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Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates

Discussion in 'Navy & Maritime' started by icelord, Feb 13, 2007.

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  1. icelord

    icelord Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    I've been unable to find any information on whether the Tobruk will be replaced by the RAN with a dedicated LSH. The Canberra Class LHDs are to replace the Manoora, Kanimbla and Tobruk, but would a LSH also be workable, with the trouble of the LCM8 unable to transport the Abrahms tanks, and a different landing craft to be purchased in JP2048 to cover this, would a LCH be worthwhile or the two LHD with new model LCM (the current are 4 years old....) be suitable.
    Also, and ideas for a LCH class of value or have we moved away from such ships
     
  2. Whiskyjack

    Whiskyjack Honorary Moderator / Defense Professional / Analys Verified Defense Pro

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    My understanding is that there is supposed to be a third logistics vessel to complement the LHDs. Looking around the world it may be that something along the lines of a Bay Class, that the RFA is getting, with a dock capability. The Royal Marines are due to experiment with a PASCAT (?) landing craft the same dimensions of their LCU Mk10. The benefit being a 30 kn speed to allow for base ships to be further away from shore. The experimental craft is due to be in operation by 2008

    I would see the LCHs as being replaced by a Cat or Tri that allows for rapid transit and carriage of personnel and supplies. Especially useful in the North of Australia and deployments such as the Solomon Islands. Crew requirements would be the same, not sure on other operating costs tho.

    My thoughts..
     
  3. Tasman

    Tasman Ship Watcher Verified Defense Pro

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    The following is quoted from the public version of the Defence Cabability Plan:

    http://www.defence.gov.au/dmo/msd/jp2048/jp2048ph4.cfm

    So it seems a third ship (or perhaps ships) will be acquired to provide the 'SeaLift capability'.

    The Bay class was designed to replace Tobruck's British cousins and would provide an enhanced capability, but the building of several smaller high speed replacements does appear to provide an interesting option. I guess that at the moment the RAN will be avoiding putting up any proposals that will get in the way of the LHDs.

    Cheers
     
  4. Galrahn

    Galrahn Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Tasman that is good stuff.

    Question, is there any indication yet the size of force expected to be delivered by the LHD? I'm also curious regarding the scope of logistics support for combat operations and whether there is a requirement regarding the delivery of large weapons like Main Battle Tanks.

    For example, a USN 3 ship force is designed to support 1 MEU centered around a single USMC reinforced battalion for combat operations for 15 days without additional support, and can include packages ranging from mech rifle companies to tank platoons.

    I am not trying to compare the differences in size of the US force compared to the Australian force, and I have no intention of going there, but I am very curious regarding the comparisons regarding the potential scope for the force.

    Does the RAN intend to be able to deploy the full range of capabilities from its LHDs; light, medium, and/or heavy? Are the ships being tailored to support minimum requirements of any specific type (example, a specific number of tanks as a minimum requirement)?

    Just curious, while I am sure most casual observers down under focus on the platform as a naval aviation platform, my interest in the project is almost exclusively focused on its potential lift and assault capability.
     
  5. Tasman

    Tasman Ship Watcher Verified Defense Pro

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    I have found it difficult to dig up more than sketchy info as to what exactly the LHDs (and the projected additional sealift ship) are to be able to embark. I have one close naval contact but he is not associated with the project and even if he was he would certainly not reveal info that was not in the public domain. Also I imagine that the lift capability is really an army matter unless the ships were serving in a secondary sea control or command function.

    I have found the following links which give some info but you will quickly see that it does not go into any real detail.

    The first is from ADI, one of the rival companies seeking to build the vessels, and it does provide the basic info as to what is to be embarked:

    http://www.amphib.com.au/default.asp?page=14

    The following address by Vice-Admiral Russ Shalders AO RAN, Chief of Navy to the Navy League of Australia in March, 2006, adds a little more about the total amphibious lift capability:
    http://navyleag.customer.netspace.net.au/sd_05bf6.htm

    Perhaps some of our defence professionals will be able to answer this in more detail. It is info that is needed to determine what it is that the additional sealift vessel will need to be able to carry to supplement the two LHDs.

    Cheers
     
  6. swerve

    swerve Super Moderator

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    A "strategic lift ship" could be one of many things. E.g. an LSD like the Bays, or a ro-ro like the Point-class.
     
  7. Tasman

    Tasman Ship Watcher Verified Defense Pro

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    This came from Defense Industry Daily and mentions the number of vehicles each LHD needs to be able to carry:


    http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com...gns-for-2b-amphibious-ships-project/index.php

    I still can't get more details of the total RAN lift requirement (2 LHDs plus the sealift ship).

    IIRC a decision was made early in 2006 that a conventional monohull with a well deck would be the preferred solution for the sealift ship. I also remember the article I was reading suggesting that the funds to be allocated for this vessel would rule out the Bay class. I think it was in Janes Defence Weekly but I can't find the article. Perhaps someone else can and can confirm this info.

    Cheers
     
  8. icelord

    icelord Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Somebody misses the Jervis bay i take it...:teary

    The biggest concern is the LCM. Which was not designed to carry the Abrhams, as it predates the mere thought of purchasing an abrahms, and yet its only 4-5 years old and will operate off the LHDs.
    I can't recall the name but currently the USMC is looking at a new landing craft that some claim would work well for the RAN and the LHD to operate the Abrahams off, and is part of the JP2048 phase to replace LCM and LCH, as well as the possibility of a LCAC(yeah right, keep dreaming)
     
  9. Whiskyjack

    Whiskyjack Honorary Moderator / Defense Professional / Analys Verified Defense Pro

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    As mentioned above the Royal Marines are going to experiment with the PASCAT (I think that is right) technology.

    My limited understanding is that this basically uses the same basic outlay of the LCU Mk10 that the RN operates from their LPDs and Bays but places them on a Cat hull that allows for greater speed.

    Looking at a PDF I have for the USN LCU(R) it would seem to be on a planning hull, that is very similar to the PASCAT design.

    Seems to be the way things are going.
     
  10. Tasman

    Tasman Ship Watcher Verified Defense Pro

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    I miss it! After attending its commissioning ceremony I was sad to see it return to Incat for conversion back to a commercial ferry :( But then again I didn't have to actually sail in it! :D

    I agree about the LCM problem. I guess they will be used for training or duties not involving the Abrams. The third phase of JP2048 certainly allows scope for something decent to be acquired and I expect that the ADF will cut its losses and replace the LCMs operationally with something suitable for the new tanks.

    https://www.tenders.gov.au/federal/...812&p_criteria=JP2048Ph3 RFI 01/06&p_advert=1

    Hmm... The LCAC would be nice and it will fit the well deck of both the the Navantia and Mistral designs for the new LHD. Sometimes it is good to dream! :D

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/europe/bpe.htm

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/europe/mistral.htm
     
  11. alexsa

    alexsa Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    If you want a reason to be sceptical about using a HSC as your sole theater support vessel you need look no further that the success (or lack of it) in respect of the Bass Strait HS ferry. Lots of cancellations.

    These are delicate souls that are very capable in smooth and partilally snmooth waters or on regular short runs where the conditions remain relatively settled... and where there are the port facilities that enable them to load and unload. They are not great at providng peristant support offshore.
     
  12. Tasman

    Tasman Ship Watcher Verified Defense Pro

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    LCM Problems

    As a follow up to an earlier post it now seems that apart from not being able to carry the Abrams MBT the new LCMs have already been withdrawn from service on Kanimbla and Manoora. According to a report in the March edition of CONTACT the aluminium hulls have not proven sufficiently robust for craning off the decks of the LPAs. The craft are apparently now in Darwin, undertaking 'ad-hoc patrol duties' until a decision is made about their long term future.

    CONTACT, Contact Publishers, Dickson, ACT, March 2007.

    Cheers
     
  13. alexsa

    alexsa Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Now that is really disappointing, and suggests some poor design work.
     
  14. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    Would it be more poor design work, or poor quality-control during construction?

    -Cheers
     
  15. Tasman

    Tasman Ship Watcher Verified Defense Pro

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    As the LCMs were designed specifically to work from the two LPA's and presumably the designers knew that they would be craned on and off the ships it beggars belief that this wouldn't have been 'built in' to the design. There was an excuse for not designing them for the Abrams as they were not in the ADF 'shopping list' at that time.

    I expect answers will be sought by the ADF but it would be pure speculation for me to suggest where things might have gone wrong. The failure of the LCMs may actually get the ADF off the hook as they won't have to explain to the media why their newest LCMs can't carry their newest tanks! :D

    Cheers
     
  16. alexsa

    alexsa Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    I like the last point. This is definately a design issues as it appears to effect all the units producted. It would appear someone was over opetimistic in their laod assumptions and/or structural analysis.

    On a purely speculative basis I wouel almost bet the figures done for landing onboard did not take into account the dynamic forces associated with such operations at sea..... but then I could be wrong.
     
  17. StingrayOZ

    StingrayOZ Active Member

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    From what I have heard it will be the two canberra (mistral or BPE) and a Roro for sealift of approximately 40,000 tons.

    The Canberras will come with landing craft I belive for the M1A1 as both the mistral and BPE are designed with tanks of that weight and size in mind.
     
  18. icelord

    icelord Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    The LCU(R) is what i was thinking of. Seems effective, over the horizon as well and suited for heavy loads.
    This is the reason given, as the LCM was designed for Leopards and M113 more then Abrahms. Plus the LCU(R) can't exactly be lifted on off, they went was the requirment at the time and wat was best for RAN,RAR.

    What bout the Frank S. Besson Class LSV Logistic Support in the USN. It has the same use as the Tobruk, and would be a one for one replacement, maybe even two would do well, or are we looking more for a LPD. If we don't get the LCU(R) then LSV would be best for use.
    So what i'm asking is

    2X LHD
    1X LPA/LSD
    4-6X LCU(R)

    OR

    2X LHD
    1X LSD
    1-2X LSV
     
  19. Gee, it's unlike ADI to stuff up and otherwise straight forward defence contract. I wonder if Thales actually know what they're getting themselves in for? :confused:
     
  20. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    Given the dearth of different specific threads for the RAN, I thought I'd open a more general one so that each time a RAN topic comes up, it doesn't need it's own thread in the future. So here goes with a couple of questions that I've come up with.

    Now that the Seasprite seems to be scrapped and that Seahawks are likely on the horizon for the RAN, are there plans to fit the Penguin Mk 2? If so, any idea on what the timeframe would be? Also, with the NSM now coming out, is it like that the RAN (and possible the RAAF too) might be interested for mounting on helis? With the Harpoon Block II now being fitted to the Anzac, and the Adelaides already operating the Harpoon, I don't think it would make sense for a ship-mounted version of NSM.

    With the FFG Upgrade, is the datalink system being updated, and to which standard? My Janes guide (several years old :( ) has the Adelaides equipped with a helo-link, but not Link 11 or 16. It would make sense to me for that to be updated... Similarly, are the datalinks aboard the Seahawks being updated as well?

    Also, again according to the same Janes book, the Huon MHC are equipped with Link 11 receive only. Are any plans to (or have they been) upgraded to also send data? Given the limited armament on a Huon, I'm not sure it could make effective use of a datalink unless it was also able to transmit, thus acting as another potential observer.

    -Cheers