Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
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.
At 3,600 tonnes or ~4,000 tons, the ANZAC-class FFH is about 1,600 tons greater than the suggested corvette. That would strongly suggest a fairly significant capability gap between the two. I agree that further improvements to the ANZAC-class would be difficult to accomplish, partially due to the size and displacement, but also due to the layout. If the MEKO 200 design used had the Mk 41 VLS located immediately aft of the 127 mm gun firing from the same deck level instead of immediately aft of the funnels and two decks higher up, then there would likely have been less stability and topweight issues.

If the OPV's are going to end up getting tasked with more of the pointy ended constabulary missions than just EEZ and anti-SIEV patrolling then armaments and defences more substantial than a 40 mm gun and some M2's are going to be required. However, that would still fall well short of an OPV or corvette being adequate to screen/escort high value and/or civilian shipping that could be subject to targeting by hostile aerial, surface, and/or subsurface threats, which is what the current major warship fleet is intended to do.
 

seaspear

Active Member
There are a number of suggestions on larger ships that could be used for the constabulary roles if I understand this correctly , but the Arafura class has a complement of forty ,a larger vessel would usually have a larger complement , The navy I expect would prefer to use small warships for these roles than larger expensive ones .
There could be an argument for some corvette sized vessels for more involved naval duties ,but a small production run could be expensive and hard to justify as a priority
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
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.
The DTR article tended to concentrate heavily on the Disaster Relef missions and while it is very important the RAN seems to have enough resources to be able to handle the times they have been called out and it only happens once every 2-3 years at most. I think the Pacific Support Ship is going to be a lot more then that, I suspect it will have considerable Medical facilities, a decent capability to put Engineering eqpt ashore to be able to carry out Construction Projects, Road Building, Schools, Medical Facilities etc on the more remote Islands where the local Government don’t have the capacity to do it themselves.
It will have no Warfighting capability at all, no Weapons, no CMS, probably won’t even be Painted Gray. Probably built to Commercial standards and in a Shooting War would be designated and used as a Hospital Ship
 

FormerDirtDart

Active 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
For gods sake man. It is possible to post a link to the articles page, so one doesn't have to go searching for them.

'US Marines eye Australian landing vessel design'

'Pacific Patrol Ship To Be On Call For Regional Duty'

Funny thing. When I stumbled on the USMC SLV article while searching for Land 400 vehicle numbers from the link over on the Australian Army thread I immediately thought of the Balikpapan replacements. Only to stumble onto the Pacific Support Ship article 4 pages later.
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
I can see an OPV being used for anti-piracy, and in areas with more security issues, like patrolling around Indonesia/Malaysia, the Arabian gulf. In that kind of mission, on top of the 40mm (which you may want to move to 57 or 76) you would want to embark a helicopter and a UAV(camcopter), mount some mini-typhoons and perhaps a CIWS like Phalanx. Maxing it out with some harpoon.

But that would be it. I don't see the mission for a corvette as such. Anything they are going to come in contact with is going to be big blue water stuff. They don't have the persistence to give Australia significant patrolling range, and corvette level firepower isn't going to be relevant in SEA out side of a friendlies EEZ, and even then within the EEZ, if its contested, probably not enough.

As for the Pacific ship. I feel that the SLV is a bit too much of just an amphibious landing ship. But would be quite good in a roll replacing the LCH. For the pacific ship I think something like the LST120 (or LST100 or LST80) would be much closer to the mark. Crew of 22 is very do able.. Being able to operate a helicopter I think is useful, thinking about the damage after tropical storms, airlifting, dropping food/medical supplies to remote villages etc. Its probably big enough to have an X-ray machine, ultrasound, some basic sample testing. Can embark 330, but I would imagine it would probably be reconfigured to offer improved medical so maybe just <250 people, but you could then offer a 4-6 bed ward maybe an operating theatre maybe 2 consult rooms. Like the medical facilitates off the larger enforcer designs (role 2+). Having the space enclosed means it can be used for multiple purposes as well, not just hauling equipment.

You could set up a proper carpentry workshop to pre-fab construction, or beach the whole ship and make it a walk in hospital, people can get checked/treated for parasites/common diseases, or whatever.

ASPI had a piece on gaps in the NSP, particularly with small ships.
Is this the near future of Australian naval shipbuilding? | The Strategist

A LST120 would go a long way to plugging that. Similar displacement to the OPV's would be doable at Henderson. Would be a useful ship. Don't know if I would use the word large to describe it. But certainly going below 120m would be getting pretty small.
 
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76mmGuns

Member
Australia currently sends ANZACS to do anti piracy and drug interdiction work. I've noted a few articles saying that Australia should stop doing that, as we need the ANZACs closer to home, and they are overkill for police work.

In the next 15 years, we will have the Arafura's and Hunter's. Has there been any talk in perhaps building a few more Arafura's so they can go to the Middle East , and we keep the Hunter's and Hobart's for higher end work? Or will the RAN still send the Hobart's/Hunter's for anti piracy work? Arafura's really do seem perfect for that type of work.
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
Australia currently sends ANZACS to do anti piracy and drug interdiction work. I've noted a few articles saying that Australia should stop doing that, as we need the ANZACs closer to home, and they are overkill for police work.

In the next 15 years, we will have the Arafura's and Hunter's. Has there been any talk in perhaps building a few more Arafura's so they can go to the Middle East , and we keep the Hunter's and Hobart's for higher end work? Or will the RAN still send the Hobart's/Hunter's for anti piracy work? Arafura's really do seem perfect for that type of work.
I suspect it will depend on the area of operations and what those potential conditions are. Given the present state of portions of the Mideast, I would not consider one of the FFH's to be "overkill" for the area. For actual operations against some of the pirate groups/motherships that have operated off the Horn of Africa and into the Indian Ocean coverage by 20 mm to 40 mm guns should be fine. However if one is passing by portions of the Yemen coast, I would certainly want some air defence capability given the conflict there coupled with the presence of land-based AShM which Houthi rebels have been known to launch at shipping.

In circumstances like that, while the constabulary work does not require air defence capabilities, the security environment of the region can. Personally I think the Hobart-class should be kept closer to Australia when not deployed as part of a multi-ship task force simply because the RAN will only have three of them. By keeping them close to Australia whenever possible, should something arise where the RAN needs to send a task force somewhere requiring area air defence, a destroyer would likely be close at hand or could be more easily re-tasked to act as a task force member.
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
I believe the general feeling is you need something helicopter capable and able to embark a helo. So it will be Anzacs then followed by Hunters.

An Arafura fitted with a telescopic hangar, mini-typhoons, maybe a CIWS phalanx, embarking a an AS350 and a camcopter I would have thought, again ideal. Not just for the M.E, but also for the hairier spots of SEA or off Africa.

Even if its not an every day thing, but only when the hunters are pressed in to more high end services.

I see HMAS Hobart had some practice in enforcing EEZ and constabulary duties in the bass straight recently.

 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
The OPVs could cope with Indian Ocean anti piracy patrols and drug intercepts. In fact they’re probably better equipped with the 12 metre centre launched RHIB provided the had a UAV embarked.
However, the plan is to use them closer to home with the occasional soirée further afield.
My gut feel is that the focus on our Pacific neighbours may see then used on quite long duration patrols into the Pacific, at least that’s what I would plan it I had input into the fleet programme.
 

spoz

The Bunker Group
Must have been last year, or maybe even 2017. Bass Strait, or the EAXA? She was in Hobart for the Regatta last year, and visited Adelaide in April.
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Must have been last year, or maybe even 2017. Bass Strait, or the EAXA? She was in Hobart for the Regatta last year, and visited Adelaide in April.
It was before commissioning on the delivery transit from Adelaide to FBE.
They were tying to conduct some test 5” firings and needed a clear range.
 

Stampede

Active 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
Thanks for the link
An interesting design.
I'm interested as to the propulsion set up.
I take it that there is some type of water jet system that can be utilised forward and aft.
I've had a search for SLV's to find some graphics of the system but have had no success.
Would be interested to know more about the concept and how it works.
Any assistance always appreciated.

Regards S
 

oldsig127

Well-Known Member
I've had a search for SLV's to find some graphics of the system but have had no success.
Would be interested to know more about the concept and how it works.
Any assistance always appreciated.

Regards S
I'm sure that this has been posted previously but I can't find it, so apologise in advance if late to the party. Youtube, but sourced from the designer's website


oldsig
 

Stampede

Active Member
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.

The Damen LST 120 often comes up in conversation.
I'm just wondering how practical are vessels of this size for landing and extracting at will form a beach.
This design is for a large ship, not dissimilar to the former HMAS Tobruk and other such LST's utilised around the world.
I understand that in Tobruk's 30 year service life, actual beach landings were more of a special occurrence rather than a regular event.
If as alluded in the article a large LST type ship may be considered for the Pacific Support Ship Role, I really wonder if such a vessel by itself is appropriate to land and support a disaster zone.
Tobruk certainly gave the ADF sterling service so I appreciate it's wonderful logistic capacity for a ship of it's size.
Maybe thinking that a well dock and helicopter platform with hangar would be the preferred way to go for the PSS.
Still interested in the ability or not of parking big things on beaches.


Regards s
 
The Damen LST 120 often comes up in conversation.
I'm just wondering how practical are vessels of this size for landing and extracting at will form a beach.
To open up the issue you raise further, my understanding was that the WW2 versions of these ships only had a certain number of landings in them. After that the accumulated damage from grounding the ship on unprepared surfaces rendered them unsatisfactory for further service. Now these were built and operated in a condition of a war emergency.

I don't doubt that both the design concept and OP have matured, but surely every landing of a large ship carries with it the risk of damage from an unsurveyed obstacle or stress inducing terrain at the very least. In an exersise, it may well be the case that the LZ is carefully surveyed first. But this can hardly happen in an opposed landing or - more relevantly - even after a disaster where the water may be turgid and strewn with debris.

No doubt, there are people on this forum who would have more live experience with these issues.
 

foxdemon

Member
We also do not tolerate fantasy fleets or discussions and inevitably that is where theoretical discussions lead.
So no talk about 15,000 ton nuclear powered cruisers armed with maser arrays in the megawatt range?

Defence pro response: “Only what you see, pal”.


On the subject of frigates, has anyone commented on this article yet?

‘You’re on your own’: US sealift can’t count on Navy escorts in the next big war


It seems there is a serious lack of capacity in escorts. Now, some are talking about Australia going it alone but realistically any major war in the region will involved multinational cooperation. It would be helping to fill this escort short fall that the RAN’s frigates and replenishment vessels would make a useful contribution to the collective effort.

With 9 frigates and 3 replenishment vessels, 3 escort groups could be formed. That would be one escort group available at a time. If the New Zealand navy had 3 frigates and a replenishment vessel, and the Canadian navy could have 6 frigates and 2 replenishment vessels in the Pacific, there would be 6 such groups. If we added 18 USN FFG(X) and 6 more replenishment vessels, there would be 12 escort groups, or 4 at sea. That would be closer to what is needed.

Reinforced with some AWDs, these groups would cover amphibious task groups.

To look at it another way, America would probably have 6 of their carriers in the Pacific. Possible 3 dozen Arleigh Burke destroyers. In a major war, that would be the core of the main battle fleet. Typically it could only be in one or two places at once. It would be those frigate flotillas doing most of the sea control stuff. Capital ships tend to be concentrated.

The Japanese navy has 4 SAGs, as I understand it. They sit half way between an escort group and a fleet carrier strike group. I think they would be fully occupied trying to escort supply ships to and from Japan, given Japan has the same weakness as the UK in respect to vulnerability to sea interdiction.

So for countries like Australia and NZ, it is building up frigate groups that would be most helpful by freeing up the more powerful ships to fight fleet actions. This is why we need all 9 type 26 frigates (and NZ needs 3 frigates).
 

spoz

The Bunker Group
It was before commissioning on the delivery transit from Adelaide to FBE.
They were tying to conduct some test 5” firings and needed a clear range.
All firings were conducted after commissioning (policy not to do any beforehand when the ship was being operated by a civilian crew), so if that’s what they were doing they’re in the EAXA and the guys in the boat shouldn’t have been there, even if the ship’s on Beecroft. Range clearance is normally done with a helo, so it’s a bit surpring they didn’t see that first, although maybe it saw them and that’s why the close approach.
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
All firings were conducted after commissioning (policy not to do any beforehand when the ship was being operated by a civilian crew), so if that’s what they were doing they’re in the EAXA and the guys in the boat shouldn’t have been there, even if the ship’s on Beecroft. Range clearance is normally done with a helo, so it’s a bit surpring they didn’t see that first, although maybe it saw them and that’s why the close approach.
The fishing boat had come from Lakes Entrance and I can’t remember how far South the EAXA comes but I didn’t think it came that far.

What the video shows however is just how ignorant the yobo recreational fishers are in general. I would have thought a radio operators licence was mandatory and that electronic charts (if they were using them) would show the restricted areas.
These numbnuts had no idea other than go and drag fish out of the ocean.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
Considering that our manpower pool is likely to remain somewhat constant and a limiting factor in acquiring more vessels, perhaps reducing the Hunter class build from nine to six and using the 540+ crew envisioned for those three vessels to crew a fleet of smaller combatants like Saab's stealthy steel/composite next generation corvette/FlexPatrol-98 would be a better solution. With each requiring a complement of just 80, this would enable three additional surface combatants (15) in the water with a new class of six multirole patrol corvettes that would fill a niche between the Arafura class OPV's and Hunter class FFG's- being able to support up to 10x containerized mission modules with a large mission bay and stern ramp similar to the OPV's for mine countermeasures, survey, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief etc. whilst at the same time possessing near identical warfighting capabilities as the AMCAP upgraded ANZAC class FFH. The design also seems well suited to our geographic requirements with a range of 5,000nmi+ @ 15kts as opposed to similar concepts like the littoral combat ships whilst its carbon-fibre superstructure would go a long way in reducing the top-weight issues found in small combatants such as the ANZAC's. Just a thought.


The next generation Corvette | Multi-mission advantage | Saab
https://saabgroup.com/globalassets/...ad-2017/saabnavalsolutions_brief_laad_eng.pdf
Numbers of hulls are important but not at the expense of large escorts such as the Hunter class.

I wouldn't want to see Australia go down the British path of trading off large escorts for less capable ships.

I think a new class of corvette is inevitable but probably more as a direct replacement for the Arafura class sometime in the late 30s early 40s. Every new generation of patrol vessel has been larger and more capable than its predecessor and I don't see that trend changing any time soon.

Also our defence force is becoming more networked with just about every surface ship and aircraft more or less part of an integrated kill chain regardless of whether or not it is actually armed itself. The only advantage I can see with an armed corvette was if the mission was time critical and no other assets were available.
 

OldNavy63

Member
The fishing boat had come from Lakes Entrance and I can’t remember how far South the EAXA comes but I didn’t think it came that far.

What the video shows however is just how ignorant the yobo recreational fishers are in general. I would have thought a radio operators licence was mandatory and that electronic charts (if they were using them) would show the restricted areas.
These numbnuts had no idea other than go and drag fish out of the ocean.
Had Hobart launched a RHIB the yobs would have pulled up their hoodies, declared they’d “done nuthin” and were just waiting for a mate!
 
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