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icelord February 12th, 2007 08:53 PM

Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates
 
I've been unable to find any information on whether the Tobruk will be replaced by the RAN with a dedicated LSH. The Canberra Class LHDs are to replace the Manoora, Kanimbla and Tobruk, but would a LSH also be workable, with the trouble of the LCM8 unable to transport the Abrahms tanks, and a different landing craft to be purchased in JP2048 to cover this, would a LCH be worthwhile or the two LHD with new model LCM (the current are 4 years old....) be suitable.
Also, and ideas for a LCH class of value or have we moved away from such ships

Whiskyjack February 12th, 2007 09:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by icelord (Post 92197)
I've been unable to find any information on whether the Tobruk will be replaced by the RAN with a dedicated LSH. The Canberra Class LHDs are to replace the Manoora, Kanimbla and Tobruk, but would a LSH also be workable, with the trouble of the LCM8 unable to transport the Abrahms tanks, and a different landing craft to be purchased in JP2048 to cover this, would a LCH be worthwhile or the two LHD with new model LCM (the current are 4 years old....) be suitable.
Also, and ideas for a LCH class of value or have we moved away from such ships

My understanding is that there is supposed to be a third logistics vessel to complement the LHDs. Looking around the world it may be that something along the lines of a Bay Class, that the RFA is getting, with a dock capability. The Royal Marines are due to experiment with a PASCAT (?) landing craft the same dimensions of their LCU Mk10. The benefit being a 30 kn speed to allow for base ships to be further away from shore. The experimental craft is due to be in operation by 2008

I would see the LCHs as being replaced by a Cat or Tri that allows for rapid transit and carriage of personnel and supplies. Especially useful in the North of Australia and deployments such as the Solomon Islands. Crew requirements would be the same, not sure on other operating costs tho.

My thoughts..

Tasman February 12th, 2007 10:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Whiskyjack (Post 92199)
My understanding is that there is supposed to be a third logistics vessel to complement the LHDs. Looking around the world it may be that something along the lines of a Bay Class, that the RFA is getting, with a dock capability. The Royal Marines are due to experiment with a PASCAT (?) landing craft the same dimensions of their LCU Mk10. The benefit being a 30 kn speed to allow for base ships to be further away from shore. The experimental craft is due to be in operation by 2008

I would see the LCHs as being replaced by a Cat or Tri that allows for rapid transit and carriage of personnel and supplies. Especially useful in the North of Australia and deployments such as the Solomon Islands. Crew requirements would be the same, not sure on other operating costs tho.

My thoughts..

The following is quoted from the public version of the Defence Cabability Plan:

Quote:

The Defence White Paper 2000 outlined the intention to replace the Landing Ship HMAS TOBRUK when it reaches the end of its service life in 2010, and to program the replacement of HMA Ships MANOORA and KANIMBLA in 2015. In addition the Government plans to replace the capability inherent in the fleet of 15 medium landing craft and six heavy landing craft.

JP 2048 seeks to replace the capability of the current range of ADF amphibious platforms. Phase 4A will replace the Heavy Landing Ship HMAS Tobruk with a larger amphibious vessel (LHD) with a year of decision of 2004/05 and in-service date of 2010/12. Phase 4B will replace one of the two LPA’s either HMAS Manoora or Kanimbla with a second LHD by 2012/14. Phase 4C will replace the remaining LPA with a SeaLift capability by 2016/18.

The Project received First Pass Approval in August 2005 and is currently conducting a Design Development Activity (DDA) with overseas designers. The DDA is expected to be completed by April 2006. It is intended that a Request for Tender will be released to Australian shipbuilders around April 2006 leading to selection of a preferred tenderer about 12 months later.

http://www.defence.gov.au/dmo/msd/jp2048/jp2048ph4.cfm

So it seems a third ship (or perhaps ships) will be acquired to provide the 'SeaLift capability'.

The Bay class was designed to replace Tobruck's British cousins and would provide an enhanced capability, but the building of several smaller high speed replacements does appear to provide an interesting option. I guess that at the moment the RAN will be avoiding putting up any proposals that will get in the way of the LHDs.

Cheers

Galrahn February 12th, 2007 10:52 PM

Tasman that is good stuff.

Question, is there any indication yet the size of force expected to be delivered by the LHD? I'm also curious regarding the scope of logistics support for combat operations and whether there is a requirement regarding the delivery of large weapons like Main Battle Tanks.

For example, a USN 3 ship force is designed to support 1 MEU centered around a single USMC reinforced battalion for combat operations for 15 days without additional support, and can include packages ranging from mech rifle companies to tank platoons.

I am not trying to compare the differences in size of the US force compared to the Australian force, and I have no intention of going there, but I am very curious regarding the comparisons regarding the potential scope for the force.

Does the RAN intend to be able to deploy the full range of capabilities from its LHDs; light, medium, and/or heavy? Are the ships being tailored to support minimum requirements of any specific type (example, a specific number of tanks as a minimum requirement)?

Just curious, while I am sure most casual observers down under focus on the platform as a naval aviation platform, my interest in the project is almost exclusively focused on its potential lift and assault capability.

Tasman February 13th, 2007 12:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Galrahn (Post 92208)
Tasman that is good stuff.

Question, is there any indication yet the size of force expected to be delivered by the LHD? I'm also curious regarding the scope of logistics support for combat operations and whether there is a requirement regarding the delivery of large weapons like Main Battle Tanks.

For example, a USN 3 ship force is designed to support 1 MEU centered around a single USMC reinforced battalion for combat operations for 15 days without additional support, and can include packages ranging from mech rifle companies to tank platoons.

I am not trying to compare the differences in size of the US force compared to the Australian force, and I have no intention of going there, but I am very curious regarding the comparisons regarding the potential scope for the force.

Does the RAN intend to be able to deploy the full range of capabilities from its LHDs; light, medium, and/or heavy? Are the ships being tailored to support minimum requirements of any specific type (example, a specific number of tanks as a minimum requirement)?

Just curious, while I am sure most casual observers down under focus on the platform as a naval aviation platform, my interest in the project is almost exclusively focused on its potential lift and assault capability.

I have found it difficult to dig up more than sketchy info as to what exactly the LHDs (and the projected additional sealift ship) are to be able to embark. I have one close naval contact but he is not associated with the project and even if he was he would certainly not reveal info that was not in the public domain. Also I imagine that the lift capability is really an army matter unless the ships were serving in a secondary sea control or command function.

I have found the following links which give some info but you will quickly see that it does not go into any real detail.

The first is from ADI, one of the rival companies seeking to build the vessels, and it does provide the basic info as to what is to be embarked:

Quote:

Two LHD amphibious ships, which will be named HMA Ships CANBERRA and ADELAIDE, will provide a flexible capability boost to the RAN fleet.
To be known as the CANBERRA Class, Australia's LHDs will be capable of embarking up to 1000 troops with their tanks, vehicles and equipment, lodging them ashore via helicopters or landing craft for combat or humanitarian missions and supporting them with state-of-the-art command, medical and logistics facilities.
These ships, together with a strategic lift ship to be acquired under a separate phase of project JP2048, will replace the RAN’s existing amphibious ships, HMA Ships MANOORA, KANIMBLA and TOBRUK.
The Defence Material Organisation has worked with DCN to refine the original MISTRAL Class b-450 design. Key changes to the designs include:
• Optimisation of elevators to allow lift of helicopters with rotor blades unfolded
• 1800 sqm allocated for storage and maintenance facilities to support up to 16 helicopters per ship
• 850 sqm for command and control spaces – with accommodation of up to 150 command personnel per ship
• 750 sqm hospital facility
• Accommodation arrangements restructured from 4 berth cabins to 6 and 8 berth cabins.

The Australian variant of the MISTRAL Class LHD, which will be known as the CANBERRA Class, will provide a platform for the deployment of helicopters, landing craft, up to 1,000 soldiers, vehicles and other equipment including the Australian Army's new M1A1 Abrams tanks.
They will be equipped with state of the art Command, Control, Communications, Computer and Intelligence (C4I) systems along with a fully equipped floating hospital capable of servicing a small town, comprising operating theatres, intensive care and casualty wards, pathology, radiography and dental facilities.

http://www.amphib.com.au/default.asp?page=14

The following address by Vice-Admiral Russ Shalders AO RAN, Chief of Navy to the Navy League of Australia in March, 2006, adds a little more about the total amphibious lift capability:
Quote:

Our two new LHDs, to be called CANBERRA and ADELAIDE, will have the ability to embark, sustain and deliver in good order by sea, a combined arms battle group comprising a landing force of approximately 1200 and a support group of 800.
CANBERRA and ADELAIDE will significantly increase our reach, and our ability to operate as a very effective joint force in the littoral environment.
http://navyleag.customer.netspace.net.au/sd_05bf6.htm

Perhaps some of our defence professionals will be able to answer this in more detail. It is info that is needed to determine what it is that the additional sealift vessel will need to be able to carry to supplement the two LHDs.

Cheers

swerve February 13th, 2007 12:56 PM

A "strategic lift ship" could be one of many things. E.g. an LSD like the Bays, or a ro-ro like the Point-class.

Tasman February 13th, 2007 05:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Galrahn (Post 92208)
Does the RAN intend to be able to deploy the full range of capabilities from its LHDs; light, medium, and/or heavy? Are the ships being tailored to support minimum requirements of any specific type (example, a specific number of tanks as a minimum requirement)?

This came from Defense Industry Daily and mentions the number of vehicles each LHD needs to be able to carry:


Quote:

Each ship will preferably have the ability to transport up to 1000 personnel, have six helicopter landing spots and provision for a mix of troop lift and armed reconnaissance helicopters. It will also be able to transport up to 150 vehicles including the new M1A1 Abrams tanks and armored vehicles. Finally, each ship will be equipped with medical facilities, including two operating theaters and a hospital ward.

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...ject/index.php

I still can't get more details of the total RAN lift requirement (2 LHDs plus the sealift ship).

IIRC a decision was made early in 2006 that a conventional monohull with a well deck would be the preferred solution for the sealift ship. I also remember the article I was reading suggesting that the funds to be allocated for this vessel would rule out the Bay class. I think it was in Janes Defence Weekly but I can't find the article. Perhaps someone else can and can confirm this info.

Cheers

icelord February 13th, 2007 09:30 PM

Quote:

I would see the LCHs as being replaced by a Cat or Tri that allows for rapid transit and carriage of personnel and supplies. Especially useful in the North of Australia and deployments such as the Solomon Islands. Crew requirements would be the same, not sure on other operating costs tho.
Somebody misses the Jervis bay i take it...:teary

The biggest concern is the LCM. Which was not designed to carry the Abrhams, as it predates the mere thought of purchasing an abrahms, and yet its only 4-5 years old and will operate off the LHDs.
I can't recall the name but currently the USMC is looking at a new landing craft that some claim would work well for the RAN and the LHD to operate the Abrahams off, and is part of the JP2048 phase to replace LCM and LCH, as well as the possibility of a LCAC(yeah right, keep dreaming)

Whiskyjack February 13th, 2007 10:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by icelord (Post 92346)
Somebody misses the Jervis bay i take it...:teary

The biggest concern is the LCM. Which was not designed to carry the Abrhams, as it predates the mere thought of purchasing an abrahms, and yet its only 4-5 years old and will operate off the LHDs.
I can't recall the name but currently the USMC is looking at a new landing craft that some claim would work well for the RAN and the LHD to operate the Abrahams off, and is part of the JP2048 phase to replace LCM and LCH, as well as the possibility of a LCAC(yeah right, keep dreaming)


As mentioned above the Royal Marines are going to experiment with the PASCAT (I think that is right) technology.

My limited understanding is that this basically uses the same basic outlay of the LCU Mk10 that the RN operates from their LPDs and Bays but places them on a Cat hull that allows for greater speed.

Looking at a PDF I have for the USN LCU(R) it would seem to be on a planning hull, that is very similar to the PASCAT design.

Seems to be the way things are going.

Tasman February 18th, 2007 09:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by icelord (Post 92346)
Somebody misses the Jervis bay i take it...:teary

The biggest concern is the LCM. Which was not designed to carry the Abrhams, as it predates the mere thought of purchasing an abrahms, and yet its only 4-5 years old and will operate off the LHDs.
I can't recall the name but currently the USMC is looking at a new landing craft that some claim would work well for the RAN and the LHD to operate the Abrahams off, and is part of the JP2048 phase to replace LCM and LCH, as well as the possibility of a LCAC(yeah right, keep dreaming)

I miss it! After attending its commissioning ceremony I was sad to see it return to Incat for conversion back to a commercial ferry :( But then again I didn't have to actually sail in it! :D

I agree about the LCM problem. I guess they will be used for training or duties not involving the Abrams. The third phase of JP2048 certainly allows scope for something decent to be acquired and I expect that the ADF will cut its losses and replace the LCMs operationally with something suitable for the new tanks.

Quote:

JP2048 Phase 3 will provide a range of craft to support the LHDs, replacing the capabilities inherent in the RAN?s current LCH and LCVP and the Australian Army?s LCM-8, LPA Watercraft, LARC-V and NLE.
https://www.tenders.gov.au/federal/s...F06&p_advert=1

Hmm... The LCAC would be nice and it will fit the well deck of both the the Navantia and Mistral designs for the new LHD. Sometimes it is good to dream! :D

http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...europe/bpe.htm

http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...pe/mistral.htm

alexsa February 18th, 2007 11:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tasman (Post 92777)
I miss it! After attending its commissioning ceremony I was sad to see it return to Incat for conversion back to a commercial ferry :( But then again I didn't have to actually sail in it! :D

If you want a reason to be sceptical about using a HSC as your sole theater support vessel you need look no further that the success (or lack of it) in respect of the Bass Strait HS ferry. Lots of cancellations.

These are delicate souls that are very capable in smooth and partilally snmooth waters or on regular short runs where the conditions remain relatively settled... and where there are the port facilities that enable them to load and unload. They are not great at providng peristant support offshore.

Tasman February 22nd, 2007 10:02 PM

LCM Problems
 
As a follow up to an earlier post it now seems that apart from not being able to carry the Abrams MBT the new LCMs have already been withdrawn from service on Kanimbla and Manoora. According to a report in the March edition of CONTACT the aluminium hulls have not proven sufficiently robust for craning off the decks of the LPAs. The craft are apparently now in Darwin, undertaking 'ad-hoc patrol duties' until a decision is made about their long term future.

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

Cheers

alexsa February 23rd, 2007 03:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tasman (Post 93244)
As a follow up to an earlier post it now seems that apart from not being able to carry the Abrams MBT the new LCMs have already been withdrawn from service on Kanimbla and Manoora. According to a report in the March edition of CONTACT the aluminium hulls have not proven sufficiently robust for craning off the decks of the LPAs. The craft are apparently now in Darwin, undertaking 'ad-hoc patrol duties' until a decision is made about their long term future.

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

Cheers

Now that is really disappointing, and suggests some poor design work.

Todjaeger February 23rd, 2007 07:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alexsa (Post 93261)
Now that is really disappointing, and suggests some poor design work.

Would it be more poor design work, or poor quality-control during construction?

-Cheers

Tasman February 23rd, 2007 07:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Todjaeger (Post 93292)
Would it be more poor design work, or poor quality-control during construction?

-Cheers

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! :D

Cheers


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