Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
Noonan addressed many of these issues directly in the last half of this video. Not with specifics, but it is clear it is a priority.

Adf has also re-introduced a gap year program, with only a 12 month commitment. I think this a good program, many recruits don't have family experience with the military any more.

It's no longer about warm bodies either. They need skills. We have an national education system which is really struggling in the STEM areas. Skills highly relevant for the ADF technical roles and roles in general.

Tapping into the next generation successful for ADF recruitment

The ADF international recruiters are ruthless. Australia has done very well picking up key internationals. But retention and international recruitment can have affect on current locals and currently serving members if its overtly generous.

Some of the other issues are things like the sub base only in WA. That will change. New platforms are coming online. New equipment across the ADF. Also recently look at the greater profile the ADF has with humanitarian and global security and partnerships, which tends to be more attractive to recruits.
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
Fair points. All information and diagrams only reference 'vertically launched' air defence missiles with no mention of Mk41, it may very well be limited to something like Umkhonto, Seaceptor or Mk56 w/ ESSM at the most, but on the same token the now cancelled 95m/2,050t Polish 'Gawron' class design based on the MEKO A-100 featured an 8-cell Mk41 VLS so theoretically it shouldn't be an issue, at least in self-defence or tactical length. The forthcoming 90m/2,000t Israeli Sa'ar-6, also based on the MEKO A-100, is likewise very heavily armed for a vessel its size. Considering that the original plan for SEA 1180 was for 20 vessels, a class of eight Flex Patrol 98's to meet the originally envisioned numbers sure would seem to fill a lot of gaps but then we're back again where we started in regards to manpower deficiencies, not to mention how we are to pay for it.
I agree that there are some quite combat capable corvettes, Germany's K130 readily comes to mind as an example.

However, the idea originally proposed was for a class of six corvettes in place of three Hunter-class frigates, or a third of the planned frigates, or a quarter of the total number of major warships the RAN is planning on having.

Put another way, the proposal was to replace three blue water major warships, for a total tonnage of ~26,400 tonnes with six corvettes which are likely more suitable for littoral operations based off total size, displacement and armament, with a total tonnage of ~13,200 tonnes. Even if the corvettes were to deploy and operate in pairs, they would not realistically be able to provide the same level of capabilities that a single Hunter-class frigate would be expected to. The one advantage that the corvettes might have, is simply being able to have a greater number of hulls in the water. Each of those hulls would be a quarter of the displacement of a Hunter-class, which would dramatically impact what the corvette would be capable of doing.

There is a reason why the RAN and most other modern navies have demonstrated a trend towards replacing surface escorts with larger and more capable classes. The RAN is planning on operating a total of 12 major surface warships like it largely has for some time, but these will all be significantly larger and more capable than previous classes.

If the idea was instead to acquire some form of corvette either in addition to or perhaps in place of some of the Arafura-class OPV's, that would be one thing.

In general terms, as one shrinks the size of a warship, the vessel tends to lose the properties which enable it to perform adequately in blue water operations. At the same time, the smaller sized vessels with lower displacement also have less "free" space and displacement available to use when fitting weapons, bunkerage, storage for victuals, etc. Again using the German K-130/Braunschweig-class FSG as example, a range of 2,500 n miles @ 15kts is mentioned, but also an endurance of seven days without a tender. To provide some context, that would just about enable a K-130 corvette to transit (@15 kts) from sail from Sydney to Darwin without stopping en route to refuel and resupply, while staying within ~300 km of the eastern Australian coastline. Now for Germany, having such a short endurance would not be much of an issue, since the major nearby waters are the North Sea and Baltic Sea, where a corvette could easily return to a German port to refuel and resupply. A similar situation exists for the majority of other nations which operate advanced corvettes, the corvettes operate largely in littoral waters and could return to port comparatively easily. The situation for a navy like the RAN is quite different however, since port facilities around the Australian coastline can be few and far between. If RAN vessels needed to operate off the shores of some S. Pacific island nation, those already long distances could grow even longer, and the limited port facilities limited even further. If one then adds in RAN vessels needing a reserve of fuel and stores to permit the vessel to be on station for several days or longer...

A vessel like an Arafura-class OPV could potentially manage this better despite being a bit smaller and with a lower displacement because the OPV would have so much less of that displacement taken up by weaponry and munitions, leaving more displacement available for fuel and stores.
 

JBRobbo

New Member
I agree that there are some quite combat capable corvettes, Germany's K130 readily comes to mind as an example.

However, the idea originally proposed was for a class of six corvettes in place of three Hunter-class frigates, or a third of the planned frigates, or a quarter of the total number of major warships the RAN is planning on having.

Put another way, the proposal was to replace three blue water major warships, for a total tonnage of ~26,400 tonnes with six corvettes which are likely more suitable for littoral operations based off total size, displacement and armament, with a total tonnage of ~13,200 tonnes. Even if the corvettes were to deploy and operate in pairs, they would not realistically be able to provide the same level of capabilities that a single Hunter-class frigate would be expected to. The one advantage that the corvettes might have, is simply being able to have a greater number of hulls in the water. Each of those hulls would be a quarter of the displacement of a Hunter-class, which would dramatically impact what the corvette would be capable of doing.

There is a reason why the RAN and most other modern navies have demonstrated a trend towards replacing surface escorts with larger and more capable classes. The RAN is planning on operating a total of 12 major surface warships like it largely has for some time, but these will all be significantly larger and more capable than previous classes.

If the idea was instead to acquire some form of corvette either in addition to or perhaps in place of some of the Arafura-class OPV's, that would be one thing.

In general terms, as one shrinks the size of a warship, the vessel tends to lose the properties which enable it to perform adequately in blue water operations. At the same time, the smaller sized vessels with lower displacement also have less "free" space and displacement available to use when fitting weapons, bunkerage, storage for victuals, etc. Again using the German K-130/Braunschweig-class FSG as example, a range of 2,500 n miles @ 15kts is mentioned, but also an endurance of seven days without a tender. To provide some context, that would just about enable a K-130 corvette to transit (@15 kts) from sail from Sydney to Darwin without stopping en route to refuel and resupply, while staying within ~300 km of the eastern Australian coastline. Now for Germany, having such a short endurance would not be much of an issue, since the major nearby waters are the North Sea and Baltic Sea, where a corvette could easily return to a German port to refuel and resupply. A similar situation exists for the majority of other nations which operate advanced corvettes, the corvettes operate largely in littoral waters and could return to port comparatively easily. The situation for a navy like the RAN is quite different however, since port facilities around the Australian coastline can be few and far between. If RAN vessels needed to operate off the shores of some S. Pacific island nation, those already long distances could grow even longer, and the limited port facilities limited even further. If one then adds in RAN vessels needing a reserve of fuel and stores to permit the vessel to be on station for several days or longer...

A vessel like an Arafura-class OPV could potentially manage this better despite being a bit smaller and with a lower displacement because the OPV would have so much less of that displacement taken up by weaponry and munitions, leaving more displacement available for fuel and stores.
Yes all true, but we're not talking about the 90m/1,840t K-130 Braunschweig with a range of 2,500nm, zero ASW capability and zero local area air defence capability. We're talking about a 100m/2,400t corvette with a practically identical weapon and sensor suite to an ANZAC frigate with the same range as a Hobart DDG and an endurance of at least 14 days, which could likely be further bolstered with increased cold storage facilities etc. as was done with the Hobart class. Of all the corvettes in the world it is clear why you would pick the Braunschweig class for comparison, because they're hardly comparable. Why not the Malaysian Kedah class based on the MEKO A-100 with a range of 6,000nm and an endurance of 21 days? Furthermore you have slightly fudged the numbers in several of your posts to seemingly further strengthen your argument. I never said my proposal was right or wrong, it was merely a theoretical proposition, which you are clearly strongly against for solid reasons which is perfectly fine. Yes it certainly doesn't have the space, weight or power reserves for future upgrades as the Hunter's do, but instead i can be in two places instead of one. Is it as acoustically quiet as a Hunter class? probably not depending on the propulsion setup, but it sure as hell presents a smaller radar signature. Does it have SM-2/SM-6? no, but is that crucial for every combatant anyway? Plenty of capable modern combatants in our region without long range AAW, i.e. Talwar, Sovremenny, Type 054A....you name it.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Yes all true, but we're not talking about the 90m/1,840t K-130 Braunschweig with a range of 2,500nm, zero ASW capability and zero local area air defence capability. We're talking about a 100m/2,400t corvette with a practically identical weapon and sensor suite to an ANZAC frigate with the same range as a Hobart DDG and an endurance of at least 14 days, which could likely be further bolstered with increased cold storage facilities etc. as was done with the Hobart class. Of all the corvettes in the world it is clear why you would pick the Braunschweig class for comparison, because they're hardly comparable. Why not the Malaysian Kedah class based on the MEKO A-100 with a range of 6,000nm and an endurance of 21 days? Furthermore you have slightly fudged the numbers in several of your posts to seemingly further strengthen your argument. I never said my proposal was right or wrong, it was merely a theoretical proposition, which you are clearly strongly against for solid reasons which is perfectly fine. Yes it certainly doesn't have the space, weight or power reserves for future upgrades as the Hunter's do, but instead i can be in two places instead of one. Is it as acoustically quiet as a Hunter class? probably not depending on the propulsion setup, but it sure as hell presents a smaller radar signature. Does it have SM-2/SM-6? no, but is that crucial for every combatant anyway? Plenty of capable modern combatants in our region without long range AAW, i.e. Talwar, Sovremenny, Type 054A....you name it.
But a 2,500 tonne , 100 m corvette / OPV is not a FFG with the modern sensors, weapons and C3 / C4 capabilities that the COA require; that is the point. Secondly, is such a capability part of the RAN CONOPS which are determined by the COA? Thirdly, stuffing such a hull with the systems that you suggest will create major stability problems. The RAN ANZAC FFGs currently have stability issues with their current systems fitout. Fourthly, what you suggest would be a major degradation of RAN surface fleet capability and capacity.

If such a capability is desired by the COA, then it will be funded separately from the Hunter class and not at the expense of it. My own suggestion would be something closer to 100 - 120 m length and 3,000 - 3,200 tonnes displacement being more GP rather than being specific. You can getaway with say two 35 mm Millennium guns (1 fore & 1 aft) 6 x ExLS cells for ESSM (=24 ESSM), 8 x Mk 41 tactical length VLS, hangar for Romeo / RPAS, 2 x Mark 32 Surface Vessel Torpedo Tubes, Spike ATGM for FASC etc., and a mission bay for what ever else the RAN / ADF might deem necessary. The ExLS is quite light compared to the Mk-41 and it doesn't penetrate the deck so is agnostic as to placement.
 

JBRobbo

New Member
But a 2,500 tonne , 100 m corvette / OPV is not a FFG with the modern sensors, weapons and C3 / C4 capabilities that the COA require; that is the point. Secondly, is such a capability part of the RAN CONOPS which are determined by the COA? Thirdly, stuffing such a hull with the systems that you suggest will create major stability problems. The RAN ANZAC FFGs currently have stability issues with their current systems fitout. Fourthly, what you suggest would be a major degradation of RAN surface fleet capability and capacity.

If such a capability is desired by the COA, then it will be funded separately from the Hunter class and not at the expense of it. My own suggestion would be something closer to 100 - 120 m length and 3,000 - 3,200 tonnes displacement being more GP rather than being specific. You can getaway with say two 35 mm Millennium guns (1 fore & 1 aft) 6 x ExLS cells for ESSM (=24 ESSM), 8 x Mk 41 tactical length VLS, hangar for Romeo / RPAS, 2 x Mark 32 Surface Vessel Torpedo Tubes, Spike ATGM for FASC etc., and a mission bay for what ever else the RAN / ADF might deem necessary. The ExLS is quite light compared to the Mk-41 and it doesn't penetrate the deck so is agnostic as to placement.
I understand the points that Todjaeger has made and i've been through them before. Again i say it is a THEORETICAL proposition, there are plenty of former high ranking RAN members and ASPI papers that suggest an increase in hull numbers is not only desirable but necessary so i am hardly alone, this was just a proposal that might help alleviate said issues whilst remaining under our current manpower constraints, nothing more.
 

Stampede

Active Member
But a 2,500 tonne , 100 m corvette / OPV is not a FFG with the modern sensors, weapons and C3 / C4 capabilities that the COA require; that is the point. Secondly, is such a capability part of the RAN CONOPS which are determined by the COA? Thirdly, stuffing such a hull with the systems that you suggest will create major stability problems. The RAN ANZAC FFGs currently have stability issues with their current systems fitout. Fourthly, what you suggest would be a major degradation of RAN surface fleet capability and capacity.

If such a capability is desired by the COA, then it will be funded separately from the Hunter class and not at the expense of it. My own suggestion would be something closer to 100 - 120 m length and 3,000 - 3,200 tonnes displacement being more GP rather than being specific. You can getaway with say two 35 mm Millennium guns (1 fore & 1 aft) 6 x ExLS cells for ESSM (=24 ESSM), 8 x Mk 41 tactical length VLS, hangar for Romeo / RPAS, 2 x Mark 32 Surface Vessel Torpedo Tubes, Spike ATGM for FASC etc., and a mission bay for what ever else the RAN / ADF might deem necessary. The ExLS is quite light compared to the Mk-41 and it doesn't penetrate the deck so is agnostic as to placement.
I can understand the appeal of a 2k to 3k tonne ship but their will still be trade off's in capability.
Maybe the question is what level of harms way do you send a ship. If it is to sail with a blue water fleet under the umbrella of the major fleet units it needs to be an asset not a liability to the fleet.
In a high end conflict then ngatimozarts suggestion is probably the minimum in size and load out.
The question still is it an asset or liability?
Others would be better qualified to answer and I would be interested in the feedback
If yes, then maybe reduce the OPV's to 9 and build 3 to 6 such GP frigates.
But please leave the major units as is for a total of twelve destroyers.
I'm mindful these GP Frigates will still be expensive ships
.

Regards S
 

JBRobbo

New Member
Look at the JMSDF? They only have four Kongo's, two Atago's and the future two Maya's equipped with SM-2. Even under my proposal we would still have more Aegis/SM-2 equipped ships than they do (with much less VLS obviously, but that wasn't my decision) and they are sure as hell closer to hostility than we are.
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
I understand the points that Todjaeger has made and i've been through them before. Again i say it is a THEORETICAL proposition, there are plenty of former high ranking RAN members and ASPI papers that suggest an increase in hull numbers is not only desirable but necessary so i am hardly alone, this was just a proposal that might help alleviate said issues whilst remaining under our current manpower constraints, nothing more.
There is a reason why the RAN has selected platforms with increased lethality, better survivability and greater endurance than the corvettes described in the posts above.

Platforms aren’t chosen on a whim or according to the flavour of the month, they are chosen to comply with the ADFs “Future Maritime Operating Concept 2025” which describes the Joint OPCONs for the Maritime domain.
I have linked the Unrestricted version and it’s a 24 page doc but one of the most relevant paragraphs states, “the Enduring protection of a maritime force describes its ability to defend against attack, survive the damage inflicted by the attack and subsequently counter attack. The employment of each maritime force element (ship) within the maritime JTF determines its capability requirements for each of these three aspects of Enduring Protection. Enduring Protection asserts that every maritime force element must have a level of survivability and self protection against a threshold set of threats and must contribute to a layered approach to force protection and the preservation of maritime combat power within the future maritime JTG.”

It’s a motherhood statement but all future acquisitions must comply with the principles described within. If read it may prevent many of the left field proposals often sought for inclusion into the RAN or any of the ADF maritime theatre participants.

http://www.navy.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/FMOC_2025_Unclassified.pdf
 

JBRobbo

New Member
I can understand the appeal of a 2k to 3k tonne ship but their will still be trade off's in capability.
Maybe the question is what level of harms way do you send a ship. If it is to sail with a blue water fleet under the umbrella of the major fleet units it needs to be an asset not a liability to the fleet.
In a high end conflict then ngatimozarts suggestion is probably the minimum in size and load out.
The question still is it an asset or liability?
Others would be better qualified to answer and I would be interested in the feedback
If yes, then maybe reduce the OPV's to 9 and build 3 to 6 such GP frigates.
But please leave the major units as is for a total of twelve destroyers.
I'm mindful these GP Frigates will still be expensive ships
.

Regards S
Have you not read any of the previous posts? You have added zero whilst repeating everything previously said more or less, then suggesting the same?
 

JBRobbo

New Member
On a different note, Todjaeger, Ngatimozart and Assail, do you think later batches of the Hunter's will have another 16-48-cell Ml41 VLS in place or partial place of the mission bay?
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Have you not read any of the previous posts? You have added zero whilst repeating everything previously said more or less, then suggesting the same?
@JBRobbo I'll give you the benefit of the doubt because you're a newbie here, but this time only. BLUE TAGs indicate members who are verified defence professionals so do have some familiarity with what they are talking about. Secondly Stampede has been a long term member of some standing here who is reasonably knowledgeable upon defence matters. Thirdly, if you start coming the raw prawn here you will be sailing into dangerous waters and the Moderators get real grumpy with posters who have raw prawn attitudes.

Why Stampede is "repeating the same" is because that what the GOTD has determined will be the RAN FFG fleet. We also do not tolerate fantasy fleets or discussions and inevitably that is where theoretical discussions lead.
 

hairyman

Member
I have been thinking along the lines of Corvettes for the RAN. But of higher priority I would think would be the addition of numbers to our larger ships. An idea would be for the first two or three Hunter class to be enlarged and with additional weapons to DDG status, but keep the Hunter numbers to nine. Thus increasing the fleet to 14/15 surface combatants. If things get nasty in our area I believe the extra ships would be needed.
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
I thought I might post this to the RNZAF thread for ngati to feel warm and smug but decided to post here so Spaz could turn apoplectic.

This is the fate of fixed wing in the RANFAA, all due to a decision made by the Hawke government and led by Bomber Beasley whom I admire greatly but not for this decision.

 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
I understand the points that Todjaeger has made and i've been through them before. Again i say it is a THEORETICAL proposition, there are plenty of former high ranking RAN members and ASPI papers that suggest an increase in hull numbers is not only desirable but necessary so i am hardly alone, this was just a proposal that might help alleviate said issues whilst remaining under our current manpower constraints, nothing more.
I am honestly left with the impression that some of the points I have been trying to make have not been understood.

Yes all true, but we're not talking about the 90m/1,840t K-130 Braunschweig with a range of 2,500nm, zero ASW capability and zero local area air defence capability. We're talking about a 100m/2,400t corvette with a practically identical weapon and sensor suite to an ANZAC frigate with the same range as a Hobart DDG and an endurance of at least 14 days, which could likely be further bolstered with increased cold storage facilities etc. as was done with the Hobart class. Of all the corvettes in the world it is clear why you would pick the Braunschweig class for comparison, because they're hardly comparable. Why not the Malaysian Kedah class based on the MEKO A-100 with a range of 6,000nm and an endurance of 21 days? Furthermore you have slightly fudged the numbers in several of your posts to seemingly further strengthen your argument. I never said my proposal was right or wrong, it was merely a theoretical proposition, which you are clearly strongly against for solid reasons which is perfectly fine. Yes it certainly doesn't have the space, weight or power reserves for future upgrades as the Hunter's do, but instead i can be in two places instead of one. Is it as acoustically quiet as a Hunter class? probably not depending on the propulsion setup, but it sure as hell presents a smaller radar signature. Does it have SM-2/SM-6? no, but is that crucial for every combatant anyway? Plenty of capable modern combatants in our region without long range AAW, i.e. Talwar, Sovremenny, Type 054A....you name it.
Actually, we are not discussing a corvette as described above, because it ignores several realities. None of the information publicly available (at least that I could find) provides any sort of weapons load out, sea keeping ability, endurance, etc.

The information available so far is why types of flexible roles the vessel is anticipated as being capable of performing, the number (10) standard TEU mission modules, the overall length and beam, displacement, range @15 kts, max speed and crew size, hangar able to take a 12 tonne helicopter or UAV, and possibly a few other comparatively minor specs that I have forgotten to list.

Unfortunately this lack of more specific information means that we do not know what the mission modules are, and therefore we do not know their individual and collective capabilities. So far, while the Danes seem to have done a good job developing their StanFlex mission modules, the word which comes to my mind when describing the mission modules for the USN's LCS programme sounds similar to "flustercuck". Since the mission modules listed by Saab are based on standard TEU, they sound more like what the LCS mission modules were originally planned to be, before reality struck.

Now for an injection of reality. One cannot simply take the weapons, electronics and combat system fitout out of a 3,600+ tonne vessel and cram it into another vessel which is ~18 m shorter, 1 m shallower draught, and displaces ~1,400 tonnes less, having half the crew and get a vessel which has a comparable level of sea keeping and combat performance as the original 3,600 tonne vessel.

As for why I used a K-130 as an example, I did so because several of the Flex Patrol 98 performance parameters which are available are the same or comparable to the K-130, while others are different but not grossly so. The two corvettes are listed with the same max speed, 26 kts, and both have published ranges when transiting at 15 kts, these ranges are 5,000 n miles for the Flex Patrol 98, and 4,000 n miles for the K-130. Given the lower displacement and smaller dimensions of a K-130 when compared to a Flex Patrol 98, it seems a safe assumption that the amount of fuel required for a K-130 to transit those 4,000 n miles @15 kts is going to be less than a Flex Patrol 98 would require to transit 5,000 n miles @15 kts. After all there is less mass to move, and less surface area to displace water through. Now could I have used the Malaysian Kedah-class OPV as an example instead? Certainly I could have, since the size and potential armament is comparable. Which sort of gets at my point, a 76 mm main gun, some AShM, and a 21-cell RAM launcher is not as capable (by a significant margin) as that of an ANZAC-class frigate with a 127 mm main gun, AShM, LWT's, and 32 ESSM which has a considerably greater engagement envelope than RAM. The original theoretical proposal was to replace some of the Hunter-class frigates which themselves are intended to be significantly more capable than the ANZAC-class, with twice the number of corvettes.

One of the major points which I have been trying, and apparently repeatedly failing at making, is what sort of combat systems a corvette could realistically expect to fit while also having the published range, dimensions and displacement. Again, the suggested 2,400 ton (~2,200 tonnes) corvette has a displacement slightly more than 60% of an ANZAC-class frigate, which will have a tremendous impact on the quantity and capability of fitted systems when compared to one of the currently upgraded FFH's. In order to properly evaluate the proposed idea, one needs to look at what actual capabilities the corvette would really be able to have, and then see whether those capabilities fit within the RAN/ADF conops, and whether they could substitute the capabilities to be provided by Hunter-class frigates. A theoretical discussion does no one any good if a significant portion of the starting premise is wrong, and so far that seems to be the case here.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I thought I might post this to the RNZAF thread for ngati to feel warm and smug but decided to post here so Spaz could turn apoplectic.

This is the fate of fixed wing in the RANFAA, all due to a decision made by the Hawke government and led by Bomber Beasley whom I admire greatly but not for this decision.
No feeling warm and smug on my part because about 14 years later the same thing happened in NZ. :mad:
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
I would rather we go the other way. An all cruiser surface combatant fleet. Lengthen the Hunters ~10m pushing them up to 10,000t. Providing space for more VLS, more sensors, more command and embarked, more flexibility, more power, more range.

The ANZACs are at the very limit of what is capable in a smaller hull. We already have those. A less capable Corrvette some 500-1000t lighter doesn't seem to solve any of our problems. We also have the OPV comming up, at ~1700t. So its a pretty small niche to hit with a corvette. As we consolidate roles with the OPV coming on line it is possible we could make a batch of some improved OPV's. Suitable for heavy piracy, amphibious insertion etc. But are we better off rolling that into more Hunters.
 
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hauritz

Well-Known Member
I would rather we go the other way. An all cruiser surface combatant fleet. Lengthen the Hunters ~10m pushing them up to 10,000t. Providing space for more VLS, more sensors, more command and embarked, more flexibility, more power, more range.

The ANZACs are at the very limit of what is capable in a smaller hull. We already have those. A less capable Corrvette some 500-1000t lighter doesn't seem to solve any of our problems. We also have the OPV comming up, at ~1700t. So its a pretty small niche to hit with a corvette. As we consolidate roles with the OPV coming on line it is possible we could make a batch of some improved OPV's. Suitable for heavy piracy, amphibious insertion etc. But are we better off rolling that into more Hunters.
I can see Australia eventually going down the corvette route however probably not until the Arafura class fall due for replacement. I am guessing the hull life for the Arafura will be around 20 years so Australia will start looking around for a replacement around the late thirties early forties which will be around the same time our region will be crawling with Chinese submarines and Aircraft carriers.

In the shorter term I think the Arafura will be adequate for the sorts of missions it will be expected to undertake.

I think something to consider is that the Arafura will also have a sizable aft deck and the ability to launch and recover AUVs, ROVs, USVs and UAVs. Add to that the 9LV combat management system and you already have the makings of a pretty capable little warship.
 
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hauritz

Well-Known Member
The February issue of DTR magazine has an article on the options for the pacific support ship.

There is also an article on the USMC interest in the 70m Stern Landing Vessel (SLV) by Australian company Sea Transport Solutions. The vessel has a 1,650t cargo capacity and area for 9 Abrams and 3 LAV-25s.

Defence Technology Review : DTR FEB 2019, Page 1
There hasn't been a whole lot of released information about the Pacific Support Ship but if this article is anything to go by then it seems that it could tie in with Australia's seemingly abandoned plans to replace the LCHs. Having said that I think something like the LST 120 is just too small.

The more I think about it the more I believe that maybe the Choules would be the quickest and easiest option. Perhaps just transfer the Choules to the fulltime HADR role and replace it with a more capable ship for the navy's strategic sealift role.
 
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