Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates 2.0

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
1. This Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates 2.0 thread is a continuation of the older thread (starting 20 Nov 2021). The older RAN thread at 1,500+ pages is a bit too long and further discussions should continue here. Some prior posts before this was moved here from the RAN thread to seed future discussions.

2. The older RAN thread was locked for a week and now this 2.0 thread is reopened
for discussion by all. Please take heed of the Red text warning that followed to closure of the 1.0 thread. In particular:
(a) the continual "redesigning" of the Hunter Class FFG, unending speculation on its dimensions, number of VLS cells, Centre Of Buoyancy, COG, and so on when the design isn't even finalised, has become repetitive and tiresome; and
(b) posts on building a fourth Hobart Class DDG, arming the Arafura Class beyond what the RAN has already determined to be fitted, are to cease.

3. There are also daughter threads related to:
(a) submarines in Naval Ship & Submarine Propulsion Systems (that provides a 23 page overview with 2016 comments/predictions that proved to be accurate); and
(b) the more recent and topical 16 page, RAN Discussions on SSNs only, which is locked. If anyone intends to post an opinion on SSNs, please read all 16 pages of the prior discussion.

4. I note that the first major initiative under AUKUS is Australia’s acquisition of at least 8 SSNs. The Australian Government intends to build these submarines in Adelaide. No alternate universe discussions please, unless backed by sources. If there is any further attempt at speculation on Australia getting Block V Virginia-class submarines (as this takes the thread into fantasy land); or actions that violate US laws, this thread will be paused for at least 2 weeks or longer. Lack of discipline and failure to cite sources will see perfectly good discussion threads locked.
 
Last edited:

alexsa

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Not sure if this has been picked up by anyone, but it seems the full load displacement for the Hunter class is a whopping 8800 tonnes!


Ships, Boats & Craft | Royal Australian Navy
I just looked at the rendering on the ABC site (which is not great quality) and it appears to show 32 MK41 VLS, canister SSMs (8) and two Block 1B Phallax amidships and two autocannons aft ... basically the same as all previous renderings ... I guess we may get a bit more detail soon.

Hunter class Type 26 global combat ship
 
Not so, the American inquiry into Savo was thorough and the report, delivered in 1943 was kept secret until long after the war.

“The scholarly Admiral Hepburn, ex CNO, conducted a far reaching investigation travelling throughout the Pacific and Australia ( concentrating mainly on the USN)
.........

The quote above is from Mike Carlton’s wonderful book, “Flagship” The Cruiser HMAS Australia and the Pacific war on Japan, a highly recommended and enjoyable, even unforgettable read for those interested in things Naval
All true. I have a copy of the book and it is excellent (although not as good as his "Cruiser" about HMAS Perth)

My comments are based upon a slightly more detailed analysis of US reports and attitudes by Bruce Loxton in"The RAN in WWII". As he points out Hepburn's report was solely concerned with the performance of the Cruisers and prepared for Admiral King. It certainly didn't acknowledge that Bagley torpedoed the Canberra nor analysed the breakdown in.allied airforce communication that caused the sighting of the Japanese not to be passed on.

On the other hand, based on a secret report not release to Australia until 1971 and the basis of a Study taught at the USN Newport War College, the blame was put on Crutchley, HMAS Canberra, the RAAF search aircraft and the RAAF communications - all based on completely false facts. And they certainly hadn't recognised that the damage to Canberra could almost only have been caused by Bagley (the ships tracks are shown in the book). It suggests the same report/study strongly influenced Samuel Morrison in writing "The Struggle for Guadalcanal" (I've not had time to go back and see to what extent it is reflected in his writing).. The bottom line is that several generations of US officers were brought up believing it was our fault on defective and incomplete facts.

I gather the error has been recognised and that study dropped
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
Not sure if this has been picked up by anyone, but it seems the full load displacement for the Hunter class is a whopping 8800 tonnes!


Ships, Boats & Craft | Royal Australian Navy
They are going to be big. Wider than a burke, 4 meters shorter (Flight I and II and wider than the old HMAS Australia heavy cruiser), so they really are in a similar weight class. The Type 26 was always the biggest physically out of the options. I hope this translates into the highest growth margins

I would hope for fitout like this :
32 Strike Length
8x Harpoon/12 x NSM
2 x Phalanx
6 x MU90
Nulka
5" 60

There might be an opportunity for some self defence launchers, say 16 x VLS, but I don't think they will be fitted at least initially. But I think the real advantage of the t26 is its mission bay flexibility and other flexible spaces particularly around asw. But there should be more growth space. More power generation, more stores, more space for crew, command, systems etc. Its the newest of the 3 designs.

I can't help but imagine you could probably build a very capable destroyer out of it too. If we ever wanted to do that.
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
The RAN website has a PDF factsheet available for the Hunter-class FFG available here. Unfortunately it is too large to upload.

The factsheet manages to answer several questions, while also raising a number of others. It appears that design will two 20 mm CIWS, which is presumably referring to a pair of Mk 15 Phalanx CIWS. Curiously though, there is also to be a pair of 30 mm short-range guns. That looks to me like the RAN is going to keep on going with several different small calibre guns across the fleet, as opposed to rationalizing the small calibre guns to easy the training, logistics and support demands. I would be interested in finding out if the 30 mm gun/mounting is going to be the MSI DS 30B with an Oerlikon 30 mm/75 gun like aboard the Huon-class MHC, or if an entirely different mounting and/or gun will be used. Given that the upcoming SEA 1180 vessels are to be armed with a 40 mm gun, IMO it would seem more sensible if the Future Frigates were to also be armed with the same small calibre gun...

Side note; I still wonder if this is what the RAN website is referring to with the Future Ships & Boats entry for Patrol Ship, Offshore (PSO).

The MU90 torpedoes are also to arm the Future Frigate, though not having heard any work being done to fit the MU90 aboard either the MH-60R Romeo helicopters or P-8A Poseidon MMA, it would seem that the RAN/ADF plan on maintaining two completely separate stocks of LWT. The factsheet also mentions an advanced AShM, though whether that is another block/iteration of the Harpoon AShM, the NSM, or LRASM I have no idea, and no mention of AShM numbers either, though current plans do not seem to have any VLS AShM. No word on the number of Mk 41 VLS cells for ESSM or SM2, though having looked at some of the renderings posted by the RAN on their FB page, it does seem to be 32 VLS cells between the main gun and bridge and a pair of quad launchers like the Harpoon uses just aft of the stack.

The machinery is listed as CODLOG, with a pair of electric motors, four high speed MTU diesel generators, and a single RR MT30 gas turbine.

Me being me, I would like the vessel to either have more than 32 VLS cells, or at least have the option (space and weight set aside) for additional cells to be added later on. Right now the current plans only seem to figure on ESSM and SM2 for the VLS, and if the count of 32 cells is accurate, then a likely full missile loadout would be something like 24 SM2 and 32 ESSM, which should provide enough missiles for 12 SM2 and 16 ESSM interceptions. If more cells can be added later on (or the initial cell count is higher) that could permit either more missiles for more interceptions, or additional types of missiles not currently in RAN service like LACM's, ASROC, or BMD missiles like SM3.

Time will tell though.

Now, for the bone I do have to pick about the decision and announcement, and this might not be popular with others... Me being me, I would have preferred it if the RAN had instead opted to have the class named after a historical RAN ship, and then to draw upon RAN history and re-use available ship names. Perhaps something like naming the Future Frigate class the Tasmania-class, after the S-class destroyer HMAS Tasmania from 1920, and then looking at names of RAN warships with battle honours like Torrens, and go from there.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
There is no doubt it will be an extremely powerful ship if it comes off. It will be a unique ship as well. It will be an ASW ship fitted with an AEGIS weapons system.

It makes me wonder how it will be used operationally as it should be able to handle both the AAW and ASW roles with equal aplomb.

It could probably be more accurately described as a GP frigate on steroids.
 

seaspear

Active Member
The ABM capability has not been mentioned so the SM6 may also be added to the load if required as well as ASROC
 
Have not logged in for years but have lurked: Surprised that the T26 won based upon comments suggesting that the frigate acts as an anti-ballistic-missle destroyer.

Well-done RAN for choosing the T23++! My reason for the post - though - is this: 8800 tons fully-loaded is US Short-tons IIRC.

Well done Oz! We can discuss 'white-ball' cricket later.
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
Well done to BAE with their Type 26 Global combat ship and to those who picked the winner. I confess I thought it would be Navantia but there you have it and so now we look forward to seeing more details about our future destroyer. I understand the flight deck is large enough to land a Chinook Helicopter so that's a large bit of real estate. I do hope the final design has a true side by side two spot hangar but some how are not full of confidence this will happen. A lot of emphasis on the mission bay as a flexible space. Could be good? Will see what this mean in real terms.
So the old mother country still has a place in the RAN with our future ships; who'd of thought of that five years ago.
With most likely a decade before we have an operational ship I trust our existing fleet can meet the demands placed upon them.


Regards S
 

SpazSinbad

Active Member
This news report about the HUNTER CLASS has the 'training news excerpt' at the end.
Australia officially announces $26B frigate contract. Here are the build details 29 Jun 2018
"... the Turnbull government announced it will set up a AU$670 million training and capability center for the Hunter-class frigates in Western Australia. Known as Ship Zero, the initiative will be established at HMAS Stirling, the Navy’s Fleet Base West, at the shipbuilding facility in Henderson. Much of the training traditionally performed at sea will be transferred into the land-based facility. The capital works project will be considered by the Australian Parliament early next year, and construction is expected to commence in 2019."
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
Some of those pics show the proposed Canadian iteration, Searam in lieu of Phalanx and no SeaCeptor cells behind the funnel.
The cells behind the funnel are directly above the forward end of the Mission Bay so no room for Mk41 cells.
The officially released specs don't give any indication of how many cells the Hunter class will have. I would interpret that as them not being entirely sure themselves. Even some of the actual weapons these ships will be fitted with are just speculation at this point.

Are seaCeptor missiles necessarily out of the question for Australia?

It seems to me that they are a different class to the ESSM and could give the Hunter class that extra layer of air defence. It could be cheaper to just mount these missiles on the new frigates rather than having to deal with the engineering problems of fitting additional MK41 launchers.

They could also be ideal for other ships such as the LHDs.
 

SpazSinbad

Active Member
OpEd from AUSTRALIAN (behind paywall but sent via e-mail) says this about the HELO CAPACITY POTENTIAL:
"Rule, Britannia! Britannia rules the waves! 29 Jun 2018 GREG SHERIDAN
...The capability edge was the upside for the Type 26. The biggest advantage the Italian Fincantieri Fremm had was that it held two helicopters, and two helicopters are better than one in hunting and killing subs. However, the Type 26 has space for two helicopters if that’s what Australia wants. Formal contract negotiations with BAE start today and there will be some modifications from the British design. Canberra’s assessment was that the Type 26 would involve the fewest design modifications to meet Australia’s needs...."
 

Samoa

Member
As someone who has been directly involved in the SEA5000 CEP for the past three years I would like to firstly acknowledge the views, opinions and thoughts of those that have contributed to this thread. While I reflect back on them, I take solace no matter the bias or sway that sometimes is evident in the posters views, that I feel assured the RAN is going to going to not only get a world-class ASW capability it will be backed by a programme that will see an unprecedented involvement of Australian Industry SMEs and business enterprises that will continue to support the development of this ship as leading-edge and capability relevant and this will be the foundation of an Australian continuous ship building strategy.

Noting the pedigree of some of the Defence Pro posters, and as someone who has been involved in Naval ship design, build, integration, test and in-service support for over 20 years, but more importantly someone who wants our Navy to have the best capability at sea, I am bursting at the seams with enthusiasm, with what the Hunter class ship will provide to the RAN. We love to talk about tactical capability and platform design, and frankly I enjoy it just as much, but without going into the details, the GCS-A platform will exceed the capabilities of just about every comparable surface combatant in-service and planned to enter service in the foreseeable future. You should note that all persons involved are subject to a Deed Poll agreement, and hence non-public disclosed information is not releasable.

I know a lot of posters are fixated on specific weapons loadout or ‘insert my niche subject’ but that selected design meets all requirements set out in the CEP by CASG. For example, one of the misnomers, is the VLS cell count, the answer should be well known following any kind of investigative research on-line which should allow you to deduce the answer. While a keyboard warrior considers more is better, you need to appreciate the big picture of providing more (or less) to the overall package of capabilities sought by the CoA that are stipulated in the requirement set. If more, then where is the funding allocation to come from to justify the procurement of additional FMS equipment (the VLS launchers are not an inconsequential cost impact to the overall programme bottom line), noting the DoD must to put forward costs and budgetary submission through first and second pass endorsements to government to allow this to be realizable, and the budget had already been set. Ultimately what is the purpose of ‘more’ if insufficient birds are not planned for inventory. How does this compromise on other capabilities that are specified in the requirement set, which have been built around a set of conops and a doctrine of use? One of the most significant technical aspects of the GCS-A is the platforms inherent margins, which frankly have been engineered into the platform in ways that have not been widely employed before. They are nothing ground-breaking but are clever. So, should the CoA decide after building FOC, or anywhere during the drumbeat that it would like to double the cell load-out it can, and know that it’s going to have to a high level of confidence that this can be done without unacceptable loss of other capabilities, and furthermore and significantly so that this can be done within the drumbeat cycle and not halt the ‘continuous’ build cycle.

If you want to understand why this ship design was selected over any other you need to look at the primary objectives of the SEA5000 programme. They are freely available in public domain and are the opening statement of the RfP, if you should care to read them. The provision of 9 ASW frigates on a minimum change principal is only but one of them. Take each separately and consider what each and every specific aspect of each objective means, then you will start to understand the complexity of the task and the massive undertaking the CoA is seeking to meet with this programme. And for me, this is where the swell of national pride comes to the fore, as someone who can participate in this vision, knowing that we have selected the best overall package against all of those objectives, and too bonus, that the chosen design is undoubtedly a lethal, highly capable platform in not only ASW, but across the full spectrum of capability concurrently, just makes it the icing on the cake. In speaking with serving Navy and Australian Industry representatives I know they share the same feeling of positivity.
 
Last edited:

pussertas

Active Member
Western Australia to be Home of Hunter Class Training School

(Source: Australian Department of Defence; issued June 29, 2018)
Western Australia will be home to a new Hunter class training and capability centre, known as ‘Ship Zero’, as part of a $670 million investment at HMAS Stirling and Henderson to support Australia’s new frigates.

The new frigates will provide our nation with one of the most advanced anti-submarine warships in the world - a maritime combat capability that will underpin our security for decades to come.

The warships will also be larger and have more complex systems than the existing ANZAC class frigates, and will require new and upgraded facilities at HMAS Stirling.

As part of this $670 million investment, the Government will:
-- Extend the existing wharfs
-- Construct maintenance and equipment storage buildings
-- Construct new support facilities, including medical facilities and accommodation
-- Construct a new Navy Training Systems Centre – West.

Ship Zero located at both HMAS Stirling and Henderson will include a headquarters, through-life test centre, ship and capability specific training school, and potentially a land-based test site for platform systems.

Ship Zero will transfer an increasing amount of the training that has traditionally been done at sea to land. This will mean each of our new frigates will be able to spend more time on operations and exercising with our allies and partners, and less time in port for crew training.

Hunter class frigate crew training will be based on a combination of classroom instruction, shore-based simulation, virtual reality training system and live training events ashore, centred at Ship Zero.

These upgrades to HMAS Stirling are in addition to the $300 million upgrades associated with the selection of Stirling as ‘Ship Zero’ for the Offshore Patrol Vessels, the $150 million upgrades to support the new Maritime Operational Support Capability vessels and the $367 million redevelopment of HMAS Stirling infrastructure. This ensure our ADF members have access to modern fit-for purpose facilities and will bring total investment at HMAS Stirling to well over $1 billion.

The successful prime contractor will be required to implement a Local Industry Capability Plan (LICP) that will ensure small-to-medium businesses in Western Australia have the best opportunity to compete and win work on the infrastructure to support the Hunter class.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
As someone who has been directly involved in the SEA5000 CEP for the past three years I would like to firstly acknowledge the views, opinions and thoughts of those that have contributed to this thread. While I reflect back on them, I take solace no matter the bias or sway that sometimes is evident in the posters views, that I feel assured the RAN is going to going to not only get a world-class ASW capability it will be backed by a programme that will see an unprecedented involvement of Australian Industry SMEs and business enterprises that will continue to support the development of this ship as leading-edge and capability relevant and this will be the foundation of an Australian continuous ship building strategy.

Noting the pedigree of some of the Defence Pro posters, and as someone who has been involved in Naval ship design, build, integration, test and in-service support for over 20 years, but more importantly someone who wants our Navy to have the best capability at sea, I am bursting at the seams with enthusiasm, with what the Hunter class ship will provide to the RAN. We love to talk about tactical capability and platform design, and frankly I enjoy it just as much, but without going into the details, the GCS-A platform will exceed the capabilities of just about every comparable surface combatant in-service and planned to enter service in the foreseeable future. You should note that all persons involved are subject the Deed Poll agreement, and hence non-public disclosed information is not releasable.

I know a lot of posters are fixated on specific weapons loadout or ‘insert my niche subject’ but that selected design meets all requirements set out in the CEP by CASG. For example, one of the misnomers, is the VLS cell count, the answer should be well known following any kind of investigative research on-line which should allow you to deduce the answer. While a keyboard warrior considers more is better, you need to appreciate the big picture of providing more (or less) to the overall package of capabilities sought by the CoA that are stipulated in the requirement set. If more, then where is the funding allocation to come from to justify the procurement of additional FMS equipment (the VLS launchers are not an inconsequential cost impact to the overall programme bottom line), noting the DoD must to put forward costs and budgetary submission through first and second pass endorsements to government to allow this to be realizable, and the budget had already been set. Ultimately what is the purpose of ‘more’ if insufficient birds are not planned for inventory. How does this compromise on other capabilities that are specified in the requirement set, which have been built around a set of conops and a doctrine of use? One of the most significant technical aspects of the GCS-A is the platforms inherent margins, which frankly have been engineered into the platform in ways that have not been widely employed before. They are nothing ground-breaking but are clever. So, should the CoA decide after building FOC, or anywhere during the drumbeat that it would like to double the cell load-out it can, and know that it’s going to have to a high level of confidence that this can be done without unacceptable loss of other capabilities, and furthermore and significantly so that this can be done within the drumbeat cycle and not halt the ‘continuous’ build cycle.

If you want to understand why this ship design was selected over any other you need to look at the primary objectives of the SEA5000 programme. They are freely available in public domain and are the opening statement of the RfP, if you should care to read them. The provision of 9 ASW frigates on a minimum change principal is only but one of them. Take each separately and consider what each and every specific aspect of each objective means, then you will start to understand the complexity of the task and the massive undertaking the CoA is seeking to meet with this programme. And for me, this is where the swell of national pride comes to the fore, as someone who can participate in this vision, knowing that we have selected the best overall package against all of those objectives, and too bonus, that the chosen design is undoubtedly a lethal, highly capable platform in not only ASW, but across the full spectrum of capability concurrently, just makes it the icing on the cake. In speaking with serving Navy and Australian Industry representatives I know they share the same feeling of positivity.
Thank you Samoa, awesome to get something from someone actually involved.
 

76mmGuns

Active Member
Koala- a nicely written, mature comment.

Redlands- yes, perhaps 8800 tonnes is at it's heaviest, when the RAN has upgraded it to it's maximum.

Re: VLS- I still think of this quite a lot , because if it's really not so important, why to the US, China, Japan and SK have ships with 96-120+ VLS cells? Sure, taking 12 front line RAN ships and ESSM's, we have a few hundred, but as many more knowledgable people here often point out, at best, only half will be available at any time, with the rest being used for training, or undergoing maintenance. And if ten enemy ships, each with 120+ VLS come along, well, that's 4800 missiles, using the ESSM example.
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
So, should the CoA decide after building FOC, or anywhere during the drumbeat that it would like to double the cell load-out it can, and know that it’s going to have to a high level of confidence that this can be done without unacceptable loss of other capabilities, and furthermore and significantly so that this can be done within the drumbeat cycle and not halt the ‘continuous’ build cycle.
Very interesting. I have no doubt the first batch of ships will be very much as currently specified. But if conditions deteriorate, I think there is considerable available growth should we require it.

There seems to be a fair amount of top weight margin in the design. Looking at the weapon options between RAN and RN, there doesn't seem to be a lot of constraint. Lots of growth potential hopefully.

I actually think some of the most interesting weapon systems, will be outside of the VLS. If you think of anti-surface or anti submarine..
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Now that the selection has been made I must confess it wasn’t my first choice although I acknowledge T26 was always the superior platform.
My reasons were based on risk, price and commonality, and I thought the F5000 would get there on all those three.
It’s good to see the government has provided the funds to make the gold plated option possible.

The only possible downside I see is the difference in all the very ordinary equipment that make up the daily routine in the ships, damage control equipment, platform management systems deign philosophy for watertight integrity etc.....ad nauseum.
I don’t think this is huge or insurmountable issue but it once again divides the seagoing ships into separate streams, Spanish and Brit.
Let’s hope that many of those differences can be nullified during the Australian build and that we can make them as similar as possible
 
Top