than I'd expect from a Fremantle replacement. I'd like to see the pdf if you can find it mate.
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Old December 11th, 2010   #4508
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Interesting that the sketch includes what looks like Harpoon tubes and what I assume is a small VLS for Sea Sparrow or something similar. Added to the gun (76mm?) and the Typhoon system it seems like a lot more firepower than I'd expect from a Fremantle replacement. I'd like to see the pdf if you can find it mate.
Weapon fit was to be (from front to back) a MK 2 57mm Bofors, 2XMk 36 SRBOC, 4 Harpoon missles, 8 Nulka decoys and a 25/30mm gun.

Good little ships, Whilst I have a soft spot for our PM with balls (Keating) he stuffed any chance of these ships getting up by telling off Mahathir ......Mahathir did deserve it though.
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Old December 11th, 2010   #4509
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Also these OPC's where the reason why we bought the Sea Sprites. The Sprog/Super Lynx competition existed because we wanted a common ASuW helo for both the ANZAC's and the OPC's and the OPC's could only operate a Sprog/Super Lynx sized aircraft.

The crazy thing is that the OPV'c where cancelled before the contract for the Sprog's was signed, so we could of / should of been operating S-70's MK2's off the ANZAC's
for a decade by now if military acquisitions actually made any sense.

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Old December 11th, 2010   #4510
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Weapon fit was to be (from front to back) a MK 2 57mm Bofors, 2XMk 36 SRBOC, 4 Harpoon missles, 8 Nulka decoys and a 25/30mm gun.

Good little ships, Whilst I have a soft spot for our PM with balls (Keating) he stuffed any chance of these ships getting up by telling off Mahathir ......Mahathir did deserve it though.
Ahh, thanks for the information mate. Didn't know the significance of the ship design in the decision to procure Seasprites, it seems ridiculous that they'd go for them after the OPV was cancelled. The whole saga almost beggars belief.
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Old December 11th, 2010   #4511
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The crazy thing is that the OPV'c where cancelled before the contract for the Sprog's was signed, so we could of / should of been operating S-70's MK2's off the ANZAC for a decade by now if military acquisitions actually made any sense.
When the Malaysians selected the B+V MEKO over the Transfield (aka Tenix) OPC the RAN’s project was not cancelled (1998). The importance of Malaysia to the RAN’s acquisition of the OPC is hugely overplayed in ‘common knowledge’. The RAN still had a requirement for them but the Howard Government chose to just buy patrol boats to save a few hundred million (1999). This was against the Navy’s advice who still wanted the OPC and a later CN (Ritchie who oversaw introduction of the Armidale) expressed that the acquiring a non aviation capable ship to replace the Fremantle was the greatest regret of his period as chief. Before East Timor and 911 Howard cut Defence to the bone as fiercely as Keating and Hawke before him.

In RAN service the OPC wouldn’t have carried Harpoons because the Seasprites would have carried Penguins. Shipboard helos are much better than ship launched missiles for anti ship – much longer reach. Also the 76mm would have likely been fitted and the ship was designed for either. The fit out in the imagery was for the Malaysian requirement.
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Old December 11th, 2010   #4512
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When the Malaysians selected the B+V MEKO over the Transfield (aka Tenix) OPC the RAN’s project was not cancelled (1998). The importance of Malaysia to the RAN’s acquisition of the OPC is hugely overplayed in ‘common knowledge’. The RAN still had a requirement for them but the Howard Government chose to just buy patrol boats to save a few hundred million (1999). This was against the Navy’s advice who still wanted the OPC and a later CN (Ritchie who oversaw introduction of the Armidale) expressed that the acquiring a non aviation capable ship to replace the Fremantle was the greatest regret of his period as chief. Before East Timor and 911 Howard cut Defence to the bone as fiercely as Keating and Hawke before him.

In RAN service the OPC wouldn’t have carried Harpoons because the Seasprites would have carried Penguins. Shipboard helos are much better than ship launched missiles for anti ship – much longer reach. Also the 76mm would have likely been fitted and the ship was designed for either. The fit out in the imagery was for the Malaysian requirement.
Fair enough point on both the Harpoon/Penguins and 57mm/76mm as both make much more sense for our Navy. One very little "+" of the Sprog being canceled is that now the space on ANZAC's that was designated to hold the control surfaces (AKA "Wings") of the Penguins is no longer required for that purpose so we use it as a weights gym (we already had cardio).
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Old December 11th, 2010   #4513
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When the Malaysians selected the B+V MEKO over the Transfield (aka Tenix) OPC the RAN’s project was not cancelled (1998). The importance of Malaysia to the RAN’s acquisition of the OPC is hugely overplayed in ‘common knowledge’. The RAN still had a requirement for them but the Howard Government chose to just buy patrol boats to save a few hundred million (1999). This was against the Navy’s advice who still wanted the OPC and a later CN (Ritchie who oversaw introduction of the Armidale) expressed that the acquiring a non aviation capable ship to replace the Fremantle was the greatest regret of his period as chief. Before East Timor and 911 Howard cut Defence to the bone as fiercely as Keating and Hawke before him.

In RAN service the OPC wouldn’t have carried Harpoons because the Seasprites would have carried Penguins. Shipboard helos are much better than ship launched missiles for anti ship – much longer reach. Also the 76mm would have likely been fitted and the ship was designed for either. The fit out in the imagery was for the Malaysian requirement.
Ahh, interesting, thanks mate. I wonder how different things would have turned out had the Super Lynx been acquired instead, from what I've read it seems the Lynx/Sea Skua combination has a pretty good batting average in the ASuW role (though I don't know if the RAN was keen to go with Sea Skua).

On a related topic, how do you think things are stacking up between the NFH90 and the MH-60R? While they both have their pros and cons, the MH-60R seems like the safer bet to me (and I suppose it'd enable the RAN to share Hellfire stocks with the Army as I believe that's the Romeo's primary anti-surface weapon, don't know what's been integrated onto the NFH90 for that role), but then I'm not familiar enough with the requirements to really offer an informed view as to which would be the better option.
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Old December 11th, 2010   #4514
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Ahh, interesting, thanks mate. I wonder how different things would have turned out had the Super Lynx been acquired instead, from what I've read it seems the Lynx/Sea Skua combination has a pretty good batting average in the ASuW role (though I don't know if the RAN was keen to go with Sea Skua).
The Seasprite was fine, nothing seriously wrong with it, except the delay in developing the AFCS. The only problem was the bureaucracy changed the safety standards required while the project was underway.

Sea Skua is a missile customised for destroying small craft. Penguin is capable of engaging small craft and knocking out larger ships. Since the helicopter missile was to be the sole ASuW asset on the Anzac and OPC acquiring the missile able to service both target types made more sense.

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On a related topic, how do you think things are stacking up between the NFH90 and the MH-60R? While they both have their pros and cons, the MH-60R seems like the safer bet to me (and I suppose it'd enable the RAN to share Hellfire stocks with the Army as I believe that's the Romeo's primary anti-surface weapon, don't know what's been integrated onto the NFH90 for that role), but then I'm not familiar enough with the requirements to really offer an informed view as to which would be the better option.
The MH-60R is a much better choice because it can be introduced without much development work and risk. RAN’s requirements for the FNACS [Future Naval Aviation Combat System] was for both close and distant ASuW configurations. Close would presumably use HMGs, Hellfire, etc and distant a stand off missile (Penguin, Harpoon, etc). If they had to chose then close would be the most pressing need. NFH90 is only being developed with Sea Marte ASM (similar to Penguin) and would need a development campaign to be integrated with Hellfire.
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Old December 11th, 2010   #4515
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The MH-60R is a much better choice because it can be introduced without much development work and risk. RAN’s requirements for the FNACS [Future Naval Aviation Combat System] was for both close and distant ASuW configurations. Close would presumably use HMGs, Hellfire, etc and distant a stand off missile (Penguin, Harpoon, etc). If they had to chose then close would be the most pressing need. NFH90 is only being developed with Sea Marte ASM (similar to Penguin) and would need a development campaign to be integrated with Hellfire.
Agree the MH is the best option, which for all intensive purposes would be a straight swap (so to speak)

With regards to the old OPC design, how much of that do you think will be reflected in the proposed OCV in the 09 White paper ? Have any legitimate designs been put forward yet ?
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