Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates 2.0

Armchair

Active Member
Still not sure as to the driver of this structure.

This need to grow the fleet with a mix of high / low end vessels.
if a navy has 12 ships and 4 are available then you have enough (maybe) for one task force and one on patrol or escorting resupply/ reinforcements.
if a navy has 20 ships there is some chance you could deploy task forces of 3 ships in two oceans simultaneously (or the 6-7 ships in one ocean that is probably needed for a large amphibious commitment).
Australia has large amphibs and a strategy of defence through off-shore power projection in its region it also has crew number problems. If you buy the strategy then you probably end up with the high-low mix (different strategies lead to other options better discussed in the ADF thread).
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
if a navy has 12 ships and 4 are available then you have enough (maybe) for one task force and one on patrol or escorting resupply/ reinforcements.
if a navy has 20 ships there is some chance you could deploy task forces of 3 ships in two oceans simultaneously (or the 6-7 ships in one ocean that is probably needed for a large amphibious commitment).
Australia has large amphibs and a strategy of defence through off-shore power projection in its region it also has crew number problems. If you buy the strategy then you probably end up with the high-low mix (different strategies lead to other options better discussed in the ADF thread).
Its a pertinent point.

Numbers matter and have a quality of their own in providing flexibility for geographic dispersion.
The challenge is that 20 strong fleet is probably 20 years away.

Just a thought.

Cheers S
 

Armchair

Active Member
Its a pertinent point.

Numbers matter and have a quality of their own in providing flexibility for geographic dispersion.
The challenge is that 20 strong fleet is probably 20 years away.

Just a thought.

Cheers S
Marcus Hellyer sets out his version of the changing numbers in Fig 2 here.

the previous plan reaches 12 ships in 2047. The new plan reaches 20 ships in 2041. Your estimate of “probably 20 years away“ seems a safer bet. I am not ignoring the potential role of LOCSVs but I think they are best thought of as augmenting Tier 1 rather than as major fleet units.
 

vonnoobie

Well-Known Member
I get the increase in numbers is appealing but I really question how much money would be saved building Tier 2 frigates along with 6 Hunters versus an increased build of say 12 Hunters plus an off shore buy of 3 ships. A better ASW capability albeit a possible longer acquisition time (or maybe not).
Well the Hunters have top of the line equipment so that costs $$$ even accounting for economies of scale etc 12 could still end up costing $100b+ at the way things have been going, At the end of the day money matters and if the money isn't there you need to adapt, Could current gov have found the money to do it? Probably but on the flip side at such costs when so many other options available it also makes it a program a future government likely to cut to save dollars. by cutting 3 of them and replacing them with 8 - 11 Tier 2's and 6 LOSV's we get more bang for our buck. Better to do this now (even if the fleet matches what was suggested 35 or so years ago) then continue on as is and have it cut later leaving us even less time to adapt.

MEKO A200 probably the favourite from the 5 designs on the list.

Questions I have.
Will NZ join the program?
Can it be fitted with 32 cell MK41 VLS?
Can it be fitted with 4x quad launchers for NSM?
Can the Mast on the Anzac be transferred over to the A200?
Can it be fitted with future DEW?
With the added weight, how much will it reduce Range/Endurance/Speed?
Are the crew requirements really 120-140 or is it alot more?
Will the first 3 be built in a Luerssen yard with TKMS so that we don’t throw away more money?
How long will an Australian build take for the first and what would be the drumbeat?
A200 is too small, Literally just an evolution of the Anzac so while systems improved the ship size hasn't really changed so going to likely still have same issues as with the Anzac's so no way will we be fitting a 32 cell Mk 41 let alone 4 x quad packed NSM's.
 
I couldn’t see anything in the Surface Combatant Review about basing options for the expanded fleet, but is it realistic that any of the Tier 2 GPF’s will be based at Darwin and/or Cairns? Both wharves have been upgraded, or are in the process of being upgraded to be substantially larger than they have been. It would be a significant uplift in capability for Darwin and Cairns and defence for the northern and north eastern approaches given current transiting distances from FBW and FBE.
 

vonnoobie

Well-Known Member
I couldn’t see anything in the Surface Combatant Review about basing options for the expanded fleet, but is it realistic that any of the Tier 2 GPF’s will be based at Darwin and/or Cairns? Both wharves have been upgraded, or are in the process of being upgraded to be substantially larger than they have been. It would be a significant uplift in capability for Darwin and Cairns and defence for the northern and north eastern approaches given current transiting distances from FBW and FBE.
I dont see any permanent basing at this bases. Upgrades based around what amounts to supporting bare basic OPV's and trying to throw a high tech ship in, To make it worth it as a permanent base you would need multiple ships stationed there which means more wharve space, more accomodation for crews and families, more shore based support for them (Upgrades at Cairns envisioned 4 Arafura's based there and it allowed for 900 naval and civilian positions, Can only imagine what 3+ Tier 2's would need).

At most they will be stop overs perhaps used time to time as an FOB if required.
 

Richo99

Active Member
I dont see any permanent basing at this bases. Upgrades based around what amounts to supporting bare basic OPV's and trying to throw a high tech ship in, To make it worth it as a permanent base you would need multiple ships stationed there which means more wharve space, more accomodation for crews and families, more shore based support for them (Upgrades at Cairns envisioned 4 Arafura's based there and it allowed for 900 naval and civilian positions, Can only imagine what 3+ Tier 2's would need).

At most they will be stop overs perhaps used time to time as an FOB if required.
Was wondering if the proposed east coast sub base might ultimately take a few of the gp frigates to ease the pressure on FBE. That really is crystal ball gazing though.
 

Reptilia

Active Member
Was wondering if the proposed east coast sub base might ultimately take a few of the gp frigates to ease the pressure on FBE. That really is crystal ball gazing though.
Likely over the next 15-20 years…
FB(Darwin) - Capes + 3xArafura OPV, 4xTier 2 GPF (Plan was for 6 Arafura opv + Anzacs > tier 2)
FB(Cairns) - Capes + 3xArafura OPV, 3xTier 2 GPF (Plan was 7 ships, 4 Arafura opv,+ Anzacs > tier 2)
(2 of 12 Arafuras were planned for Stirling)
I think the other 4 Tier 2 frigates will be at FBW or split with FBE until we see a North West or Brisbane/Newcastle/Port Kembla base.
Hunters likely split between east and west, so too future Hobart replacement.
 

vonnoobie

Well-Known Member
Likely over the next 15-20 years…
FB(Darwin) - Capes + 3xArafura OPV, 4xTier 2 GPF (Plan was for 6 Arafura opv + Anzacs > tier 2)
FB(Cairns) - Capes + 3xArafura OPV, 3xTier 2 GPF (Plan was 7 ships, 4 Arafura opv,+ Anzacs > tier 2)
(2 of 12 Arafuras were planned for Stirling)
I think the other 4 Tier 2 frigates will be at FBW or split with FBE until we see a North West or Brisbane/Newcastle/Port Kembla base.
Hunters likely split between east and west, so too future Hobart replacement.
Must have missed it but where did GoA or RAN ever say that the Anzac's would be based out of Cairns and Darwin?
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Likely over the next 15-20 years…
FB(Darwin) - Capes + 3xArafura OPV, 4xTier 2 GPF (Plan was for 6 Arafura opv + Anzacs > tier 2)
FB(Cairns) - Capes + 3xArafura OPV, 3xTier 2 GPF (Plan was 7 ships, 4 Arafura opv,+ Anzacs > tier 2)
(2 of 12 Arafuras were planned for Stirling)
I think the other 4 Tier 2 frigates will be at FBW or split with FBE until we see a North West or Brisbane/Newcastle/Port Kembla base.
Hunters likely split between east and west, so too future Hobart replacement.
Have you got a link for your claim of basing 4 Frigates in Darwin and 3 in Cairns, Anzacs or GPF, I find it unlikely either city has either the civilian infrastructure or population to support MFUs, or the RAN would have done it decades ago. As for NW Australia, which of the Towns are big enough to support a single Cape let alone a GPF.
 

SammyC

Active Member
I would have thought the Tier 1 and 2 platforms would be split roughly evenly between FBW and FBE. I would struggle to see any of them being based outside these locations, simply as it will make crew management even harder. Even Port Kembla would be awkward.

FBW has more than enough capacity for this. FBE should as well, provided the locals in Woolloomooloo don't get upset that it is too noisy.

A reasonable basing would be all Hobarts (and replacements), three Hunters and say four Tier 2s in FBE for a total of 10. Three Hunters and seven Tier 2s in FBW for a total of 10. The LOCSVs would likely be four in FBE and two in FBW.

Darwin and Carins would remain the location for all capes and Arafuras. They are useful resupply and refuelling points for the larger ships, necessitating sufficient wharf access for larger ships, but that would be about all.

A question mark goes around Waterhen. If the Tier 2s pick up mine hunting (which is possible) from the Huons, then what does this base do.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
I would have thought the Tier 1 and 2 platforms would be split roughly evenly between FBW and FBE. I would struggle to see any of them being based outside these locations, simply as it will make crew management even harder. Even Port Kembla would be awkward.

FBW has more than enough capacity for this. FBE should as well, provided the locals in Woolloomooloo don't get upset that it is too noisy.

A reasonable basing would be all Hobarts (and replacements), three Hunters and say four Tier 2s in FBE for a total of 10. Three Hunters and seven Tier 2s in FBW for a total of 10. The LOCSVs would likely be four in FBE and two in FBW.

Darwin and Carins would remain the location for all capes and Arafuras. They are useful resupply and refuelling points for the larger ships, necessitating sufficient wharf access for larger ships, but that would be about all.

A question mark goes around Waterhen. If the Tier 2s pick up mine hunting (which is possible) from the Huons, then what does this base do.
Mine Hunting is a specialised job, irrespective of which platform you are using, the personnel and equipment will still need a home and the qualified personnel would be detached to the ship on an as needed basis, the ships crew would not be qualified to operate the MCM equipment. It will be the same with all drones.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
Well the Hunters have top of the line equipment so that costs $$$ even accounting for economies of scale etc 12 could still end up costing $100b+ at the way things have been going, At the end of the day money matters and if the money isn't there you need to adapt, Could current gov have found the money to do it? Probably but on the flip side at such costs when so many other options available it also makes it a program a future government likely to cut to save dollars. by cutting 3 of them and replacing them with 8 - 11 Tier 2's and 6 LOSV's we get more bang for our buck. Better to do this now (even if the fleet matches what was suggested 35 or so years ago) then continue on as is and have it cut later leaving us even less time to adapt.



A200 is too small, Literally just an evolution of the Anzac so while systems improved the ship size hasn't really changed so going to likely still have same issues as with the Anzac's so no way will we be fitting a 32 cell Mk 41 let alone 4 x quad packed NSM's.
All the contenders are too small in my opinion. We have run down the clock however. We are now in the situation where we are starting to pay off the ANZACs and we haven't even started building their replacements yet.

While I don't have any favourites among the probable list of contenters I do recognise that we need to move as quickly as possible. Of the ships listed the A200 looks to be the one likely to give us the least problems when it comes to rushing them into service. As you said it is quite literally an evolution of the ANZAC.

Actually it does have me wondering if we should perhaps consider a split buy. We could go to TMS and just tell them to build us three son of ANZACs. That would give us time to look at what we really want for the 8 Australian built frigates.
 

Reptilia

Active Member
Must have missed it but where did GoA or RAN ever say that the Anzac's would be based out of Cairns and Darwin?
When the shiplifts and maintenance hubs were first announced, rotated through, sustainment with future plans to base.
That’s what I have read, that’s what I assume will happen. Maybe not the Anzacs anymore but more than likely some of the Tier 2 fleet.

You can clearly see in the video below both Anzacs and Arafuras at the Darwin precinct in the video below.



Other articles and info lean towards more basing of navy vessels in the North.

Cairns post article about what’s next after the fleet review (Behind paywalll)

The most recent federal budget submission 24/25 (Cairns precinct)

More detail on the proposed precinct upgrades (not all upgrades will go ahead)

New document showing updated layout of the new large shiplift-subject to change. (Redesign from the 2022 plans)

HMAS Cairns upgrade plans from article Cairns post (Behind paywall)

Pic of HMAS Cairns plans, Cairns post.
 

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Armchair

Active Member
Actually it does have me wondering if we should perhaps consider a split buy. We could go to TMS and just tell them to build us three son of ANZACs. That would give us time to look at what we really want for the 8 Australian built frigates.
why not just pursue TRANSCAP if you want more ANZACs available for longer?

Another problem is similar to that with the accelerated Hunter build. ANZACs (and presumably their sons) have larger crews than the anticipated Tier 2 replacements. Even if the ships you prefer can be built quickly offshore those larger crews need to be found and trained.
 

protoplasm

Active Member
Actually it does have me wondering if we should perhaps consider a split buy. We could go to TMS and just tell them to build us three son of ANZACs. That would give us time to look at what we really want for the 8 Australian built frigates.
This would be my choice, pick a hull that can take current ANZAC sensor, CMS and effector systems, plus another 8vls cells and a Phalanx and order them. No significant integration efforts, just bolt the systems from a shagged hull to a new shiny hull. That hull is likely to be a bit bigger, and may need slightly less crew to maintain it, but will avoid all of the system change and training issues of using new combat systems.

I’m not saying this will be easy, just easier and quicker than doing everything new and different.
 

vonnoobie

Well-Known Member
All the contenders are too small in my opinion. We have run down the clock however. We are now in the situation where we are starting to pay off the ANZACs and we haven't even started building their replacements yet.

While I don't have any favourites among the probable list of contenters I do recognise that we need to move as quickly as possible. Of the ships listed the A200 looks to be the one likely to give us the least problems when it comes to rushing them into service. As you said it is quite literally an evolution of the ANZAC.

Actually it does have me wondering if we should perhaps consider a split buy. We could go to TMS and just tell them to build us three son of ANZACs. That would give us time to look at what we really want for the 8 Australian built frigates.
why not just pursue TRANSCAP if you want more ANZACs available for longer?

Another problem is similar to that with the accelerated Hunter build. ANZACs (and presumably their sons) have larger crews than the anticipated Tier 2 replacements. Even if the ships you prefer can be built quickly offshore those larger crews need to be found and trained.
A200 will still leave us with same issues as Anzac's, Too damn small. Transcap was meant to be a multi billion dollar program adding capabilities but getting just 9 more years out of them.

From future proof to fiscal responsibility both are bad choices. The fiscal and safer route would be to to a scaled back Transcap on the Anzac's, Not so much increasing their capabilities but rather just extending hull and machinery life until such time the Tier 2's start coming online. Would reduce cost of transcap, keep hull numbers up and prevents us from rushing into getting something that may be quickest and safest to get but wont necessarily (or likely) be future appropriate..

End of the day Anzac's are Tier 2's that we have been pretending to be Tier 1's (due to government on both sides), Their replacements will need to be up to half the crew in size and twice the weapons capability minimum. If the current Anzac's cant handle any more weapons system then already available due to sea stability then no way a modern A200 of the same size will make a difference. Should note nations that have acquired the A200's dont operate in environments anywhere close to the ones the RAN operates in (in terms of how challenging they are).

if TKMS is chosen then it should be the A210 at minimum, Anything less is not worth the time or money. And if A210 it will need as much work in design, prep etc as any of the other options because A210 not in use by anyone yet.

When the shiplifts and maintenance hubs were first announced, rotated through, sustainment with future plans to base.
That’s what I have read, that’s what I assume will happen. Maybe not the Anzacs anymore but more than likely some of the Tier 2 fleet.

You can clearly see in the video below both Anzacs and Arafuras at the Darwin precinct in the video below.



Other articles and info lean towards more basing of navy vessels in the North.

Cairns post article about what’s next after the fleet review (Behind paywalll)

The most recent federal budget submission 24/25 (Cairns precinct)

More detail on the proposed precinct upgrades (not all upgrades will go ahead)

New document showing updated layout of the new large shiplift-subject to change. (Redesign from the 2022 plans)

HMAS Cairns upgrade plans from article Cairns post (Behind paywall)

Pic of HMAS Cairns plans, Cairns post.
Cairn's ship lift to be 120m long and 5,000 ton capacity, Darwin 103m long and 5,500 ton capacity.

A computer generated image of an Anzac class let alone a local paper does not make a naval plan. Tier 2's may visit, but they lack any facilities to permanently sustain them, Just in terms of munitions with Arafura's they would have had to hold largest munition of a 40mm? shell, With the Tier 2's who knows what missiles they will need to hold (ESSM, SM-2, NSM etc)... or are we expecting them to sail to FBE/FBW to unload/load up?
 

CJR

Active Member
So...
MEKO A200, available ASAP, limited to 16 VLS, design is older and has less ability to keep up with changing times, likely easiest to Australianize (MEKO series designed to be customized, possible 9LV CMS is already integrated as the Algerians were considering it), crew is smaller than the ANZACs but not by that much (notional 120ish vs 160-180ish depending on how aircrew and similar are counted) which makes manning an expanded fleet more difficult.

MEKO A210, looks interesting and capable but at the moment not much more than a sketch on a beer mat.

Mogami class, avalible ASAP, limited to 16 VLS, likely harder to quickly Australianize than the A200 and not Australianizing it has it's own problems (either integrating ESSM into the Japanese CMS or adopting the Type 03 Chū-SAM... then again, Japan might be interested in integrating ESSM anyway as they already operate the missile and it'd open up supply options from the US if things get hot... ), substantially smaller crew (quoted as about ~90 but usual vaguries over how aircrew and similar are counted) looks very tempting. Possible concerns about if Japan's attitude on military exports reverts to the 1950s-2010s?

FFM, likely avalbile later than A200 or Mogami (ANZACs more shagged out and fleet shrinking quicker...), probably 32 VLS, otherwise per Mogami but later arrival date might make Australianizing more practical. Might also be concerns about stepping on Hunter class toes...

Avante ALPHA3000, while leveraging off ALPHA2000 still has substantial changes (similar level of risk to A210), hard limit of 16 VLS and only a pop-gun, crew numbers unclear but Avante 2000 numbers (quoted as 60+32) look good, concerns about performance (relatively short range, possibly lower sprint speed), also concerns over previous bad experiances with Navantia.

Chungnam-class frigate, avalible ASAP, major complications as not just non-Australian combat system but totally different VLS, crew similar to A200, possible range concerns.

If wanting to go for a uniform Tier 2 fleet with hulls arriving ASAP I'd say as of now the A200 looks like the best bet. If considering a split order three Mogamis "off the rack" and then Australianized FFMs looks better (I'd say order a full 12 and sell off the Mogamis once FFMs arrive en-mass... or maybe a "reverse cutting out expedition" into HMNZS Philomel to stop the RNZN degenerating to the RNZRC...).

This would be my choice, pick a hull that can take current ANZAC sensor, CMS and effector systems, plus another 8vls cells and a Phalanx and order them. No significant integration efforts, just bolt the systems from a shagged hull to a new shiny hull. That hull is likely to be a bit bigger, and may need slightly less crew to maintain it, but will avoid all of the system change and training issues of using new combat systems.

I’m not saying this will be easy, just easier and quicker than doing everything new and different.
Given the available hulls that sounds rather a lot like saying go with the MEKO A200...
 
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