Welcome to DefenceTalk.com Forum!

By registering with us, you'll be able to discuss, share and private message with other members of our community.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Juan Carlos / Canberra Class LHD

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

Share This Page

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. buffy9

    buffy9 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2018
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Australia
    The growing case for an Australian aircraft carrier

    Interesting article on carrier debate. Japan's carrier decision seems to have had a ripple effect.

    If you include long-range strike capabilities on the F-35B (such as JSM) then you can partially offset the relatively limited availability via standoff distance. However there is still the question as to how often one carrier may be available, considering maintenance and operational tempo in an ever increasingly contested region.

    Certainly useful up North if we would ever use it there. However I question whether such an asset is really needed in the South Pacific or the Indian Ocean when (as discussed) forward bases can be upgraded and exploited - which can be done relatively quickly by engineers if required.

    I'm not an experienced naval or air guy, especially with technical details... But I don't see a particularly strong case for it when other options are available.
     
  2. hauritz

    hauritz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,118
    Likes Received:
    126
    I will bet dollars to doughnuts that there will be plenty of discussion about Australia getting back into the carrier business prior to the release of any future white paper.

    If Australia does get back into the aircraft carrier business I think we would be better off building a new ship. Preferably a specialised carrier.
     
  3. SpazSinbad

    SpazSinbad Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    Messages:
    653
    Likes Received:
    225
    Location:
    Sydney Area
    I'm guessing that information about 'lectricity requirements or hints of same may be found. The brits did have their own EMALS [EMCAT] but never developed it probably 'no money'. There is never any money in britland. Some info here: http://www.navalengineers.org/publications/symposiaproceedings/Documents/Lentijo.pdf and it does not work. So using this URL you may download an small PDF (0.3Mb) with some stuff: http://www.jneweb.com/EntityFiles/5/2504/JNEPaperFileName/v44b1p04a.pdf not only but also look at sub-section An Alternative to Steam or EMALS?. EMCATlaunchParametersElectroCatapultBritishForum.gif
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2019
  4. t68

    t68 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Messages:
    3,364
    Likes Received:
    84
    Location:
    NSW
    I tend to agree, but this talk of EMALS equipped carriers defies the logic of using the Canberra as secondary capability, which was the primary reason the Spanish designed JC1 in the first place.

    Stjngray views cant be ignored and the idea has merit on a tight budgetary scale and the most logical way forward for the ADF, but at the same time it will always be limited to what it can achieve in both concepts of amphibious/CVS deployment, irrespective the ADF needs that 3rd Canberra.

    The carrier CONOPS needs to be defined for ADF operations, do we need a permanent structure like the old Melbourne and has a specific role to cover a cross breath spectrum of operations(AsW, strike, CAS etc) or the sole purpose of providing fleet defence to an amphibious task group. the role needs to be defined.

    I personal think if its role is to be a permeant fixture the minimum size would be a carrier of 260m and roughly 40000t with up to 30-40 aircraft hence the suggestion if a UK CV were offered at a reasonable price. As you look at history and the pocket carriers there rational was more to do with local waters ( Invincible's Nth Atlantic, Izumho JPN home island chain)


    Chicken or the egg, its the same with the ADF re-emerging into carrier operations the role has to be defined, where as you look at the UK carrier program it had clear defined pathway at the start, but as time goes on the role has somewhat morphed into a super LHA not a supercarrier.
     
  5. t68

    t68 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Messages:
    3,364
    Likes Received:
    84
    Location:
    NSW
    I think the size requirements the Indian Vikrant for a permanent AsW carrier would make the ideal size for the RAN (crew size aside)

    Its very interesting to note that Indian maritime strategy is very reminiscent of Australia's needs for power projection. Aside from the fact that I cannot see doing the contested landing (but one must prepare for the contingency)

    India’s Future Aircraft Carrier Force and the Need for Strategic Flexibility | Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
     
  6. Massive

    Massive Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    257
    Likes Received:
    30
    I think that the trade offs will be too great and no carrier will be acquired.

    There are plenty of other capabilities it would make more sense to acquire first.

    Regards,

    Massive
     
    old faithful likes this.
  7. SpazSinbad

    SpazSinbad Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    Messages:
    653
    Likes Received:
    225
    Location:
    Sydney Area
    This link sadly started life in the inappropriate RAN thread however it is worth repeating here because it is about 'Oz F-35Bs on Oz LHDs' and I think Mr. Davis got things correct in his 'even handed' way (the academic in him I suppose). Just say CEC or NIFC-CA or Kill-Web but if the RAN/RAAF can do it all with what they have now - then so be it.
     
  8. hauritz

    hauritz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,118
    Likes Received:
    126
    We certainly won't be getting a supercarrier. If Australia does get a carrier then I feel it will be equipped with a ski-jump.

    Australia's strategic situation has continued to deteriorate since the 2016 white paper so I can see defence spending continuing to grow beyond 2% ... so money might not be an issue. However there could also be a change of government before the release of the next whitepaper and Labor will probably be less sympathetic to the idea of a carrier than the Liberals.
     
  9. Takao

    Takao Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2017
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    164
    Location:
    Canberra
    All of these discussions miss some key points; the key point of them being finance.

    The Defence budget is slowly growing to 2% of GDP, and there is bipartisan agreement that that is acceptable. But there has been no discussion of increasing that. Sure the strategic environment has changed; but there has been no discussion of a new DWP, so DWP16 remains extant. As does the IIP (minus the shifts that have occurred between now and then).

    So what are people going to cut to produce a carrier? Without talking about that, the discussion over if we need a carrier or not will never happen.

    Note this is before we hit any of the FIC requirements or generate the detailed, and justified, need.
     
    aussienscale, south and oldsig127 like this.
  10. hauritz

    hauritz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,118
    Likes Received:
    126
    I tend to agree. If Australia wants to improve its long-range strike capability than probably additional air tankers and standoff weapons would probably be the more cost-effective solution.
     
  11. Massive

    Massive Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    257
    Likes Received:
    30
    True.

    And we have to also ask the question who are we striking and what are we gaining by doing so!

    No one has really made clear the grand strategy posture that requires aircraft carriers. It feels very light on true analysis to me.

    Regards,

    Massive
     
  12. old faithful

    old faithful Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Messages:
    1,243
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    Darwin Australia
    The best argument FOR a carrier I have read so far, (and I'm not saying its must have, just the best argument I have read in the FOR an ACC crowd) is escort duties in the case of fuel blockades.
    As we have very little fuel reserves, and don't refine anywhere near enough for our infrastructure needs, we could be brought to our knees by cutting ship movement inbound to Australia.
    An ACC might be better at long range escort than air to air refueling.
    I'm assuming that the escort won't just be from Singapore.
     
  13. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    6,211
    Likes Received:
    1,028
    Location:
    In the rum store
    What do you mean "It is obvious that the aircraft carrier is making a comeback."? Where's it gone? Has it gone walkabout?

    What actually makes you think that? Facts sunshine, not conspiracy theories.

    Secondly, where will you get the money, personnel and equipment from? Certainly won't come out of any foreseeable budget and the Australian economy is not rock solid.

    Thirdly, what defence capabilities are you willing to delete from in order to obtain this? This one is important because that is exactly what will happen.

    Yes, I am being hard and using polite armed forces sarcspeak, but time for some realpolitik.
     
    Cadredave and Takao like this.
  14. SpazSinbad

    SpazSinbad Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    Messages:
    653
    Likes Received:
    225
    Location:
    Sydney Area
    Rather than go to what I think is 'the extreme' idea of having an 'aircraft carrier for strike', why not keep it low key as Mr. Davis has done (change of tune perhaps?) for enhancing fleet defence of the valuable 'MAGIC BUSes' and their escorts as indicated in the quote above [now below repeated]. FLEET DEFENCE does not imply land strike from the sea so please understand that and read the ASPI article by Davis, NOT just this quote from it - repeated again. Being a VERY flexible aircraft the Fleet Defence F-35Bs on a third LHD can have other SECONDARY roles for sure but only to the limited capacity when the PRIME AIM is Fleet Defence. How does the RAAF otherwise provide this Fleet Defence? Sure there is a Fleet Defence plan using assets we have already - however the notion is to INCREASE the nature of Fleet Defence and garner any other secondary benefits (F-35Bs ashore otherwise with ARMY/RAAF use?).
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
  15. StingrayOZ

    StingrayOZ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,208
    Likes Received:
    248
    Location:
    Sydney
    The primary drive for an additional LHD will be amphibious. We have basically restructured and will continue restructuring the ADF around this amphibious capability. Which is a real and useful capability central to the ADF, which we will need to enhance and make less fragile and more capable. But it is also all the other missions and roles the LHD's do that will be further enhanced. We currently cannot form a full ARG capability, and each time we have, we have failed to do so in training because of the availability of ships. We also can't support any additional friendly's with our current arrangement, and we have based around sealift and deployment before Land400 requirements which will put significant addition to our current capabilities by a factor of two or more in mass. The argument is very strong. It has already been reported a 3rd LHD was on the RAN's wishlist as a priority, it is likely to be supported by Army as breaking the whole amphibious concept puts at risk everything, US marines in Darwin, Army procurement, etc. It is a very doable thing, and I believe is already part of RAN planning in a very limited way. A 3rd LHD is no way dependant on having to be a carrier, but it does open that possibility, something 2 ships does not allow.

    The F-35B is a separate additional argument.

    The P8 and E7 will not be deploy-able outside of our continental EEZ without suitable clean airspace and seaspace. We cannot rely on the US to always provide that going into the future, particularly if the US is pre-occupied with other priorities. Our new fleet of shiny subs will also be suitably limited, as will our fleet and amphibious capability. Our alliances with other SEA nations is at risk, because we can't help in that situation, and the previous belief that Australia can command the US's attention is frayed to say the least, and even if the US wants to help they are often limited in how. Which leaves other nations to either build up their capability to be able to tangle with a super power, by themselves, or be forced to give in and capitulate to said growing superpower. Australia will be forced to do the same, as we will be unable to prevent for example overflights of long ranged armed aircraft over much of our extended territory, and will be unable to deter naval incursions and actions in our extended territory.

    China has built island airbases and military sites. They intend to push out from these, not push back into China. We want to be able to project power back to make a division of authority clearly further out past our home EEZ and that of our friendly neighbours. Australia is the only country capable of that in SEA. Indonesia/Singapore/Malaysia have no chance of the US setting up bases, and it would be a complete collapse of non-alignment diplomacy to do that and internally would shatter those countries. Indonesia for example won't let the US/Australia setup a military base, on Indonesian soil, even if the president wanted that, it would cause internal problems with the military and with the population. We need a movable platform. It needs to be Australia.

    Our carrier aircraft won't be facing Chinese hoards of fighters over Beijing. They will be patrolling the seas around our friendlies based off a mobile platform. Preventing incursions from a few long ranged aircraft and ships and pushing the equilibrium back into waters our friendlies are not concerned about. Countries like Malaysia and Indonesia have perhaps dozens of fighters, so we won't have to do all the heavy lifting ourselves, but they can't do it all either. Singapore is very capable, but limited in depth, which is why a country of ~5 million is looking at their own carrier, and is likely to support our F-35B purchase with a purchase of their own of a significant number, most likely based in Australia.

    Anything bigger than what we can handle with our assets is big enough the UK or the US would gain their attention. But at the distances we are talking about even a mighty China, their capability would be thin, particularly with other nearby nations stepping up and keeping them occupied. China has previously seemed to indicate that Australia is part of a solution to the China/US issue. Our ability to provide a non-offensive buffer is less escalating than other options.

    It is about bridging the gaps, not carrying the whole load. But we can't bury our heads and pretend its still 1985.

    IF we find the LHD capability is too light in the future, then I think it would be fairly simple to find a buyer for that kind of ship and move onto a more capable platform.

    In terms of cost the additional cost of the F-35B over the A, and the purchase of a 3rd LHD is in reality, tiny. While there has been talk of 2% not being a hard target and capability being more important, those two elements are not significant in terms of the whole budget. You are talking about the order of a billion dollars. We wasted that much money on non-operational seasprites. At least the LHD and F-35B will be completely integrated, very low risk, and on time on budget purchases. If we are looking at cheap additional capability (not just a carrier, 3 carriers and greater amphibious capability), I can't think of anything cheaper for the level of capability. The outcome is positive across the Army, RAN and RAAF.
     
  16. Stampede

    Stampede Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    Messages:
    747
    Likes Received:
    130
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Thanks Stingray for a detailed look at a 3rd LHD and the benefits of such a purchase.
    In response to Massives questions.
    "There are plenty of other capabilities it would make more sense to acquire first."

    Agree there are wish lists across defence particularly for Army. I'd say that the additional LHD would be an issue of TIME .
    Time to build and work up a new ship to enter into service and time; also that we missed when the original opportunity to buy three ship's in the first place passed and we have subsequently seen both the value of such an asset, and also our vulnerabilities when such an asset is unavailable.
    Sure we can say this about other defence assets but the LHD's have proven in a very short time to be a Gold ticket defence asset. Two is not enough for us today, yet alone the future.

    "No one has really made clear the grand strategy posture that requires aircraft carriers. It feels very light on true analysis to me."

    Another fair question........ Maybe the question does nor lie in a grand strategy but rather in the ships demand.Even without the F35B debate these are high use assets and we are still learning how to use them. This year Tiger will get a lot of sea time on the LHD's. In the future the helicopter tempo of hours will increase as will the number of helicopters deployed on each ship. Add in exploring ASW with the Romeos and our commitment to UAV technology with 822x Sqn and Army commitments and you have two very busy ships.
    Add to the mix the domestic and international stuff of HADR and also some military stuff and the two LHD's become very small number.
    Looking forward, the F35B will stay on the radar as other nations acquire this capability for their fleets and Australia will continue to watch and envy that development.

    As to cost, the only way I can see an additional ship being purchased would be through additional funds for such a ship.
    I can see the need but in an election year I'm not optimistic an additional LHD will be a vote winner.


    Regards S


    .
     
  17. StingrayOZ

    StingrayOZ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,208
    Likes Received:
    248
    Location:
    Sydney
    The argument for a specific carrier is less strong. Not only will Army not support it. RAN and RAAF would likely have issues. Dedicated carriers typically have much higher crewing requirements and are inherently less flexible. Until you get to QE/America class you are talking a similar number of fighters and really just variations in tempo between ships and things like max speed that isn't terribly relevant to the way Australia would operate a carrier.

    The RAAF is likely going to be quite happy with LHD levels, because it will mean a significant portion of ops will still be land based, they won't feel like they are losing control. It gets them a strong argument for a 4th squadron of F-35. Which is something they can manpower and operate and want. They have already communicated that. The 4th squadron is actually the expensive part.

    Army wants the amphibious sealift and capability. With more ship, they have more flexibility in how that fits together and less headaches with getting ARG to work with the new equipment. We also now have an agreement with the US Marines to go to sea on our LHD's.

    Navy already has two full crews for a LHD and more with reduced manning on Choules. You now have a enough for more LHD hours at sea anyway you cut it. Just by reducing the crew of Choules of Rn Aux levels, gives you 1/3rd extra the sea time with zero manpower cost. Because crewing is common across LHD's, you could literally start of like that and then slowly build manpower and hours. Managing the crew across 3 platforms is more efficient than 2, so strengthens your existing capability. You gain a lot more flexibility in surge capability too.

    If the capability of a regular Canberra class doesn't grab you, for slightly more upfront money and slightly more risk, you could have one ~15-20m longer and a bit more aviation focused. Able to deck another 2-4 more F-35's/helos, another landing spot, able to hangar another 3-4 F-35's/helos, another 100-200 troops, additional stores/fuel/weapons. 95%+ commonality. With such a ship, conceivably you could potentially take on more than one mission at a time. Its not just F-35's.. Tigers concurrent with a full amphibious ARG lift would seem to make a lot of sense too. ASW with another mission profile?. Decision made today can probably be IOC by <2025.

    Throw in local fitout and bridge build in say WA.. Fit frigate level radar. Plenty of local dollars (WA/SA?).

    Two amphibious ships was never enough. We did that, we ran Bill and Ben (Kanimblas) into the ground. We are running the Canberras the same way. Bougainville independence. Throw in HDAR, 2500 US marines, flag and diplomatic missions all over the region, actual deployments, climate change, global fragility, Malaysia is approaching failed state status (how long do you think Dr.M can keep it together?), PNG is nearly there, who knows what will happen in Fiji post Frank, French Polynesia breaking up, China pushing all over the place, just before its population collapse, US is literally shut down and switched off, Philippines struggling with terrorism/alliances and its nation state status and Japan building aircraft carriers and the UK seriously talking about possibly breaking up with no oxygen in parliament for anything other than its own huge problems leading to the possible breakup of the entire EU (tell me who's leading France or Germany in 3 years?) and global economic collapse following a multi-way trade war. McCain is dead. Mattis is gone. Greg Norman can't save us forever.

    Not to put too fine of a point it, there are multiple shitstorms and clusterf*cks on the horizon. We are now at a level of dysfunction beyond what think-tanks would have put as worse case scenarios. Its not a case of if or even when, but which will be the first to go. If it wasn't for our own political dysfunctions we probably would have already acted on this. We should be running to this sort of capability while we still can.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2019
  18. hauritz

    hauritz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,118
    Likes Received:
    126
    Japan will have its first carriers since WW2, the UK will have its first fleet carriers since the 1970s and the Chinese are in the process of building a substantial carrier force so I think it is fair to say that the aircraft carrier is making a comeback.

    I haven't really formed a position on whether an aircraft carriers should be on the table for Australia but I am pretty sure that there will be at least a discussion before the release of the next white paper. In fact there already seems to be some level of discussion in the defence media.

    What capabilities were eliminated when Australia made the decision to double the size of its submarine fleet, buy an additional frigate, or replace its patrol boats with OPVs?

    If the strategic circumstances continue to deteriorate extra money will be found.
     
    t68 likes this.
  19. SpazSinbad

    SpazSinbad Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    Messages:
    653
    Likes Received:
    225
    Location:
    Sydney Area
    'StingrayOz' said above: "...We also now have an agreement with the US Marines to go to sea on our LHD's...." I went looking online for such an agreement but did not find anything. Do you have a link for this agreement please? Thanks.
     
  20. StingrayOZ

    StingrayOZ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,208
    Likes Received:
    248
    Location:
    Sydney
    US marines to join Australian warships in the Pacific as anxiety over China grows
    Marines gear up to operate on Australia’s amphibious warships

    US isn't exactly happy with having Marines based in Darwin with not a lot of ship time. They aren't all that impressed with the wet season either.

    USS Tripoli is rumoured to be semi-based around Darwin/Aus.

    https://www.ntnews.com.au/news/nort...8/news-story/a922631bd67182cad855a067a584516f

    In that context, something with a dock is probably going to be useful. If we aren't building amphibious capability we are putting at risk the Marine rotations.

    In that kind of context, purchasing a F-35B's and joint training with USMC in and around Darwin/QLD, and another LHD which we operate with USMC/Singapore/NZ/AU elements is going to be a huge multiplier.

    Australia conducting a full South East Asia engagement strategy with a LHD continuously deployed to Asia, working with allies (Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia), Americans in tow in a loaded up America class suddenly looks wildly capable. While there are questions about US commitments, US military power isn't questioned. Australia can back up its alliances with ~12 F-35b's on its LHD, full ARG capability, and a America class following it around suddenly looks highly credible. There was talk about putting some of the US forces under Australian command.

    The Brits were also keen to base a carrier out of Perth at least some of the time. In operating in Asia/Indian ocean, they are definitely keen to partner up.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...d-aircraft-carrier-to-back-australian-vessels

    You start to build a credible alliance bubble of equipment, need, capability etc.

    But all this starts to hollow out if Australia doesn't have the capability on our end.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.