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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; My first post here so please forgive the dribble of a rank amateur. Over the years I have been following ...


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Old September 5th, 2007   #556
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My first post here so please forgive the dribble of a rank amateur. Over the years I have been following the changing fleet of the RAN off and on. I'm excited by the LHDs and the DDGs that we'll soon have but I often wonder about our ability to crew such ships. Don't get me wrong, I think the RAN should be a bigger version of its well respected and capable current form.

Fair enough, Tobruk, Kanimbla and Manoora are reaching the end of their service lives so there's crew numbers for the LHDs. I imagine the numbers for the DDGs would come from the retiring FFGs but a third LHD to be crewed would be a hard task surely?

I'm proud of where we're heading with the RAN (although I'm not sure what a Rudd govt might have up its sleeve to potentially stuff things up). Don't get me started on what's happened to the RN!

You guys have got your fingers on the pulse. I'll learn a lot here.

Andy
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Old September 5th, 2007   #557
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Originally Posted by Andy in West Oz View Post
My first post here so please forgive the dribble of a rank amateur. Over the years I have been following the changing fleet of the RAN off and on. I'm excited by the LHDs and the DDGs that we'll soon have but I often wonder about our ability to crew such ships. Don't get me wrong, I think the RAN should be a bigger version of its well respected and capable current form.

Fair enough, Tobruk, Kanimbla and Manoora are reaching the end of their service lives so there's crew numbers for the LHDs. I imagine the numbers for the DDGs would come from the retiring FFGs but a third LHD to be crewed would be a hard task surely?

I'm proud of where we're heading with the RAN (although I'm not sure what a Rudd govt might have up its sleeve to potentially stuff things up). Don't get me started on what's happened to the RN!

You guys have got your fingers on the pulse. I'll learn a lot here.

Andy

First might I say "Welcome Andy".

I am relatively new here myself.....though I was a lurker in the background for a significant period.

You are right on the money.......the easy answer is that at the present time we would struggle to man a third LHD or fourth AWD. My sources in MHQ tell me that we are desperately short of trades people, skilled submariners, and PW Officers (something like 18 verses the 40 needed).

However, you may or may not have noticed that these two Aquisitions programs (LHD & AWD) are not to arrive before 2012. The Government has recently been adding funding to the ADF to increase recruitment and retention of people. In the Late 80's and early 90's we lost a lot of people and that has really hurt the ADF (at 22 I am probably too young to speak authoritatively on that subject - perhaps someone can help?), though we have been getting some of the equipment we need now.

Some recent initiatives include the Defence Gap Year program, increases in wages and allowances and a subsidy program for Defence personnel in relation to mortgages that seems to be implemented WEF 1/7/08 for those who have served for minimum periods of time (4/8/12 years permanent and 8/12/16 reserve). It is hoped that a combination of these programs will bring back the people numbers (and SKILLS) desperately needed.

The harping on about three LHDs and a fourth AWD is not a result of a failure by the members here to recognise the crewing issues, indeed the more knowledgable of us are acutely aware of the issue and its significance. However, the discussion of such additional aquisitions (over and above DC plans in many instances) reflects what the members here feel are minimum numbers required to achieve the sorts of objectives that the government seems to have set for itself. 3 LHDs provides for 1 operational generally, and a surge capacity of two. 4 AWD's allows for up to three in times of trouble and for 2 to be available more frequently. Obviously these ideas are conditional on more, and skilled, people however there is some time to sort this out and hopefully the recent initiatives will work.

If I have missed anything here guys, feel free to add as necessary .

Cheers,

Brett.

P.S wanna solve recruiting in one relatively cheap stroke of a pen? (Ban the Class II Junior Sailor's Cap)
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Old September 5th, 2007   #558
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Originally Posted by Andy in West Oz View Post
My first post here so please forgive the dribble of a rank amateur. Over the years I have been following the changing fleet of the RAN off and on. I'm excited by the LHDs and the DDGs that we'll soon have but I often wonder about our ability to crew such ships. Don't get me wrong, I think the RAN should be a bigger version of its well respected and capable current form.

Fair enough, Tobruk, Kanimbla and Manoora are reaching the end of their service lives so there's crew numbers for the LHDs. I imagine the numbers for the DDGs would come from the retiring FFGs but a third LHD to be crewed would be a hard task surely?

I'm proud of where we're heading with the RAN (although I'm not sure what a Rudd govt might have up its sleeve to potentially stuff things up). Don't get me started on what's happened to the RN!

You guys have got your fingers on the pulse. I'll learn a lot here.

Andy
I thought Battlensign answered your concerns pretty well.

Re the manning situation there is no doubt that the shortages of skilled personnel is one of the biggest issues facing the navy (and the rest of the ADF for that matter). It is not so much recruitment but retention of trained people that is the biggest problem.

So far as present acquisitions are concerned, four AWD's (if a fourth is ordered) will replace the FFGs's on a one for one basis and will absorb their crews. Likewise the LHDs, which have a comparatively small crew for vessels of their size and complexity, will be manned by personnel from the first two amphibious ships to be decommissioned. If a third LHD is acquired it is likely that only two would be operational most of the time. The third LHD would probably take on the sealift role when required, manned by a reduced crew. For surge operations all three LHD's might be used. Those of us who have a vision of fixed wing aviation operating once again from RAN ships also hope that the third ship would be available as an aviation support platform in which case additional crew would be needed.

The old carrier Sydney, when it was operating as a troop transport and training ship in its later years, had a reduced permanent crew and took on reservists to round up the complement when needed. A third LHD could be similarly manned.

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Old September 5th, 2007   #559
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Just an add on regarding Crews. There are 5 FFG and 4 AWD. The Adelaide carries 186 crew, with 210 when Helo embarked. The AWD is to have around the same crew numbers, depending on "australianisation" creates a 2nd Hanger as well(this is doubtful)
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Old September 5th, 2007   #560
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Thanks guys, you've answered my questions and "concerns" to the letter. Might souond a bit odd, but I feel relieved that there seems to be a multitude of solutions out there and I agree that with our increased commitments, the 3LHDs and 4 AWDs would be a nice fit and, from what you've said, should be capable of being crewed effectively. I guess here is another bonus of the F100 (I've read the entire AWD thread and the F100 has grown on me!) in that it should require less crew.

Exciting times for the RAN. Am totally blown away by the AdelaideFFGs getting a VLS mount. Have I read that right?

Love talking about this stuff and also love reading and listening to learn so thanks again. Hope to contribute something intelligent in the future!
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Old September 5th, 2007   #561
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Thanks guys, you've answered my questions and "concerns" to the letter. Might souond a bit odd, but I feel relieved that there seems to be a multitude of solutions out there and I agree that with our increased commitments, the 3LHDs and 4 AWDs would be a nice fit and, from what you've said, should be capable of being crewed effectively. I guess here is another bonus of the F100 (I've read the entire AWD thread and the F100 has grown on me!) in that it should require less crew.

Exciting times for the RAN. Am totally blown away by the AdelaideFFGs getting a VLS mount. Have I read that right?

Love talking about this stuff and also love reading and listening to learn so thanks again. Hope to contribute something intelligent in the future!
Yep. The remaining 4x Adelaide Class FFG's are having a single 8x cell Mk 41 VLS system installed behind the sinlg Mk 13 "rail" launcher. The VLS system will be packed with 32x ESSM missiles to boost it's air defence capability.
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Old September 5th, 2007   #562
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Yep. The remaining 4x Adelaide Class FFG's are having a single 8x cell Mk 41 VLS system installed behind the sinlg Mk 13 "rail" launcher. The VLS system will be packed with 32x ESSM missiles to boost it's air defence capability.
Already installed in Sydney and Melbourne. The 32 ESSM on top of an upgrade to SM-2 and Harpoon 2 makes them the best equipped OHP class frigates in the world, IMO.

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Old September 5th, 2007   #563
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I'd have to agree with you there, Tas. Are there any pics floating around of the upgrade or should I look a bit harder in here somewhere?

Edit: not to worry, have found some on the RAN site of Sydney. Googled "Adelaide class upgrades". VLS fit sitting forward on the bow looks well done and quite complementary.
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Old September 5th, 2007   #564
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I'd have to agree with you there, Tas. Are there any pics floating around of the upgrade or should I look a bit harder in here somewhere?
Here is a photo I took last month of the Mk41 VLS launcher on Melbourne (it protrudes above deck level).

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Old September 5th, 2007   #565
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Thanks Tas, they really look the business. Has there been any trial firings?
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Old September 6th, 2007   #566
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Thanks Tas, they really look the business. Has there been any trial firings?
I don't know about trial firings from the FFGs but I imagine it will be necessary as part of the post upgrade acceptance. However, ESSM has been fired from the Anzacs. One of them, HMAS Warramunga, was the first non USN ship to fire ESSM, and only the second ship after USS Shoup, to do so.

http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/mi...E=Mar+13,+2003

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Old September 6th, 2007   #567
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From Epicos.com

DMO wins again in project management
(2007-09-06)
By: Department of Defence (Australia)

The Defence Materiel Organisation's (DMO) 'HMAS Westralia replacement project' has been named Project of the Year (Australian Capital Territory) at the Australian Institute of Project Management Awards in Canberra overnight.

The Project Management Achievement Awards recognise excellence in all aspects of project management across Australia.

SEA 1654 Phase 2A also won the Defence category for excellence in project management.

Project SEA 1654 commenced in early 2001, initially for the delivery of a purpose built $450 million support ship to replace the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) aging auxiliary oiler HMAS WESTRALIA by 2009.

However in late 2003 changes to international maritime regulations forced the project to be brought forward to 2006.

With a purpose built ship no longer an option, the only feasible means to maintain this essential capability was to purchase and convert a commercial oiler.

In record time, and against fierce international competition for base ships, the project team was able to secure an 'as new' vessel; develop fully costed specifications for the conversion to RAN requirements; and award and manage a demanding conversion contract.

HMAS SIRIUS was delivered in 2006, ahead of schedule and under budget.

SEA 1654 Phase 2A will now represent the Australian Capital Territory at the National Awards to be held in Hobart on 9 October 2007.

Project AIR 8000 Phase 3 was also awarded a highly commended in the Defence / Aerospace division for their work in the delivery of the C-17 aircraft.
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Old September 7th, 2007   #568
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DMO wins again in project management

SEA 1654 Phase 2A also won the Defence category for excellence in project management...


Project AIR 8000 Phase 3 was also awarded a highly commended in the Defence / Aerospace division for their work in the delivery of the C-17 aircraft.
Good to see some positive PR for the Australian defence industry for a change.

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Old September 10th, 2007   #569
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Thanks Tas, they really look the business. Has there been any trial firings?
The Department of Defence reported today that there has now been a successful test firing of ESSM from an upgraded FFG:

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MISSILE FIRING SHOWS NEW NAVY AIR DEFENCE CAPABILITY



A Royal Australian Navy FFG-7 class guided missile frigate has successfully conducted the inaugural and first-of-class firing against an unmanned aerial target of the new generation Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM).



The frigate HMAS Sydney fired a missile against a Kalkara unmanned airborne target on Monday 20 August 2007. The missile was successfully launched and controlled in flight, resulting in the destruction of the target.



The missile was fired from the Vertical Launch System recently installed in HMAS Sydney as part of the FFG Upgrade Program. The firing was supported by the upgraded combat system and the Australian Distributed Architecture Combat System (ADACS) software being developed and delivered by the former ADI Ltd, now trading as Thales Australia.



This Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile firing is the first from an FFG-7 class frigate, a class in service with many navies around the world. HMAS Sydney is undergoing a multi-million dollar upgrade including its combat system. The ship now is equipped with two missile systems to combat anti-ship missiles and aircraft.



This successful firing is a significant achievement for the FFG Upgrade Program. It justifies confidence in the current upgrade of the Australian Distributed Architecture Combat System (ADACS) software used to support this first-of-class firing of the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile from the installed Vertical Launch System.



The FFG Upgrade Project is scheduled for completion in December 2009.
http://www.defence.gov.au/media/Depa...CurrentId=7048

Looks like the FFG upgrade is now well and truly on track.

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Old September 10th, 2007   #570
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I just read through the RAN CD Team structure and Navy Seal Team Structure.
Each RAN CD Team (there are 2) has 58 Men in it Ranks.
There are 3 Branche in this Teams
The Mine Counter Measures Element wit 17 Men
The Maritime Tactical Operations Element with 13 Men
The Underwater Battle Damage Repair Element with 13 Men

As we now take into account that each Navy Seal Team has 3 Task Groups with 2 Platoons each 16 Men + HQ, so 40 Man per Task Group I really do not understand why The Aussis just not such a SEAL Style Task Group to each of its Teams. As there is already an MTO with 13 Men you would just need to add 27 Men to each Team and so you would have 2 Aussie Seal Platoons per Team or all in all 4 Platoons
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