Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates

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Morgo

Active Member
Some potentially troubling news out of PNG.

High-profile defections in PNG Parliament

Looks like a change of government is on the cards, with the new lot having some potential grievances with Australia (Oil Search deal, Manus Island detainees).

Hopefully DFAT is on the ball and defuses any broader fallout. Would not want this to impact the Lombrum redevelopment plans or give the PRC a broader opening to influence PNG.
 

spoz

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Doesn’t make a lot of sense, the T22s and Dutch Ls were completed in the mid-late 80s, so are not that much older than the FFGs - but who said it had to?
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Doesn’t make a lot of sense, the T22s and Dutch Ls were completed in the mid-late 80s, so are not that much older than the FFGs - but who said it had to?
But when did they last get a major Refit? remembering the 2 Adelaides went through the FFGUP last decade, it’s that Refit that has people seriously looking at them.
And Chile doesn’t have the funds to go Brand new, Chile is very experienced at taking on 2nd hand Ships and getting a few more years out of them.
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
In the case of both the submarine and frigate programs the build process will be spread over such a long period that constant redesign work would need to be done anyway. I expect that 20 years from now we will have quite substantial in-house design capability and the next step could be designing our own equipment rather than buying off the shelf.
I feel this is the way of the future. Australia's needs aren't exactly the same as others, and we have now committed to 3 continuous naval programs. Tech isn't static. We need to evolve as we build.

I actually think Australia's arrangement is quite tight and reflects learned lessons from the Collins, AWD and other builds. I hope it delivers.

Also I don't think Hulls date as badly as people believe. If they meet the requirements for speed, volume, stability and are able to provision your weapons etc there is no real need to go out get clean sheet a design for your hull.

The Americans are able to fit quite a lot of anti-air capability into a 150m long 20+m wide ~8000+t hull. I imagine they type 26 would be quite a fearsome platform if it became a bit more specialised, loosing some flex space and replacing it with additional weapons systems.
And Chile doesn’t have the funds to go Brand new, Chile is very experienced at taking on 2nd hand Ships and getting a few more years out of them.
Glad Chile is getting them, another pacific nation. I think they are a good match for Chile, they should get many good years of service out of them. Parts for FFG's are widely available and will continue for many years.

Some potentially troubling news out of PNG.
I am pessimistic about PNG. I think we will have some major stabilization activity there in the next 5 years. We should be provisioning the Navy and Army to meet this requirement. Security of PNG is absolutely critical for the security of Australia and the region.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
I am pessimistic about PNG. I think we will have some major stabilization activity there in the next 5 years. We should be provisioning the Navy and Army to meet this requirement. Security of PNG is absolutely critical for the security of Australia and the region.
I spent a week in Port Moresby about twenty years ago. It was a dangerous place then and from what I have heard it hasn't gotten any better. It isn't just PNG either ... there is an arc of island nations from PNG through toTonga all with various degrees of political stability and ripe to be exploited by outside forces.
 

vonnoobie

Well-Known Member
Doesn’t make a lot of sense, the T22s and Dutch Ls were completed in the mid-late 80s, so are not that much older than the FFGs - but who said it had to?
Chilean Navy interested in the Adelaide-class frigates - Naval News

The Adelaide's will actually be a direct replacement for the Dutch L class frigates.

I imagine that the Dutch ships have not had any major work done and I have not been able to find any sources on Dutch upgrades before the sale so the Dutch ships are effectively 33 year old ships (From commission date) to fill an AD role using old tech while the 2 Adelaide's are 27 and 28 years respectively with an upgrade finished in the last decade.

That said local Chile new's does report while there is government interest and they are getting teams to look them over that they are still looking at the M class. Would say they are hedging the bets on which ships they can get the best bang for their buck.

La Armada de Chile interesada en buques de la clase Adelaida -noticia defensa.com - Noticias Defensa defensa.com Chile
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
I spent a week in Port Moresby about twenty years ago. It was a dangerous place then and from what I have heard it hasn't gotten any better. It isn't just PNG either ... there is an arc of island nations from PNG through toTonga all with various degrees of political stability and ripe to be exploited by outside forces.
Agree, it's certainly a region that's on the radar.
Too bad we don't have some OPV's and LCH's TODAY.
What's the chance of changing the manufacturing drum beat of one Arafura class a year to one a week?

Regards S
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
From this weekends Australian.
NoCookies | The Australian
For those who can't get through the paywall here is an abridged version.
How Hunter frigates will ride on wake of British experience

The first of the Royal Australian Navy’s nine Hunter-class future frigates will enter service about 2029-31, and the $35 billion program has had an encouraging start.

This incorporates allowable profit margins, other terms and conditions, the acquisition of long lead material and detailed scope for design and engineering work necessary to allow prototyping to commence in 2020 and to ensure steel is cut on the first ship in 2022.

BAES is focusing on design changes necessary for the Hunter class to accommodate Australian-specific systems. These include the Aegis combat system, Standard SM-2 Block IIIA/B and Evolved Seasparrow (ESSM) anti-air missiles, the Australian-developed CEAFAR2 active phased array radar, a new tactical interface, and the MH-60R naval combat helicopter.

“BAES’s job is to supply the entire ship and they have Lockheed Martin Australia and Saab as combat system integration partners to help them with that task,” says Paddy Fitzpatrick, assistant secretary ship acquisition — surface combatants in Defence’s Capability and Sustainment Group.

“Sea 5000 is running about five years behind the UK’s Type 26 program — enough time to allow us to learn from their process, and apply lessons learned to our own,” Fitzpatrick says.

“Australia doesn’t want the first Hunter to be a first-of-class ship. By the time the first Hunter enters service, there will be at least three de-risked [experience-tested] Type 26s in service with the Royal Navy.”

The new shipyard, being built adjacent to the existing Air Warfare Destroyer construction yard and leased to ASCS, will be completed by March 2020.

BAES Australia will move into the new facility in July 2020 and start prototyping activity in December of that year. Five prototype blocks (sections) will be built in total.

“Initially we’d like them to build the same block that they’ve built before for the UK Type 26. They know all the problems with it, they know exact widths, they know how to train the relevant people, they know the hours it takes to build, and the costs,” CASG’s Fitzpatrick says.

“I think it’ll take somewhere between 22 and 24 months to train the workforce, build the practice blocks, qualify the yard, and ensure all the systems are operational and fully reliable before we actually construct the initial block for the first-of-type. That would commence in December 2022.”

The first of the Hunter class should be launched between 2027-28 and enter service between 2029-31.

The ships are initially planned to be built on a two-year interval, culminating with the possibility of 18 months between later ships. The last ship is expected to enter service in 2044-46.

Looking ahead, fulfilling the government’s objective of continuous build would require work to start on the ensuing program after the completion of Ship Seven given that the yard will accommodate three ships in production at the same time.

“By the time we’ve delivered the last of the Hunter class we’ll already be in build of ships one and two of whatever will replace the air warfare destroyers,” Stewart says.
Obviously it would be nice if construction were to be bought forward a few years but it sounds like they are taking a much more cautious approach. It also means the Anzacs could be soldiering on into the 2040s










 

rossfrb_1

Member
I spent a week in Port Moresby about twenty years ago. It was a dangerous place then and from what I have heard it hasn't gotten any better. It isn't just PNG either ... there is an arc of island nations from PNG through toTonga all with various degrees of political stability and ripe to be exploited by outside forces.
I used to go regularly - haven't been for 10 years but have afriend who has a business there - it's much much worse now.
Strategic location, corrupt government, disenfranchised poor population and throw all that LNG into the mix as well which has resulted in high cost of living that the locals have no way of (legally) affording. The wantok system is about the only thing keeping it together.
rb
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
What's the chance of changing the manufacturing drum beat of one Arafura class a year to one a week?
Its not like we aren't building anything. We have started deliveries of the Guardian-class patrol boat - Wikipedia (dec 2018). 5 are due for delivery this year. Also it looks like they might be armed too.

What may seem like a lull currently is just Australia frantically building ship yards and tooling up for the new projects. There is no option to accelerate those in the near/medium term.

Lots of people have serious worries about PNG. One of the big issues is that its a big nation with a big population. the kind of operations we do with Samoa, Solomons, Fiji won't work there. Not by ourselves. lombrum naval base will be one of those key points to help keep stability in the area.
 

76mmGuns

Active Member
Australia's naval shipbuilding plan is a good one, one I hope continues past 2050. The problem I have with it is a personal one- I might not be alive before we see the full restructured navy of 12 Hunters , 12 subs, 12 Arafura's. To be honest, it's quite slow, though it is well thought out given our realities. I mean, the Italians launched a LHD (The Trieste) in 17 months. ( I know, we are still building our shipbuilding infrastructure, while the Italians are a big shipbuilder ). It would be nice that we can reach a stage where we can do similar things too.

On a separate issue, the Pacific Islands have asked the US for more involvement. Perhaps they could send out some of those LCS for presence.

Pacific Island Nations Want More U.S. Engagement - USNI News
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Australia's naval shipbuilding plan is a good one, one I hope continues past 2050. The problem I have with it is a personal one- I might not be alive before we see the full restructured navy of 12 Hunters , 12 subs, 12 Arafura's. To be honest, it's quite slow, though it is well thought out given our realities. I mean, the Italians launched a LHD (The Trieste) in 17 months. ( I know, we are still building our shipbuilding infrastructure, while the Italians are a big shipbuilder ). It would be nice that we can reach a stage where we can do similar things too.

On a separate issue, the Pacific Islands have asked the US for more involvement. Perhaps they could send out some of those LCS for presence.

Pacific Island Nations Want More U.S. Engagement - USNI News
Just as a comparison to the “Trieste” to Launch
Canberra 23/9/09-17/2/11
Adelaide 18/2/11-4/7/12
But of course without the Island.
 

Gjwai

New Member
Agree, it's certainly a region that's on the radar.
Too bad we don't have some OPV's and LCH's TODAY.
What's the chance of changing the manufacturing drum beat of one Arafura class a year to one a week?

Regards S
I totally get you, but joking aside, there is enough latent plate-forming and steel cutting capacity in the Perth metro area to handle more than twice the current drumbeat on the WA builds, without impacting other industry sectors. They'll obviously take their time on the first WA build though. I'm sure ASC could pulverise the schedule in SA, if they needed to.

I work for a specialist steel plate cold-forming company in the Perth metro area, which would (hopefully) be supporting Civmec, through Luerssen, with some of the formed components. I'm not allowed to discuss certain things, but from what I've seen, the steelwork at least, even on a crazy tight deadline won't be the critical path.

If they follow the Luerssen Germany model of having their primary site, augmented by many smaller operators (which is what Luerssen is telling us will happen and what we are hearing from the SME's) we could see industry knocking out Arafura 'kits' for Civmec assembly like Liberty ships. The forming does not appear difficult, there are a lot of straight lines - and better bends mean easier welds and less rework.

Once the first WA build is afloat and passes acceptance, Civmec will have a point to prove to Austal Defence Industry and potential export customers - and they will crank them out as fast as Defence will permit. You can guarantee they will want to knock these out faster than the Guardian drumbeat.

It will be a revelation.
(A good one, I hope).
 

oldsig127

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
I mean, the Italians launched a LHD (The Trieste) in 17 months. ( I know, we are still building our shipbuilding infrastructure, while the Italians are a big shipbuilder ). It would be nice that we can reach a stage where we can do similar things too.
That's 17 months between laying the keel block and launching the ship. Once the Hunter class line is in full swing the intention is for a two year cycle with the potential to accelerate that will be close to the same drumbeat

A good bit of this discussion about how slowly the project seems to be going could be stopped if people read the various published documents through fully. The delay before starting is to allow the building of some "training blocks" to qualify their procedures and train the workforce

AWD build yields lessons for Hunter-class - Australian Defence Magazine

Then the first Hunter is supposed to take ~5 years (2022-2027) because as lead ship she will be a prototype. The CoA expects her in service in the late 2020s. The next two ships will be at a longer period than the full production drumbeat because, well, there's not much point building a prototype to get the bugs out and having two more ships on the line with the same deficiencies to rectify. Patience padawan.

SEA5000PH1_FutureFrigates | Capability Acquisition and Sustainment

oldsig
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
Agree, it's certainly a region that's on the radar.
Too bad we don't have some OPV's and LCH's TODAY.
What's the chance of changing the manufacturing drum beat of one Arafura class a year to one a week?

Regards S
I totally get you, but joking aside, there is enough latent plate-forming and steel cutting capacity in the Perth metro area to handle more than twice the current drumbeat on the WA builds, without impacting other industry sectors. They'll obviously take their time on the first WA build though. I'm sure ASC could pulverise the schedule in SA, if they needed to.

I work for a specialist steel plate cold-forming company in the Perth metro area, which would (hopefully) be supporting Civmec, through Luerssen, with some of the formed components. I'm not allowed to discuss certain things, but from what I've seen, the steelwork at least, even on a crazy tight deadline won't be the critical path.

If they follow the Luerssen Germany model of having their primary site, augmented by many smaller operators (which is what Luerssen is telling us will happen and what we are hearing from the SME's) we could see industry knocking out Arafura 'kits' for Civmec assembly like Liberty ships. The forming does not appear difficult, there are a lot of straight lines - and better bends mean easier welds and less rework.

Once the first WA build is afloat and passes acceptance, Civmec will have a point to prove to Austal Defence Industry and potential export customers - and they will crank them out as fast as Defence will permit. You can guarantee they will want to knock these out faster than the Guardian drumbeat.

It will be a revelation.
(A good one, I hope).



Apologies to all for the flippant one week drumbeat comment.
Obviously not practical, and at best a poor attempt at humour.
Really its just to point out that the concept of an OPV in RAN service should of already being part of Navy's kit bag for a generation now, and not something on the near horizon.
The Arafura class will serve the RAN well and I have no doubt they will be one of the high use assets within the fleet.
As to role out, I reluctantly guess it is what it is, so I'm not here wanting to throw a big spanner in the works.
So I do trust the Arafura class build goes without any grief and wish that if there is an opportunity to increase output it would certainly be prudent.
I do confess to having some reservations with the time table for the Hunter Class and the relevance of the ANZAC class in the future.
At least good numbers of OPV's will relieve the Major units to concentrate on the high end stuff.

2020's uncertainty and all!!

Arafura Class sooner then later thanks

Regards S

PS - Does anyone know if our OPV's, will actually have a helicopter refuelling capability and aviation fuel storage installed on the ship.
Listed as an option by Lurssen and the question is for helicopters, not small UAV's which are a given.
 

Morgo

Active Member
I spent a week in Port Moresby about twenty years ago. It was a dangerous place then and from what I have heard it hasn't gotten any better. It isn't just PNG either ... there is an arc of island nations from PNG through toTonga all with various degrees of political stability and ripe to be exploited by outside forces.
I’ve spent a few months in Moresby over the past few years and it’s certainly an “exciting” place alright. It regularly rates as one of the most violent cities on the planet outside of active war zones.

In my view securing our near north doesn’t get nearly enough attention, although it is heartening to see more of our foreign aid directed at the South Pacific.
 

Morgo

Active Member
On a separate issue, the Pacific Islands have asked the US for more involvement. Perhaps they could send out some of those LCS for presence.

Pacific Island Nations Want More U.S. Engagement - USNI News
It’s not the US that should be responsible. Both we and the kiwis should be stepping up to do this. It’s very much in our interest to have a regular presence in the waters around our near northern neighbours, primarily because if we don’t the PRC will.

The Arafura class should be a great help in the sort of constabulary work the Fijians and others say they need help with, as will the 23 Guardian class boats currently under construction.

It does seem like the South Pacific is finally getting the attention that it deserves from the Australian bureaucracy, and after years of benign neglect we’re showing the necessary resolve to keep the PRC out of our backyard.

Now that we’ve struck a decent deal with the Timorese on gas we should hopefully be able to have a broader, more constructive relationship with them as well.

If we continue these positive trends we may have the opportunity (in the medium term) have a string of offshore basing options stretching from Butterworth in Malaysia through Cocos Is, Christmas Is, East Timor, Manus / Lombrum and then finishing perhaps in the Solomons and New Caledonia. If we could get the Kiwis to do the same for Vanuatu and Fiji this would provide us with fantastic strategic depth and enhancement of the security of our SLOCs.

Should we do this, the follow on questions to my mind are then:

1) How much would we invest in facilities in each of these locations? Is it simply access to exisiting infrastructure? Or significant port and runway construction including hardening measures? How stable is the political environment? How defensible would the location be?

2) How would we get the Indonesians comfortable that Butterworth / Cocos / Christmas / Timor are not a threat to them?
 

John Newman

The Bunker Group
It's always interesting when the subject of the build schedules (drumbeat), for the FFGs, OPVs, Submarines, etc, comes up. Comments like, 'should be sooner', 'reduce the drumbeat', etc.

The Catch 22 for the current Government (and future Governments), is finding the balance between the needs of Navy and the needs of the Shipbuilding Industry. On the surface the Drumbeat of two years between each of the nine Frigates and each of the 12 Submarines is great for industry, and especially with the promise of follow on orders beyond the current projects, eg 'continuous build program'.

On the other side of the coin is the issue for Navy to ensure that the ships and submarines being replaced can be sustained and kept relevant, probably not so much a problem at the beginning of the build programs, but towards the later stages of the build programs when the remaining 'older' classes are getting rather long in the tooth could be an issue, to say the least.

In regard to the Anzac replacements, it's worth looking back at the 2009 DWP as a starting point, at that time, the Rudd Government proposed the 8 large Future Frigates (which was news welcomed by most of us interested in Navy and Defence, good news!!), but if you dug a little further and had a look at the accompanying 2009 DCP, SEA 5000 didn’t get a mention as it was ‘outside’ of the usual 10 year scope of DCPs, eg, ‘beyond’ 2019 for a decision.

If you then roll forward to the 2011 DCP, SEA 5000 is listed, but the ‘year’ of decisions had a lot of rubber room, first pass approval was set for anywhere between 2018-2019 to 2020-21, and a year of decision between 2021-22 to 2023-24.

If that schedule set out in the 2011 DCP for SEA 5000 had been kept in place, we still wouldn’t know (2019) what was going to replace the Anzacs! (who’s complaining about ‘should be sooner’ now?).

By the time of the 2016 DWP and accompanying 2016 DIIP (which is the new name for the DCP), the eight Future Frigates has been increased to nine ships. In April 2016 the three competing designs are shortlisted and in June 2018 the Type 26, Hunter class, is announced the winner with a cutting steel date of 2020.

And as we know now, 2020 will be the start of construction of a number of prototype blocks and the ‘real’ block work is scheduled for 2022.

Compared to where the replacement plan started in 2009 and to where it is now, the timing of the ‘start’ of the Anzac replacement is pretty reasonable, in my opinion.

In regard to the Drumbeat (which appears to be approx 2 years or 24mths) for delivery of each of the new Hunter class, it’s also worth going back and looking at the build history of the 10 Anzac class (and yes including the two Kiwi ships).

The 10 Anzacs commissioned between May 1996 and August 2006, on average a bit over a year between each commissioning, 13-14mths (yes they fluctuated a bit, but still that was the approx average). The RANs first three Anzacs ships are actually 1, 3 and 5, the two Kiwi ships are 2 and 4.

The Drumbeat of approx 24mths for the Hunters will align with the replacement of the first three RAN Anzacs of approx 24mths, but from ship 4 onwards that’s where things will get a bit pear shaped, the latter Anzacs will certainly be a very long in the tooth by the end of the replacement of ship 8 and the 8th Hunter.

My understanding is that the UK T26 ships will have a drumbeat of 18mths, and that the Australian build can also be sped up to match that same 18mth drumbeat. But of course this is the Catch 22, if you take approx 36mths out of the overall build program, great for Navy to get it’s ships sooner than later, but then there is a gap to the next project (the DDG replacement), damages the continuous build program.

So what does the Government do? Keep the artificial ‘go slow’ in place? Bring the DDG replacement forward? Or maybe there is another way?

Maybe add a 10th ship to the program? From the delivery of ship 3 onwards reduce the drumbeat to 18mths, maybe the cumulative cost of the 36mths ‘go slow’ might well be better spent on that additional ship?

Food for thought?

Cheers,
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Apparently even our procurement people had a flash of brilliance (a few nanoseconds) when the decision to increase the AOPS was made to keep Irving’s workforce busy and intact until the CSC build starts. Adding ships is the best solution in most cases and in Canada’s case the extra ships are needed.
 
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