Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates 2.0

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
The US has a massive looming shortage of qualified trades and STEM graduates for areas like defence.

Remembering the peace dividend in the 90's pretty much saw the industry massively shrink, with no new blood coming in and mass layoffs. This continued into the 00's. Also in the this time the new blood that came in, was often deflected out again (last in first out) and capable people finding and moving on out of their careers. The backbone is also retiring, not just on the front line, but in trade schools etc.

There are huge demographic problems. Across multiple countries.

Also you might have an adhesion problem. Send a whole bunch of young trades people, with Australian accents, to the US for a few years, get them trained up in an in demand skill. They might want to stay over there. (fox in hen house problem).

Same problem exists locally. Australia however has been pretty lucky, the mining and energy boom has meant we actually kept a lot of talent in the pool. CIVMEC for example hopes to pivot their workforce across into defence to keep the core alive as that industry slows. ASC has tried to keep its workforce adapted to surface ships and refurbs, as its been nearly over 20 years since the last Collins boat was launched.

Ultimately short cuts often aren't that short or easy.
As you say, a massive shortage of skilled tradesmen. It is in all sectors and it isn’t only due to boom and bust cycles. Many of today’s young people are directed to college by well meaning parents. Unfortunately, many end up enrolled in dead end degree programs. There here needs to be an aggressive marketing campaign to convince both parents and youth that there are huge opportunities for skilled tradesmen (and this is applicable to women as well).
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
As you say, a massive shortage of skilled tradesmen. It is in all sectors and it isn’t only due to boom and bust cycles. Many of today’s young people are directed to college by well meaning parents. Unfortunately, many end up enrolled in dead end degree programs. There here needs to be an aggressive marketing campaign to convince both parents and youth that there are huge opportunities for skilled tradesmen (and this is applicable to women as well).
Here in NZ they are now starting to advertise for high school leavers to consider being tradies. The point that they make is that the kids get paid to learn and they don't end up with a student loan. More importantly the coin is good.
 

aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
That is the plan although I am not sure they have mentioned specific models publically.

The SM series is a dual thrust with two layers of different propellants, I presume the existing mixer has enough volume to create the high boost phase. If this is the case then Australia would likely be working quickly towards being able to manufacture rocket bodies with solid fuel motors for SM-2, SM-6 and perhaps even parts for SM-3.
The DSCA release specifically mentioned SM-6 Block I and SM-2 Block IIIC


The SM-6 has been on the cards and in public for some time, the changes over the last 2 or so years would leave me in a confident mind that at some stage the SM-3 has to be in the mix as well !

Cheers
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
The DSCA release specifically mentioned SM-6 Block I and SM-2 Block IIIC
US statement of possibilities. Possible sale. Government sale.

Thales bought this $6m item off their own bat.

I'm not saying you're wrong, just pouring water over the level of absoluteness of this deal and in lieu of any public announcement from the Australian government. AFAIK.

Thales operate the existing munitions production sites under a recent 10 year agreement, it is presumed that these would be logical choices for expansion. However, I am not aware of commercial deals being signed and completed. It's not exactly clear how the production arrangement will occur. Thales clearly sees themselves being involved some how. However this will also allow larger bombs than BLU-111/BLU-126 being made as well.

SM-2, SM-6, SM-3 heavily share across the family, with 6 being a bit of a hybrid of 3 and 2. However, SM-3 hasn't been approved and is not on the document you listed. But if your making SM2 and SM6 you already are part of the way there.
 

aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
US statement of possibilities. Possible sale. Government sale.

Thales bought this $6m item off their own bat.

I'm not saying you're wrong, just pouring water over the level of absoluteness of this deal and in lieu of any public announcement from the Australian government. AFAIK.

Thales operate the existing munitions production sites under a recent 10 year agreement, it is presumed that these would be logical choices for expansion. However, I am not aware of commercial deals being signed and completed. It's not exactly clear how the production arrangement will occur. Thales clearly sees themselves being involved some how. However this will also allow larger bombs than BLU-111/BLU-126 being made as well.

SM-2, SM-6, SM-3 heavily share across the family, with 6 being a bit of a hybrid of 3 and 2. However, SM-3 hasn't been approved and is not on the document you listed. But if your making SM2 and SM6 you already are part of the way there.
Well yes, all DSCA releases are for "possible" sales, that is what they do and the wording they use, how many of these possible sales come to be true ? don't know of any that have not ? but that is getting into semantics :)

From an FMS/ITARS point of view will be interesting to see what Thales thinks they can be involved in ? The US have been traditionally protective of the French having any form of access to their IP and Tech, maybe France will play the broken heart card after the submarine cancelation ? They are always looking for a way into the US inner circle !

My guess is that anything to do with France will have very clear firewalls between them and any real involvement and access, just like what was put into place for the Attack programme.

Cheers
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Here in NZ they are now starting to advertise for high school leavers to consider being tradies. The point that they make is that the kids get paid to learn and they don't end up with a student loan. More importantly the coin is good.
Just heard today Ontario will be promoting trades to junior and high school students as an option that actually provides well paying career opportunities. Sadly many helicopter parents will still insist on university where many will end up with BAs and minimal employment opportunities.
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Well yes, all DSCA releases are for "possible" sales, that is what they do and the wording they use, how many of these possible sales come to be true ? don't know of any that have not ? but that is getting into semantics :)

From an FMS/ITARS point of view will be interesting to see what Thales thinks they can be involved in ? The US have been traditionally protective of the French having any form of access to their IP and Tech, maybe France will play the broken heart card after the submarine cancelation ? They are always looking for a way into the US inner circle !

My guess is that anything to do with France will have very clear firewalls between them and any real involvement and access, just like what was put into place for the Attack programme.

Cheers
The only DSCA announcement I can think of off the top of my head we haven’t proceeded with, was SLAM-ER for Australia and that was an alternate solution we could have chosen, but ended up opting for JASSM obviously.
 

oldsig127

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Degree in media studies? I understand Starbuck's is hiring. ;)
Not in Australia they aren't. Shut all but about 20 stores in about 2009, and those are clustered around major international gateways to catch the incoming US citizen market. Australians by and large prefer coffee over lukewarm drip filtered sugar loaded liquid flavoured with almost any flavour but coffee. And much prefer local places than stencil printed identical "outlets"

Those arts grads will end up teaching , mostly teaching contempt for the military because they obviously use all the money that should support them.

oldsig
 

DDG38

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
For those who were curious about HMAS Gascoyne's activities in Adelaide & Hobart, this note on an image in the RAN gallery :
"With support from Chaplain Wayne Philp, HMAS Gascoyne held a Committal of Ashes to the Sea ceremony during a port visit to Adelaide. The committal was a fitting tribute to the five veterans who were returned to the sea to eternally rest. HMAS Gascoyne is currently on the tail end of a three month deployment in which the Mine Hunter has been competing Route Surveys around Australia."
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Another article discussing the pros and cons between Astute and Virginia. Although the concerns over modifying Astute for the preferred options of Mark 48 torpedoes and the US combat system are mentioned, there is no mention of the PWR2 replacement that will be required for Astute.
 

alexsa

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Another article discussing the pros and cons between Astute and Virginia. Although the concerns over modifying Astute for the preferred options of Mark 48 torpedoes and the US combat system are mentioned, there is no mention of the PWR2 replacement that will be required for Astute.
I find the discussion on the Mk48 and AN/BYG1 quite odd. The Attack (smaller than the Astute) was going to be fitted with both the US weapons fit and the AN/BYG1 fire control. The Oberon Class were modified to take the Mk48, the harpoon and a new fire control system (including a new … and very large gyro with the required bearing accuracy) and the weight tolerances on that class were more more constrained that the Astute.

The Collins class …. Much smaller than the Astute were retrofitted with the AN/BYG-1 when the overly ambitious bespoke system originally fitted to them proved to be …. Not great (I will leave it there). This retrofit has worked and the boats are very effective. It certainly rammed home the need for installed power for the combat systems hence the initial focus on a very large conventional boat.

This appears to be a spurious argument to push for the US boat (and the Block V at that). I would not that the block IV (the boat actually in production at the moment) and the Astute have about the same dived displacement meaning the internal dived volume is about the same. The Astute is a tad shorter but wider.

The argument that we need to have 10 of one class to support training ignores the fact we only have six Collins. Singapore are building skills with four boats of two types. The article does at least note that the Astute will allow Australia to piggy back on the UK training system….. but in either case we can also piggy back off the logistics train while one is established in Australia.

The intention has always been to evolve the ‘submarine’ design as the ‘continuous build’ programme progresses. It may be that the donor vessel may move to the SSN-R if the Astute is chosen. IMHO the US reactor is likely to be used in any boat we select.

Given nothing has come out of the official review of option .... this appears to be yet another attempt to push a particular barrow…. It is not a convincing argument in my view.
 
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"..a particular barrow..."

I see what you did there :)

It might be left field (or just ludicrous and I'm sure you'll all let me know) but has it been asked/considered here about using the Columbia or Dreadnought classes? Obviously without the missile compartment. I assume, rightly or wrongly, that the huge increase in building costs between an attack sub and a boomer is the missile complement?

Pardon the ignorance but it's something I've been wanting to ask for a while. Just don't be too savage in the replies...
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
No Chance.
Australia building a fleet of 8 SSBN is all kinds of wrong.
Wrong tool for the job. (not suited for hunting anything)
Huge crewing impost. (130 or 150)
Huge increase in size ~3 times the size, ~3 times the build cost. ~3 times the build time.
Politically it would be a massive drama. Neighbors would be rightfully worried.
US would most certainly nix it and not offer.
 

alexsa

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
"..a particular barrow..."

I see what you did there :)

It might be left field (or just ludicrous and I'm sure you'll all let me know) but has it been asked/considered here about using the Columbia or Dreadnought classes? Obviously without the missile compartment. I assume, rightly or wrongly, that the huge increase in building costs between an attack sub and a boomer is the missile complement?

Pardon the ignorance but it's something I've been wanting to ask for a while. Just don't be too savage in the replies...
I doubt it. It would appear to add a lot of complexity to cut and shunt an SSBN design to do what already exists as an SSN design. Besides which, neither the Columbia or Dreadnought are currently in service. The announcements were pretty clear on the point the SSN we start to build will be ‘based on’ an existing in service design.
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
In post 31207 of the old RAN threat there is an image of HMAS Anzac returning home from a long deployment.
Looking a bit tired her radar masts are noticeably discolored.
This has been discussed before whether or not to paint this surface black to give a cleaner look.
My question is, regardless of the colour paint, does the soot build up actually have a detrimental affect on the performance of the comms array?

Regards S
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
My question is, regardless of the colour paint, does the soot build up actually have a detrimental affect on the performance of the comms array?
AFAIK its an aesthetic thing only. Carbon deposits shouldn't affect the performance of the array at all. Many radars are painted black and a key ingredient in black paint is carbon black, or carbon. The only issue would be something like sunlight heating. But thats not really an issue if its just a bit of carbon deposit, but could be if its painted completely back.
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
The Black Duck returns to FBW.
"HMAS Perth returns to Fleet Base West in Rockingham after completing the Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP) upgrade."
Image source : ADF Image Library
View attachment 48679
Just wondering to current ANZAC numbers on the water.
With the return of HMAS Perth, I take there are now five Anzacs for service, plus the three Hobarts for a total of eight destroyers/frigates.

Do these numbers look correct?


Regards S
 
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