ADF General discussion thread

Bob53

Active Member
I would also suspect a whole host of other issues that while relatively minor, would still be a problem. Unless the RAN was using the exact same kit across the board as the RN, then there have to be differences in RN vessels compared to RAN vessels. Something as minor as the firefighting kit can make a significant difference if the RAN uses one configuration and the RN another.

I suppose that the RAN could decide to adopt the same kit as the RN, but that would then likely mean that the RAN has to import their kit, vs. possibly being able to order and receive it from a domestic supplier and/or manufacturer.

The same sort of situation goes for virtually every piece of kit or ship's systems which the RAN operates a different type from the RN.
I understand your point but I’m talking about massive changes to systems and weapons platforms. I realise there is a desire for commonality across the fleet but the changes we do in the pursuit of perfection and ticking every option box just looks crazy.

But the point was about the cost and time these changes add to our projects.

Perfection is the enemy of completion, a camel is a horse designed by a committee and quantity has a quality all of its own are adages that come to mind.
 

alexsa

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I understand your point but I’m talking about massive changes to systems and weapons platforms. I realise there is a desire for commonality across the fleet but the changes we do in the pursuit of perfection and ticking every option box just looks crazy.

But the point was about the cost and time these changes add to our projects.

Perfection is the enemy of completion, a camel is a horse designed by a committee and quantity has a quality all of its own are adages that come to mind.
Yes some purchases have been political footballs and taken time A lot of that time has been due to a lack of urgency at the political level. Cutting edge can be tricky but in many cases the capability was worth it.

Looking at the T26 ... which appears to be your main issue. It is more about designing a vessel for the foe we may face and the situation we are in. We are within ballistic missile range of a few players (noting not all such missiles will be nuclear but they can have a massive impact on freedom of movement and facilities) and missile defence is a capability seen as essential. Limiting this to the three DDG's does not give much coverage so the Hunter's will be AEGIS-CEC-SAAB 9LV equipped and carry the missiles to undertake that function. We cannot retrofit this capability so it needs to be sorted now.

The Submarines are in the same boat (excuse the pun). We need SSN like capability in a conventional boat to have a credible deterrent. Had the ANZAC replacement and Submarine project been started earlier we would be in a better position .... but too late now.

Much of the 'time' taken is getting projects approved. This led to fiasco's like LAND17 where this was deferred repeatedly then killed after spending more money than just buying a batch of M109A6's from stock. At the end of the day this capability is being purchased at a speed that make the last effort look completely stationary and with a very good product. Mind you it seems the requirements for that project kept moving and I agree that was not helpful.

Things have improved. A lot of capability is being sought in a hurry and is being delivered. I would also that purchases have been straight forward (the F-18F/F-18G, C17, Cape Class, CARP vessels purchases as an example) and most of these are good so we cannot generalise. Even the LHD and AOR's were pretty prompt.
 

aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
We are within ballistic missile range of a few players (noting not all such missiles will be nuclear but they can have a massive impact on freedom of movement and facilities) and missile defence is a capability seen as essential. Limiting this to the three DDG's does not give much coverage so the Hunter's will be AEGIS-CEC-SAAB 9LV equipped and carry the missiles to undertake that function. We cannot retrofit this capability so it needs to be sorted now.

The Submarines are in the same boat (excuse the pun). We need SSN like capability in a conventional boat to have a credible deterrent. Had the ANZAC replacement and Submarine project been started earlier we would be in a better position .... but too late now.
Exactly, just have to take a look at the significance of Subi and you can see why BMD is a must, and multiple layers and options are needed, not just in the maritime domain but also land and air !!

And sub surface is a critical part of that too, which for us leads to very specific requirements, very much a pity we were left with a decade long black hole !! But we have to push ahead with what we are doing, there in no re-start, there is no quick option or way out of this, push ahead !!

On the whole we get frustrated with the ball being kicked back and forth, and we on here understand to what detriment !! But we still have to remember, even in these times or urgency, it is the public purse and these type of games will be played by all sides unfortunately !! and the MSM does not help one little bit to a generally ignorant public !!

Cheers
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
Yes some purchases have been political footballs and taken time A lot of that time has been due to a lack of urgency at the political level. Cutting edge can be tricky but in many cases the capability was worth it.

Looking at the T26 ... which appears to be your main issue. It is more about designing a vessel for the foe we may face and the situation we are in. We are within ballistic missile range of a few players (noting not all such missiles will be nuclear but they can have a massive impact on freedom of movement and facilities) and missile defence is a capability seen as essential. Limiting this to the three DDG's does not give much coverage so the Hunter's will be AEGIS-CEC-SAAB 9LV equipped and carry the missiles to undertake that function. We cannot retrofit this capability so it needs to be sorted now.

The Submarines are in the same boat (excuse the pun). We need SSN like capability in a conventional boat to have a credible deterrent. Had the ANZAC replacement and Submarine project been started earlier we would be in a better position .... but too late now.

Much of the 'time' taken is getting projects approved. This led to fiasco's like LAND17 where this was deferred repeatedly then killed after spending more money than just buying a batch of M109A6's from stock. At the end of the day this capability is being purchased at a speed that make the last effort look completely stationary and with a very good product. Mind you it seems the requirements for that project kept moving and I agree that was not helpful.

Things have improved. A lot of capability is being sought in a hurry and is being delivered. I would also that purchases have been straight forward (the F-18F/F-18G, C17, Cape Class, CARP vessels purchases as an example) and most of these are good so we cannot generalise. Even the LHD and AOR's were pretty prompt.
I think part of the conversation is that we reluctantly accept very large complex programs take time and yes we still want to get them right.
Sure it would of been prudent to start them much earlier.
In the maritime context destroyers and submarine replacements come to mind.

The other part of the conversation is timing of threat perception and how we adjust to this dynamic.
Accepting existing projects across the services cannot be brought forward or escalated how do we " bridge the gap ".

Does the International second hand military shop have appeal?
Were do we prioritise our limited finances!
Do we in fact delay long term projects acknowledging they realistically don't provide a meaningful military capability in the short to medium term and allocate man power and funds, building up short term capacity where viable.

Does anyone have the answer without robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Thoughts


Regards S
 

MARKMILES77

Active Member
What is going on in Canberra??
Senior Govt Ministers called urgently to Canberra. All given exemption from border rules.
Opposition leader and his senior shadow Ministers being briefed.
Ministers Payne and Dutton currently in US in meetings by secure links.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Here it is for those who don't have one:

The Morrison government is poised to tear up the troubled $90 billion contract with French shipbuilder Naval Group and partner with the United States and United Kingdom to switch to an American-made nuclear-powered submarine.
One source said the dramatic move would be justified that the shift to nuclear technology was required in light of the changing strategic circumstances as China becomes more aggressive in the region.
As an interim step, there were suggestions the US was planning to operate some of its Virginia class nuclear-powered submarines out Perth’s naval base, HMAS Stirling.
The British government, which also operates nuclear-powered submarines, is expected support Australia with reactor technology locally.
US President Joe Biden is scheduled to give a press conference at 7am Australian time on a “national security initiative”.
Defence Minister Peter Dutton is currently in Washington DC along with Foreign Minister Marise Payne for annual defence and diplomatic talks. Mr Dutton’s office declined to comment the speculation.
But a senior government source told The Australian Financial Review Australia was going to buy nuclear-powered submarines.
It is understood Mr Morrison had tried to speak to French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday, another source said.
Mr Morrison is due to travel to Washington next week for talks with Mr Biden, but it was thought that announcing the new submarine tie up with America together with the President would be deemed provocative.
The Shortfin Barracuda design was chosen to replace the Collins class.
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Would you spend $90b on this submarine?
Senior cabinet ministers met in Canberra on Wednesday for a top secret briefing on the shipbuilding program. Anthony Albanese and over senior Labor MPs have reportedly been briefed on the issues.
MPs and defence personnel have also been told to expect a significant briefing on Thursday.
The chief of navy, Mike Noonan, had a planned trip cancelled by Mr Morrison for Thursday’s announcement while Vice Admiral Jonathan Mead, who was commissioned to conduct a review of the submarine program earlier this year, was in Washington DC three weeks ago on the PM’s instructions, a source said.
Retired US Vice Admiral William Hilarides, who chairs the Morrison government’s Naval Shipbuilding Expert Advisory Panel, will be a key figure in the transition.
Naval Group staff have been told to expect an announcement.
Mr Biden, Mr Morrison and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G7 leaders summit in Cornwall in July — a move at the time that was interpreted by some observers as a snub to Mr Morrison that Mr Biden did not grant him a one-on-one meeting.
But if the three leaders were discussing submarines, which are regarded as a country’s most sensitive military technology, that casts the meeting in a whole different light.
Naval Group was meant to build 12 submarines in Adelaide as one of the keystones of the government’s continuous naval shipbuilding program. With the submarines now to be built in the US, deep maintenance of the Collins class submarines is now likely to remain in Adelaide instead of shifting to Perth.
Terminating the contract may cost taxpayers up to $400 million.
Relations between Naval Group and the government have broken down over a series of disagreements over spiralling costs, design changes, schedule slippage and local industry involvement since the French company was selected ahead of German and Japanese designs in 2016.
The Australian Financial Review revealed in February Mr Morrison had commissioned Vice Admiral Mead and Commodore Tim Brown to examine options for Australia’s submarine program as a Plan B to the French designed boats.
This included exploring an updated design of the navy’s existing Collins class submarine, based on Swedish designer Saab Kockums offer of a long-range conventional powered submarine for the Dutch navy.
The government is expected to announce as an interim solution it will extend the lives of the six Collins class submarines to avoid a capability gap.
But in recent times, sources said there had been ongoing discussions with the British government about buying their submarines.
The government’s frustration with Naval Group reached the point where in April it refused to sign a new contract for the next phase of the project, giving the company until this month to refine its offer.
While sources said the Defence Department had offered in principle approval for the revised offer, it appears the government is about to sink the deal.
Andrew Tillett writes on politics, foreign affairs, defence and security from the Canberra press gallery. Connect with Andrew on Facebook and Twitter. Email Andrew at [email protected]
Matthew Cranston is the United States correspondent, based in Washington. He was previously the Economics correspondent and Property editor. Connect with Matthew on Twitter. Email Matthew at [email protected]
 
IMHO both the US and UK lack the capacity to build extra SSNs for export.
Do they? The last of the Astutes ordered is under construction, having been laid down in 2018, due for completion in 2026. You'd think those involved in that program would love to have additional orders. As for the Americans, I think they could always scale up their production?
 
ABC defence correspondent Andrew Greene tweeted this at 11.09pm:

#breaking United States has confirmed it will help Australia identify the best way to acquire nuclear powered submarine capability
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Do they? The last of the Astutes ordered is under construction, having been laid down in 2018, due for completion in 2026. You'd think those involved in that program would love to have additional orders. As for the Americans, I think they could always scale up their production?
The US cannot because they have a shortage of shipbuilding capacity. They are struggling now to find qualified workers for the yards they have. The USN is also short on SSNs and SSGNs so it will not be in the position to really accept foreign orders if this is indeed the case.

The UK will have trouble as well because they are building new SSBNs as well. It's not something that you can turn on like a tap.

Of course there is a third option if this is indeed happening. License build either a Virginia class or Astute class SSN in Australia. If it's the Astute class then install a USN combat system in it. This would achieve the following objectives:
  • It would ensure Australian sovereign submarine building capabilities which is current government policy.
  • It would help train an Australian nuclear industry work force.
  • It would not cause problems for current USN or RN SSN/ SSBN / SSGN build programmes.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
The US cannot because they have a shortage of shipbuilding capacity. They are struggling now to find qualified workers for the yards they have. The USN is also short on SSNs and SSGNs so it will not be in the position to really accept foreign orders if this is indeed the case.

The UK will have trouble as well because they are building new SSBNs as well. It's not something that you can turn on like a tap.

Of course there is a third option if this is indeed happening. License build either a Virginia class or Astute class SSN in Australia. If it's the Astute class then install a USN combat system in it. This would achieve the following objectives:
  • It would ensure Australian sovereign submarine building capabilities which is current government policy.
  • It would help train an Australian nuclear industry work force.
  • It would not cause problems for current USN or RN SSN/ SSBN / SSGN build programmes.
It would have to be some kind of license agreement, US or UK as their respective SSBN programs will keep both occupied. The US still has Virginias to build as the Columbia program starts up. Choice could be influenced by reactor, UK needs 4 for their Dreadnaught class whereas the US needs 12 plus more for the remaining Virginia builds. UK might be able to supply reactors faster.

This development, if true, may be an opportunity for Canada and the RCN to reevaluate our submarine options.
 

Gooey

Member
ABC is reporting what previously was considered by some to be too Blue Sky thinking within Defence Talk.


This speaks volumes about the changing strategic environment for Australia … and US / UK/ NZ and the South Pacific etc

Feverishly, the fallout for French pride will just as fascinating as how RAN will operate SSNs.
 
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