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Juan Carlos / Canberra Class LHD

Discussion in 'Navy & Maritime' started by BOFORS, Aug 24, 2012.

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  1. t68

    t68 Well-Known Member

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    That appears to be solely for aircraft, my post was more directed at shore connections for hotel loads whilst in port no engines running. Do ships have a universal hotel load voltage?
     
  2. ASSAIL

    ASSAIL Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Methinks you have been sucking on oxygen for way too long Spaz, it changes the world and Munchkins appear way too often.:D
     
  3. spoz

    spoz Active Member

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    There's not really a simple answer to that; but in general terms most ships require 440V 60Hz which is then transformed to other voltages on board. However, some prefer to also get 110V 60Hz if they can. 240V 50Hz is not normally required as shore supply for warships these days. Much depends on what is available in the port concerned (if there's nothing suitable you stay flashed up, stokers don't need leave....); and even stuff which is nominally 440V may vary wildly in voltage (and sometimes in frequency).
     
  4. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    Anyway stokers topside are a menace and they are allergic to fresh air anyway. :D
     
  5. StingrayOZ

    StingrayOZ Well-Known Member

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    Bringing in an another in service, existing platform is going to be a hell of lot easier than something new. The LHD's have proven their worth, have doable crewing requirements and would tap into existing support networks and logistics. There are valid reasons for getting one beyond operating F-35's from them. It goes back to the original ARG concept, which was cut down to fit onto a 2 x LHD + LPD. With 3 x LHD, you could surge a full US style ARG. Surging is unlikely, but developing and training an ARG of that size certainly is a real thing. The failure of the US at RIMPAC again highlights the regional need for a ship of this level of capability, not just for Australia, for the region.

    But with a third, you could seriously openly talk about F-35 deployment, without compromising the Amphibious capability. With three potential carriers, surge capability, or continued deployment capability would be extremely significant. Again if we went down this road, we wouldn't have to do it all ourselves, our Spanish friends could operate with the USMC and do a lot of the ground and operational aspects. You could deploy RAN and RAAF people today to get familiarity with operating with harriers on the LHD and F-35's on the USMC. We have Marines stationed in Darwin, and we aren't that far from Hawaii. We wouldn't just turn up one day and have to reinvent the wheel. If Japan goes through with this, we would then have another regional partner to develop alongside. Its not just about F-35's pounding the LHD decks either.. Momote (1800m) and Christmas Island (2000m and on a hill), both are remote and probably beyond just flying aircraft in (as a loaded A330 would really struggle at landing/taking off at both of those). There are other options of course to resolve these issues, but it does identify a change in need and the issues around it.

    What Australia is more finding itself in is as a peace maker and intermediary. There is a growing believe that Australia might be the sort of sensible country that is big enough to lead on issues without antagonizing and escalating (in this polarising environment, us or them), particularly as countries find it more and more difficult to deal with both the US and China (which the EU seems to be on the edge of imploding and has its own issues and limited capability in Asia-Indo-Pacific).

    5 years ago, I would have thought the geopolitical need for Australia to look at that sort of capability was pretty remote. I think this has changed. What was a dream in 2008 is probably closer to a reality in 2020.

    It would mean most likely giving up Choules to some other role or nation. We would need probably 50-80 more crew. It would increase costs, B is more expensive to operate than A, and a LHD is more expensive to operate than LPD, but we are talking about number that are in the realm of possible. Sustaining a single type and training crews would likely decrease. Slightly increasing budgets, not pulling multi billions, millions of hours of training and hundreds of men out of thin air.

    As for other types of carriers, I am not sure Australia will ever be interested enough to go down that road. A dedicated catapult carrier would be a unicorn and of limited use and be very man power intensive and expensive. With limited availability and limited length of deployment. Do we really need that level of capability. We want something that will deter risky adventures from a far away power and facilitate and secure a significant deployment. We won't be pounding nations into submission with it.

    Instead we could have 3 amphibs capable of a significant level of F-35 operations. If we wanted to, we could deploy two for fixed wing operations and sustain that for a significant period. If we went down this road I think it would be highly likely Singapore would join us and we would be an ideal location to train, maintain and operate F-35Bs (they are probably considering this aircraft even without a carrier of their own).

    It worth proper assessment. At the proper time, and I think we are getting closer to that point where Australia would have to make a definite yes or no.
     
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  6. SpazSinbad

    SpazSinbad Active Member

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    Nice thoughts on possible future. I've never heard any more about an RAAF pilot to go on exchange with the USMC F-35Bs (at least at MCAS Beaufort) mooted by Lt.Gen. 'Dog' Davis USMC when in Oz a few years back. I'll look again. Before our LHDs came off the drawing boards we had exchange personnel (much the same as RN) on exchange with CVNs & probably LHAs keeping that experience alive. There is also an LHD sim at Randwick in a warehouse, with a scale model LHD afloat on a 'lake' near Newcastle for the 'heads of fish' to play 'trains with. The RAN prepares well these days for the future, especially aviation now with helo sims at NAS Nowra and of course the SYCAMORE to deck bash with, including the ARMY. Boy do they need training. :)

    The F-35 FULL MISSION SIMULATOR FMS is noted to be excellent [also price dropped by a quarter or so recently - down down prices are down - at LM]. Most countries quote 50% of initial training is in the FMS with other 'mission' training to be carried out in networked FMSs (coming on stream now) due to aircraft training range/security issues (unplug the loony lens).

    Totally agree about a third 'aviation-centric' LHD perhaps - no need for a conventional steam powered carrier. Those days have passed us by - perhaps a gash CVF may appear on our horizon one day, given the UK BREXIT imbroglios. Along with perhaps recent RAF crab argybargy about split buy of the total UK F-35 force. Possibly too 'fetched far' at moment, however the future up north is getting 'interesting'.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  7. StingrayOZ

    StingrayOZ Well-Known Member

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    That is the thing with the LHD, we already have two full crews, and trainers and training infrastructure up and running. With have maintenance contracts and systems, in place today. To bring another on could be done very quickly and efficiently. This would cut years off. Also as the type is shared, retention, promotion, training, recruitment, deployment are all further improved.

    The JC1 design is still fresh and modern, Turkey is currently building, Aus and Spain are operating. Spain is still operating harriers from her LHD. Any F-35 specific modification or enhancement could be very easily incorporated in a new build very cheaply, and those modifications would be very minor as its changing things that were "best guesses" to actual items meeting specifications. On deck power, deck surfacing, lifts, spaces and configurations for servicing from actual implemented designs etc. Turkey is apparently already doing this with their build, so it is already at at implementation level. Once established on a new build it would then be easy enough to roll out to the Australian existing LHD's next refit.

    We have people attached to USN/USMC in related roles and it would be fairly simple to expand that experience. RAAF will find it very easy to squadron up due to the quick adoption of the F-35A and the simulators etc already in place.

    Australia has significant latent carrier capability. We haven't been excluding that from the force mix in the future and we have worked on the outskirts of what would be required. Much like Japan has been doing, they aren't posing just starting from scratch.

    The aviation limitations of the JC1 are really apparent when you try to run combination amphibious operations and include fixed wing aircraft into that mix. But with three you will won't be forced to push a single ship to perform multiple roles poorly at the same time. If you free it up to focus purely on aviation, then that is going to be much less of an issue.

    AEW and other issues are also resolvable. Again, there will be limitations. We will need to operate in range of our Wedgetail/P8's, subs, but that is a pretty big area and unlikely to be a problem. They will need frequent supply lines, again, it is unlikely we will be operating that far in a globally unstable environment.

    In the current global environment and going into the future, is Australia and its smaller friends, confident of the air power and presence we have in the littoral and bluer waters around the region against a power who might apply pressure. Can we back our policy and our beliefs of free passage, sovereign territory and economic and political freedom.
     
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  8. hauritz

    hauritz Well-Known Member

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    Australia is looking at either a new replenishment ship or Logistics support ship around the late 20s. This has an accompanying budget of up to $2 billion so they are anticipating a fairly substantial ship.

    Australia is now also looking at a specialised HADR vessel.

    My solution would be to transfer the Choules to HADR, use the money budgeted for the HADR ship to replace the Choules with a third refueler and purchase a third LHD in the late 20s.
     
  9. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    Transferring Choules to HADR and using funds (if any) budgeted for the HADR ship to acquire a third replenishment ship makes sense.

    Regarding a 3rd flat top:
    • Why not make it first and foremost an aviation ship that happens to come with a well dock?
    • Add an extra deck as dedicated a vehicle deck?
    • Would it not be preferable to have deck edge lifts?
    • If so it would have to be either a highly modified Canberra Class design or a new design?
    My halfpenny's worth.
     
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  10. south

    south Active Member

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    Firstly, sorry for posting this a couple of days late. Whilst the crux of your post may have been towards fuel security, some of these articles and commentaries need to be taken with a pinch of salt when looking at proof for Australia to establish a naval air arm. For example Steve George’s post (posts as 'Engines' I believe on a couple of other boards, generally extremely knowledgeable and well regarded) makes some errors of fact regarding recent operations that do not support his argument in the cold light of day.

    As a first example the fact that the US / French naval air groups were based in the eastern med still meant they had about 1 hour transit of friendly nations airspace to get to the fight (either through Israel and Jordan to the south of Syria, or Turkey to the North). E-Med Naval air would have sortie lengths and transit times similar to the RAF operating from RAF Akrotiri. They have effectively flown 30 minutes past Jordanian and Turkish air bases to get to the fight; (e.g. Mufwaq Salti where USAF and other coalition assets are based, or Icirlik in Turkey). So whilst they do not require HN support for basing, they required it for safe passage and are subject to the same diplomatic whims; and in some instances were actually further from the fight than land based assets.

    The weapon employment was almost wholly at the discretion of the ground commander (CAS). If the ground commander did not want / need weapons then the crew didn't get an opportunity to employ weapons (hence the stated average of about 1 weapon per mission for the RAAF, despite the fact the jets were routinely carrying 4 weapons). Thus the choice of basing location was not a factor to weapon employment for RAAF crews on Okra, regardless of if they had been forward deployed to Erbil, Al Asad or Kuwait (where Canadian Hornets were based, incidentally again closer to much of the fighting than the EMed).

    One absolute: Regardless of basing location, all fast air platforms were dependant on big wing tankers to achieve their mission.

    I'm all for the flexibility and firepower an Aircraft Carrier can bring to the fight. However due to a lack of familiarity with the current operating environment Mr George has failed to demonstrate (through using Inherent Resolve / Okra) any significant advantage Naval air offered in this instance over land based platforms as a whole.

    The comment that is copied and pasted by t68 regarding the number of aircraft for a continuous DCA presence is also inaccurate; it does not bear relation as to how a DCA Vul would likely be planned and/or manned. As he states, the numbers are 'very rubbery' although DCA at extended ranges is a difficult mission to plan and implement well. One does have to wonder what effect having 4-6 F-35B sitting on the deck at an Alert state would have on the ability for rotary wing to then use the platform in an amphibious manner.
     
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  11. oldsig127

    oldsig127 Active Member

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    Thus ensuring a rota of one ship doing HADR, instead of three which cover the task now. She'd better be reliable, assuming that this transfer is to whatever non-naval force is to do the task, and the civvies that have been proposed in these fora as substitutes for actual naval personnel had better be dedicated enough to be available 365 days or numerous enough to provide relief crews

    And reducing the Navy's amphibious element to two ships instead of three, the minimum required to have one more or less guaranteed to be available.

    Elsewhere we have the notion that another LHD, a light carrier or USN sized LHD can be easily crewed. Easily purchased maybe, if you can convince the voter to be excited about spending a couple extra billion, but where do we find 1,000 extra crew What other ships disappear to find the numbers? For reference, look at what has happened to the RN, whose new carriers have left them with too few experienced crew to operate anywhere near as many escorts as most seem to think necessary. How do we do it, from a smaller pool of serving sailors and potential recruits, making a proportionally greater increase in numbers?

    I know that we're busy playing paper fleets, but they need some basis in reality.

    oldsig
     
  12. Stampede

    Stampede Active Member

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    Thanks for the post

    I wish I had written it

    Regards S
     
  13. Stampede

    Stampede Active Member

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    This is doable and financially a great return on dollars spent.
    Both to purchase, crew and maintain.

    S
     
  14. Stampede

    Stampede Active Member

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    I

    I can envisaged many contingency's where the amphibious role may not be big in numbers.
    Special forces operation come to mind operating at off an LHD at significant distance from home.
    One to Two company sized groups only with no or limited light vehicles at most tasked for short and sharp insertions and then back to the ship.
    The docking well would most likely be used for fast insertion craft and it will be the aviation storage areas that will be most in need.
    Flight deck and below hangar / vehicle deck spaces will be aviation centric.
    It would be a dynamic and busy place, however Taipan s , Tigers, Romeos and F35B's will all have a role and be necessary for the job at hand.
    The job at hand being a option for government.
    Agree the numbers of each wont be great but collectively the result is impressive.

    Oh lets not forget.
    We can always go the other way and go heavy and have very, very limited aviation and just move heavy @#$%.

    Regards S
     
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  15. PeterM

    PeterM Active Member

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    I like the idea of transferring Choules to HADR to get an additional LHD optimised to use F-35Bs if we want that kind of capability given the significant changes in our regional security.

    I would take a different approach though rather than a heavily customised design. I would look at adding something along the lines of the TCG Anadolu light carrier/LHD. This would minimise any major redesign work. Construction would likely be the same kind of Spanish/local build that we used for Adelaide and Canberra.

    We could consider refitting the HMAS Adelaide and Canberra as a later upgrades, which using the rule of threes gives us the flexibility to maintain one LHD with F-35Bs for force projection and one 'standard' LHD with our current CONOPS.

    If you look at the proposed 'standard' air-wing for Anadolu as a guide, we could have something like:
    • 6 x F-35B
    • 4 x TigerARH (or replacement)
    • 8 x MRH90 orCH-47F
    • 2 x MH-60R
    This would provide the kind of flexible regional force projection capability that we would be looking for.

    Anadolu can reportedly accommodate four Landing Craft Mechanized (LCM) or two Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC), or two Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel (LCVP). Given some of the issues experienced with the LLC, we have the option of acquiring a small number (maybe 3-4) of LCACs (or SSC replacement) to complement the existing LLC and LCM8 (or replacement). We could then deploy either 2 LCACs (or SSC) or 4 LLC or 2 LCM8 depending on the particular operational requirement.

    I would expect any F-35B acquisition (perhaps 12-24) would be operated by the RAAF. We do have the option to leverage the RN or USMC experience with the F-35Bs to help any transition.
     
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  16. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    Get the RCN personnel mailing list, should have no trouble getting recruits considering we can’t get ships built for the RCN.:D
     
  17. ASSAIL

    ASSAIL Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Operation Okra, Med, ME and other constrained ops are not the type of strategic circumstance Naval air would find in the Indo Pacific area. Those operations were constrained by a large list of airspace and sovereignty issues so naturally the freedom of movement was denied to the CVs.
    The geography of our area is less complex, there are only a few (the old French Indo China) states where transit restrictions may apply. The rest is wide open Ocean with littoral areas owned by single states and as such the Med analogy does not apply and the advantages of Naval air are overwhelming and without the need for Big tankers.

    I’m not suggesting the example you have used is inaccurate, I’m simply stating that each strategic situation is unique and that Naval air has been and always will be the most successful capability in the vast regions of our part of the world.
     
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  18. south

    south Active Member

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    Not sure about the most successful capability, but I largely agree with you. Just highlighting that one of the links cited on page 35 and again referenced on 36 was flawed.

    I am however not massively convinced about the utility and benefits of LHD’s carting about 4-6 F-35B’s. I suspect the RAN isn’t either given their at best ‘lukewarm’ at worst ‘no comment’ attitude. This is despite IMO the RAAF/RAN being much more collegiate than the RAF/RN; something I put down to our more stable budget and long-standing stable force structure driving less competition and in fighting.

    However if we look at sortie generation rates of modern aircraft; having 6 F-35B onboard probably reliably means you could have 5 available at a time, which generates a 4-ship and a spare.

    This is a long way from being able to generate any significant raid matching, Defence in depth, cap replacement, endurance and attrition in a DCA footing. It will also struggle to provide a overhead onstation CAS pair at anything beyond very close to shore.

    My suspicion is the RAN have done studies that show whilst a useful capability in some scenarios, in other scenarios the addition of F35B will detract from any landing force to the extent it is a bigger disadvantage. The ADF budget is already stretched with many new acquisitions that may prove more useful in more scenarios (witness SPH in Army threads...).

    Not against naval fast air. Just think if we are going to do it, it needs to be done with dedication. Which I personally can’t see happening due to $$$, particularly when the USN is still the biggest player in the block by a margin.
     
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  19. south

    south Active Member

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    Not convinced with this specific statement: what the ME has shown is that to have any reasonable endurance on station or radius of action that Air (land or naval) is reliant on Big Wing (non-organic) tankers.
     
  20. StingrayOZ

    StingrayOZ Well-Known Member

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    Crewing and issues for the RAN

    For crewing. The Crew would come from Choules. The RAN fully crews Choules with 160+ crew, verse the 60 odd the RN crewed her with.
    160 isnt enough to crew the LHD. But it is probably more than half of the crew needed, and would be the core officers and sailors. The Army land craft crews don't get much time at sea currently, so could be embarked on new LHD. Crews from the Paid off LCH's exist in the system and could be made avalible. A Canberra class requires about 290 RAN crew. So we could probably get near that figure with what is around. It is quite possible additional sailors would be required, but we are probably talking <100, and probably <50. There would also be some efficiency with 3 LHD of the same type in terms of manning, and sustaining the crew for 3 ships of the same type.

    RAAF would come from those proposed for the 4th squadron the RAAF has been harping on about, which I assume would be acquired to replace the Super Hornets. Now if we wanted to move this time frame earlier, we could probably find a someone to take on the Superhornets (Canada? Spain? Malaysia? etc) if that is what we wanted to do. However, not essential.

    I would be tempted to move the time frames a bit earlier. I think you could probably get a better deal on a 3rd AOR and a 3rd LHD and probably be within or around that budget. Spain is falling apart, Navantia has its own issues, it would love to secure future work and deal like that would be again a huge boost for them. I'm not sure in another 5 years the work force/company will be as capable and ready as it is now.

    But it would be a huge leap in capability and the ability to project and operate over tremendous distances.
    We would be one of the very few countries with 3 fixed wing carriers/LHD's. Not only that we have the other enablers to really make use of that including an amphibious force, the ability to supply that force at global distances. With three of these ships you can really take advantage of the multirole aspect, as you now have enough to train and develop each capability.

    Air operations

    I really see land based aircraft like the Wedgetails, P8's and A330 MRTT still playing vital roles with a LHD in carrier mode. These are all long ranged aircraft. The A330 for example has a range of around 15,000 km, so the idea that it is tied to coastal regions isn't exactly accurate. Wedgetails and P8's can be refueled by the A330. Trying to embark a AEW, ASW and refueling capability all on a LHD is I think, as mistake. Even the US struggles to perform all of those missions organically from the same super carrier and usually relies on land base support.

    We have a network of bases these can operate from. The Wedgetails and P8's can operate from many island airports around the region (places like Christmas Island, Manus etc). While the A330 has the legs to make it from any major airport across the region (Darwin, Singapore, Butterworth, Guam etc) perform their mission and return.

    However supporting land based fighter jets at this sort of range is impossible. Limited by their short range and long runway requirement. Even getting them to these far flung bases the 737's can operate from would be high problematic (as their escorting tanker couldn't land or take off). Flight hours for fighters would go through the roof and you would run out of pilots and operational planes sustaining it in any form. You would be highly exposed in your supply lines and a simple malfunction would result in air frames and possibly pilots being lost.

    Choules

    Choules is ideal as a pacific mother-ship, with its capability, communication, amphibious and air, low crewing requirements, ability to embark larger numbers. Looking after a region from Timor, down to the northern Antarctic islands. Policing missions, health, and disaster relief for the region could all be facilitated from this type of ship. Able to bring those kind of support without imposing Australian bases and presences on these smaller states. While still available for the Aus.Gov to assist or deploy in any priority it saw fit.

    While Choules would have to have significant availability, when not available it is the sort of role that might be given to the new Icebreaker during the winter season. Of course underlining this is the ADF herself, which now with 3 LHD's, provides the sort of creditibility to be able to handle even improbably situations.

    On a new build JC1.

    I wonder if we built a new LHD if we would look at changing over to MT30 generation from the LM2500. As I recall the JC1 engine spaces are pretty cavernous. If successful we could roll this back into the existing ships on refit. This would provide significant improvement in power generation and eventual work towards a common fleet turbine. Mt30 very low maintenance would also be ideal for long deployment cycles of something like a LHD. That and a more modern/advanced radar (CEAFAR?) would probably be the only major changes if we went back for a third time. Of course there isn't anything really wrong with the LM2500 or the existing sea giraffe setup on the LHD now. It appears Turkey went for an all diesel propulsion on their version.

    I also wonder if we would go with a local fitout and island again. This could be done in Adelaide or Perth and actually assist with developing and retaining the workforce. It would still be a significant local build if that was important.

    When originally selected people did question the LHD selection. However, I don't hear that sort of talk now. The public is clearly proud of these ships and their capabilities, as our those nations in the region. Indonesia, Philippines, Fiji, PNG, Singapore (etc) have all directly expressed their positive views to these types of ships being operated by Australia. We are filling a void most nations do not want filled by either the US or China. Most nations would not realistically be able to operate that sort of capability, and certainly not in two or three ships. As they are key power projectors, they have enable Australia to project beyond its immediate region, which seems to be welcomed, as we can look towards and meaningfully contribute to issues concerning nations on the outer-side of the Indo-Asia-Pacific.
     
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