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Juan Carlos / Canberra Class LHD

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

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  1. overlander

    overlander Member

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    Spanish carrier Principe de Asturias have beeen paid off and retired of service just a few weeks ago , the carrier will be scrapped in a few months due to cuts because the massive economy crisis in Spain.
    This will leave only the lhd Juan Carlos I as the operational "carrier" in the future.
     
  2. RobWilliams

    RobWilliams Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That's already been covered in the thread earlier & the doc's probably older than the decision to get rid of her.

    Not to mention rather pointless in regards to the thrust of t68's point.
     
  3. Lt. Fred

    Lt. Fred New Member

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    This is somewhat oftopic (also my first post!) but I'll take the dive anyway:

    I see the Canberra Class as a signal the Defence Force is moving towards a more counterinsurgency role, the US's deputy sheriff as an ex-PM used to say. The LHD may have an impressive conventional use as an ASW bus, or if you load the F-35 (b) aboard, which we're not planning on doing. But clearly the best use of features like the landing bay, the huge carrying capacity, the hospital, the helicopter pads, and the troop transport capacity is in the context of an East Timor/Solomans-type intervention in our immediate area.

    As far as I can see this is a multi-billion dollar investment in unilateral COIN operations in the Arc of Instability.

    If this is unbelievably obvious, please tell me.

    As an addendum: why isn't RAAF buying some F-35 (b)s? Surely that would be a force multiplier for both assets?
     
  4. RobWilliams

    RobWilliams Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't see it as an investment in COIN operations, I see it as a major investment in power projection in the form of amphibious operations.

    By-products like humanitarian aid relief etc exist due to the nature of ships like this, they are pretty helpful tools to have but by no means a main driver.

    Nor do I expect to see it loaded up with ASW helos, they'll probably be aboard sure, but I don't see any JC1 acting like a ASW cruiser in a task group. Much more likely will be a TAG with a main component of troop carrying helos IMO.

    As for the B's, well with the amount of concern about buying the A about, i'd hate to imagine what throwing in some more expensive B's into the equation.
     
  5. t68

    t68 Well-Known Member

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    I agree not likely to happen unless at a direct request from a foreign military (USN/RN).even at the height of Australia’s commitments in the Vietnam War, HMAS Melbourne was not utilized as an ASW patrol carrier because of her limited time on station and the RAN did not have enough escorts with the prior commitments the RAN was pretty much stressed at the time.

    I would imagine a Canberra class LHD would even be capable of keeping up with a CBG task force on the move unless its sanitizing a certain area before the CBG arrives on station. But that would be a gross miss use of the ship.

    If the RAN wanted to play a larger role in ASW operations which would enhance its interoperability with a larger foreign fleet (USN/RN CBG) either the RAN acquire its own ASW light carriers in either a helicopter only capable Hyuga class carrier or a larger Cavour class which is capable of combined fast jet/helicopter operations working with these should be 3 ASW corvettes/Frigates and the Canberra’s should be utilized for their intended role Amphibious assault.

    I also don’t see a problem with the RAN/RAAF getting the 36/48 F35B if all goes well in addition to the 100 F35A, not only could we forward deploy on a Cavour Light Carrier to give ASW and top cover to the LHD but it also gives the RAAF more options on where it can operate in using Flexible Expeditionary Basing something that the USMC do with the Harrier.

    The Harrier And Flexible Expeditionary Basing: Leap-Frogging Forward And Controlling the Op Tempo | SLDInfo
     
  6. RobWilliams

    RobWilliams Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh don't get me wrong, i'd rather like the idea of Aus operating F35B's off their LHDs, my reservation is merely due to the current to-do about the cost of the current plans and the idea of throwing in another more complex element into the mix.

    Something i'm rather interested to know about would be the potential to operate Tigers off her, operating attack helos off the decks of amphibious assault ships is something i'm rather keen on.

    I'm not going to comment about RAN ASW operations, all i'll say is that a decent ASW optimised frigate could be just the ticket *Type 26* ;)
     
  7. Volkodav

    Volkodav Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    I would definately rather additional hulls rather than diluting the planned role of the LHDs. A proper light carrier force could be acquired in place of some of the GP frigates postulated to replace the ANZACs next decade so long as additional destroyers are also aquired and some of the proposed OCVs are morphed into proper corvettes or light frigates.

    Leave out the cruise missile requirement and there is no reason a corvette couldn't be significantly more capable and smaller (also with less crew) than an ANZAC. In fact design the OCV in such a way that the systems from the modernised ANZACs can simply be inserted in the new ships, the enhanced combat system, new sensors and the VLS, possibably even the 5" Gun but I feel a 76mm with DART and VULCANO would be a better investment and easier to fit on a smaller hull.

    Eight corvettes with five or six AWDs and we would probably have the crew spare for two or three small carriers. These carriers cold be swung to back up the LHDs as mini LPHs as required more easily than an LHD could be swung into the carrier role.
     
  8. t68

    t68 Well-Known Member

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    Certainly makes for an interesting idea, if at the time K Rudd was still PM and we had operational Tiger and LHD or HMAS Kanimbla in a fit state, would he have committed Australia to assist the rebels or use the asset to evacuate Australian nationals using LHD and Blackhawk helicopters. Easy to argue others to do things that we are not capable of doing ourselves. If and when Tiger ARH reaches full IOC she should be capable of operations of either LHD or HMAS Choules.

    Rudd ramps up call for Libya no-fly zone

    Nato strike force in Libya enjoys quick success with apache gunships | World news | The Guardian

    I rather fancy the idea of a 4 ship ASW task force comprising 1x Hyuga with 6x MH-60R and 3x Spanish BAMS each with a single MH-60R.Never going to happen but she certainly could do a lot of damage assisting with ASW and Tiger ARH ops in either a CBG or ARG.
     
  9. StingrayOZ

    StingrayOZ Well-Known Member

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    Would Choules be able to operate a tiger? I didn't think it had things like weapon lifts, specific easy to access weapon stores etc. Im sure it could land and take off but combat operations day and night, frequent rearming etc? And how many? 1 tiger? 2 tigers? I would assume you would want other helos operating from it moving stores etc.

    I would imagine the LHD would be the preferred platform for those type of operations. Hence why I think 3 is really what we need to be able to sustain 1 on deployment and surge 2 for big operations. You would want a LHD, and if you needed tiger support, then I would assume at least 2-3 tigers to ensure that they are available when needed.

    Which to be honest is all the air combat power that is going to fly off the Canberra class. In the type of missions we would take on, say 6 tigers backed up by land based fixed wing (F-18, F35, etc) is all we really conceivably need. Anything large and hard can be taken out in an orderly fashion by strike aircraft, the tigers would just be CAS, recon, etc. Looking through the region, its not like we need carrier based air in our immediate area. In any operation afar we would be under US/UK air power.

    Tigers would most likely be more useful, actually eyeballing the target, able to assess situation risks etc.

    We need to spend money in other areas, like getting 4 AWD's. Then you have the stuff the other services would also like that would be far more useful than a carrier.
     
  10. t68

    t68 Well-Known Member

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    Operating ARH helicopters off Choules would only be conceivable as a stop gap until a LHD was available. It's doable but unde very limited circumstances.

    Agreed we need that third LHD and doubling the AWD fleet to 6, 8 should be the max 4 spread east/west but getting a fourth is going to be hard enough.

    As a side discussion in the RAN thread I have advocated that all the ACPB be placed with customs and border protection and making the RAN more interoperable with USN/RN with enhanced ASWcapabiltys with either a Hyuga or Cavour class light carriers operating with Spanish BAM.Abraham has suggested a very good idea about free up RAN pers with a version of our own RFA and using civilliam crewing for our auxiliary fleet.

    I cannot conceive an Australian goverment ever doing a highly contested landing using LHD in the future, something like ET maybe but not a high intensity oppossed landing. Now with the US focussing the Pacfic arena this is something the RAN can really focus on ASW/ASuW and which the USN would surely need now that LCS is more multi-role for use within the littorals. A four ship ASW task group sanatizing an area for either a CBG or a MEU would more than welcome from the USN/RN
     
  11. King Wally

    King Wally Member

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    The First LHD should arive early next year (January acording to the RAN web site).... so we'd have to be unlucky to need to deploy an amphibious group with ARH before then.

    From what I understand the Choules hanger is very limited. I beleive it was retro fitted to the deck after we got the ship from the poms. Your best bet if something were to go down would be to secure a landing strip somewhere near the hot point and fly the ARH over in heavy lift aircraft (Globemaster etc) and go from there. That way you can keep the limited Choules facilities for MHR90 / Chinook etc to handle the heavy leg work of the amphibious operation.

    Obviously once the LHD hits the water in the new year we have a bloody brillant option right there and its less of a headache.
     
  12. t68

    t68 Well-Known Member

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    I think it's a moot point anyway with bill and Ben gone and Choules down with troubles, ARH hasn't been signed off on any of the amphibs anyway and LHD won't be fully worked up till 2017 I believe.
     
  13. ASSAIL

    ASSAIL Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Part of being"fully worked up" is qualifying all the ADF helos for deck landings, day and night, onboard maintenance and to prove operating cycles on both LHD's all culminating in Talisman Sabre - 2017. Helo ops will begin well before that.
     
  14. King Wally

    King Wally Member

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    Nothing happens fast when it comes to procurement hey. Its one of the most striking things I've learnt since lurking around these forums. As a civvy you asume ... say the ADF picks up some new toy that its instantly available to throw into combat if need be. Reality seams to be a much slower drawn out process.
     
  15. Raven22

    Raven22 Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    In reality, it often is. It's just that the tolerance for risk when we are not actually at war is pretty low. Go back to WWII, and pilots would fly a new type of plane they'd never flown before straight into combat on the first sortie. If a certain percentage of them fell out of the sky because they didn't know what they were doing, or the plane didn't work properly, so be it. Far more were dropping out of the sky for other reasons, like ze Germans, so who really cared? In today's day and age, not so much.
     
  16. seatmarbella

    seatmarbella Banned Member

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    There isnt any massive economy crisis in Spain, just in the last years a process of growing unemployment, upto 5 million official. Apart from that there is a market of 15-20 million jobs that is the real economy in Spain. France had official last numbers like 5 million unemployed also. Media in other countries tend to select sad situations for showing, only sad situations that exist in all the countries.

    But Spain has a very good retirement programs with bigger pension than in Germany paying less taxes than them, we have a free health service much better than in many countries, here in Spain many more people can go to university because it is much cheaper and with loans than in rest of world, here we own in property more houses than anyone in Europe or the world, that is because the germans in their stats say the Spanish we are the richest of Europe hehe.
    If Spain was like Usa focusing in armyes and navies, instead of free health, less retirement pension, less university studies for people, Spain would have the 2nd army/navy/air force of the world.

    Spanish companies won 7 or 8 of each 10 contests about whatever bussiness in the world, electricity, gas, renewables energies, water and many other technology things, so economic newspapers in the world, Usa or Uk, and the rest media tend to select and image os Spain sad to show.

    But this is a defence forum and i dont go into many more realities/lies of world economy.
     
  17. Anixtu

    Anixtu New Member

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    There is a lift directly from the EMF magazine lobby to flight deck level in the vicinity of the TAS. The EMF and ship's magazines were not originally intended for supplying air weapons to embarked or visiting aircraft, but feasibility depends on how badly you want to do it and any modifications for RAN service.
     
  18. StingrayOZ

    StingrayOZ Well-Known Member

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    The Canberra class aren't going in to do hard amphibious assaults. At least not by themselves, maybe with a USMC Amphib group, 5,000 marines, backed by a nearby CBG.

    However consider a few possibilities.

    Fiji - With 2014 elections.
    PNG - Even securing Port Moresby would be a massive job. And odds are that something will happen in the next 10 years. Recently they have been in some pretty dodgey situations politically.
    ET - still shakey, UN just left at the end of last year.

    I would get a cold shiver if someone thought they could turn up with lonely Choules and be okay, except as a basic, flag waving/basic police exercise. Heck the risk of mechanical or electrical failure alone means thats a bad idea to operate that way. With only 2 LHD you can't even sustain your deployment, and struggle to resupply you might as well not deploy at all.

    Think back to 2006 when we had that black hawk accident off the coast of Fiji. I can't see us being all cowboy with platforms that are going to struggle at that. Sure its possible, but you would need to a pretty good reason to do it, in case it all went south.

    In 2006 we send Kanimbla and that wasn't enough to change events, in fact it wasn't really even enough if we wanted to evac only important Australians. The LHD seem to be really sensible purchases to me, but you really need 3 to operational to do what we really need to.
     
  19. swerve

    swerve Super Moderator

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    However you calculate it, Spain spends less on health than the USA. Less per head in total, less government spending per head, less total spending as a percentage of GDP, less as a percentage of government spending, less government spending on health as a percentage of GDP.

    The myth of US private health spending vs profligate European state health services is just that: a myth. In reality, the USA has a state health sector the same size (as a percentage of GDP) as those in Europe. On top of that, the USA spends even more on private health care.
     
  20. ASSAIL

    ASSAIL Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    I'm struggling to see the relevance of your post, this is a defence forum, not a political soapbox.
    You have simply illustrated why your country is struggling with its national debt which has nothing to do with the LHD's.
     
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